Wander around Naritasan Shinshoji and Naritasan Park
One of the largest of its kind in the wider Tokyo area, Naritasan Shinshoji is a Buddhist temple with over 1,000 years of history. It gets especially crowded during the New Year period, when visitors from across the country come and pay their respects to the lord Buddha. The complex itself is huge, with many historic buildings showcasing traditional Japanese temple artistry, such as the three-storey pagoda which was built in 1712.
Inside the grounds is Naritasan Park, a mix of carefully sculpted gardens and open, wilder, green spaces. It’s pretty in every season, but particularly spring – when its plum and sakura trees blossom – and autumn, when the fiery leaves take over. To top it off, there’s a calligraphy museum, which is worth a closer look even if you don’t read Japanese.
Naritasan Shinshoji, Naritasan Park, 1 Narita, Narita, Chiba. 0476 22 2111.
Calligraphy Museum, inside Naritasan Shinshoji grounds, 640 Narita, Narita, Chiba. 0476 24 0774. 9am-4pm (last entry 3.30pm), closed Mon (next working day if Mon is a hol). Adults ¥500, high school & university students ¥300, primary & junior high school students FREE.