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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

History

Shinshoji Temple 成田山新勝寺

One of the Kanto region's most impressive temple complexes

Walk along the winding Narita Omotesando shopping street to reach Shinshoji Temple, otherwise known as Naritasan Shinshoji Temple or Naritasan, a sprawling temple complex that dates all the way back to A.D. 940. Impressive architecture, a rich calendar of events and proximity to Narita International Airport make Shinshoji Temple a worthy addition to any Tokyo layover.

Don't Miss

  • Strolling along Narita Omotesando, a quaint old-school shopping street leading up to the temple grounds
  • Nearby Naritasan Park, a lush park with ponds and walking trails
  • Seeing the elaborately carved and decorated temple buildings up close
  • Visiting during New Year's to witness the crowd-drawing magic of Shinshoji

How to Get There

Shinshoji Temple is just a short walk along Narita Omotesando from JR Narita Station.

To reach Shinshoji Temple, take the train to either JR Narita Station or Keisei Narita Station. JR Narita Station is just one stop from the Narita International Airport Terminal 2 Station.

A quaint and welcome approach

Narita Omotesando is a pleasant shopping street leading to Shinshoji Temple. The street is perfect for a leisurely stroll and stocking up on traditional snacks and souvenirs before your temple visit, or for dining, as many restaurants specialize in fresh barbecued eel.

Long-standing rituals and celebrations

One of Japan's oldest temples, Shinshoji is the site of many Buddhist ceremonies. Its structures, statues, and sacred objects represent centuries of history. Dedicated to the fire god Acala and an important religious site for the Shingon sect of Buddhism, one of the temple's most interesting attractions is the daily Goma Fire Ritual, a thousand-year-old tradition where priests pray before a large fire to help dispel the problems of temple visitors.

One of the biggest celebrations held at Shinshoji Temple is its New Year's celebration. Over 3 million people are said to come for the New Year's shrine visit alone. In fact, the New Year's visits make Shinshoji the second most-visited temple in Japan after the Meiji Shrine.

Alternatively, visit in early summer for the Narita Gion-Matsuri, where portable shrines of all shapes and sizes parade through the city. In the spring, the temple grounds host one of Japan's largest drum festivals with over 200 drummers taking part.

Architecturally important

Part of the reason for Shinshoji's enduring popularity is its striking architecture, much of which has been designated as Important Cultural Properties of Japan. The new and former Great Main Halls are famous for their scale and intricate carvings, respectively, while the richly decorated three-storied pagoda and a huge Tahoto style pagoda, named the Great Pagoda of Peace, are popular and worthwhile attractions.

A stroll through Naritasan Park

Beyond the temple lies the 165,000 square meter Naritasan Park. A paved path winds through a thickly-forested hill. Statues of notable monks line each side. The path then descends and opens up to reveal spacious grounds with a pond at their center.

Gorgeous in all seasons, Naritasan Park features free guided-walks given by volunteers around the park and temple grounds. Tours are conducted in English and require a reservation beforehand.

Soak up the serenity

During festival times and busy seasons, Shinshoji Temple can be quite crowded, but off-peak the temple is relatively quiet and serene. Its proximity to Narita International Airport makes it perfect for a 2-3 hour visit if your layover is short.

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