Layovers can be such a huge burden for travelers. For one, no passenger is usually willing to wait for long hours for a transit flight at an airport. However, Narita International Airport in Japan is determined to turn this unwelcomed burden into a memorable part of the trip.
For tourists who have a lot of layover time before exiting Japan, the Narita Transit Program offers a short tour about the country’s history and culture near the vicinity of the airport. The program was recently launched early this year in March 2015 and has now gained a huge following among overseas visitors transiting through the airport. In fact, there has been a growing demand among passengers attracting 100 groups of tourists from the United States, Canada, and Southeast Asia who prefer to seek for an interesting adventure rather than remain idle inside the airport while waiting for their next flight.
The goal of the tour is to ensure that each transit passenger will experience Japanese hospitality (omotenashi), with the hope that these visitors will take an interest in the culture of Japan and visit the country for a longer period of time.
To understand more about the history and culture of the area, volunteer tour guides are deployed to accompany each transit passenger to the sightseeing area near the airport. One of the most visited sites is the Naritasan Shinshoji Temple in Narita City, which was founded more than 1,000 years ago. Included also in the side trip is a visit to see the landscape of the countryside around the town of Tako. Visitors may also opt to have a self-guided tour to the shopping malls near the airport.
The tours can last up to three hours and there is no official limit for a group size. The tour is also free and each participant only needs to worry about the personal expenses that may be incurred such as transportation costs and admission fees.
Applying for a layover tour package at the Narita International Airport is easy. You can go directly to the reception desk at the arrivals lobby of Terminals 1 and 2 and the staff will guide you in filling out the necessary forms. There are also advance reservations made available in case you don’t want to take the trouble of filling out the forms at the reception desk.
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