When traveling to Japan there is a likely chance you will end up at Narita Airport. It is known as one of the busiest airports in Japan. With millions of travelers passing through the area it makes you wonder what are some of the things to do near the airport or even at the location.
In terminal 2, there is an Airport Mall on the 4th floor. There you can get some last-minute souvenirs for the family. They also have some unique shops like the Pokémon Store and ANA FESTA. If you are hungry there are plenty of restaurants to choose from. If you are looking for cheap there is even a 7-Eleven convenience store on the south side of the mall. The shopping and dining area in Terminal 1 spans over 3 floors starting on the 3rd. The shops on the 3rd can be only accessed once you check in. The 5th floor has an observation deck where you can see many of the planes docking and departing. It is a nice spot to take photographs of the planes if you do not want to travel too far from the terminal.
If you are tired of the airport and would like to go shopping then there is a shuttle bus you can take from Narita Airport for 300 yen to Aeon Mall. The nearby hotels have free shuttles to the mall, but you would have to go to the hotels and wait for the shuttle. Inside there is an arcade area for children and adults to enjoy. It is called Plaza Capcom and it is a good place to pass the time. There are quite a few shops around, but before you start shopping stop by the Tax-Free Counter and present your passport. When you go into shops with the tax-free sign you will not be charged taxes for your purchases. There are also prayer rooms available in the mall.
At the Narita Excel Tokyu Hotel there is a small Japanese garden that is free to explore. You can start from the bottom or walk down from the shuttle pick up/ drop off area. Depending on the season you can see roses in bloom or autumn leaves. At the bottom, there is a koi pond and is the best place to take a photo. If you are looking for a nice stroll then the garden is a great place to go.
The Museum of Aeronautical Sciences is located close to the southern end of the main runway of Narita Airport. If you love planes then this place is perfect for you. The museum has real aircrafts on display as well as simulators and various hands-on activities available. Inside the building are replicas of historic planes and aviation parts on display. From the rooftop observation deck, you can see the outdoor exhibits as well as the runway. It costs 500 yen to enter museum and it is closed on Mondays. Near the aviation museum is the Sakura no Oka Observation Area, which has been a spot that has appeared on TV and movies. From there the airport’s control tower, maintenance facility, and planes can be seen.
Naritasan Temple is a good 20-minute walk away from the JR Narita Station. The spacious Buddhist temple has a couple of main halls, a Tahoto style pagoda, a three-storied pagoda, and park with Japanese and European elements. The park is a little way down from the first main hall and has many crisscrossing paths. It makes for a nice stroll. It is said the Fudo Myoo enshrined in the temple was carved by Kobo Dashi, founder of the Shingon Sect. On the way to the temple you will pass through an area known as Omotesando, which is filled with shops selling traditional crafts and food.