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3-Day Model Trip Day1

3-Day Model Trip Day1 / Ibaraki & Chiba / Narita Airport - Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple - Naritasan Calligraphy Museum - Boso-no-Mura Museum - National Museum of Japanese History - Old samurai residences (Buke-yashiki) - Chiba

From the Bus Terminal located on the 1st Floor of Narita Airport, take the Narita City Tourist Bus which calls at sightseeing spots in Narita city. The red and green bus is designed based on a train which used to be in operation about 100 years ago. Fares are 200 yen per adult. Guides on the bus provide information in English, Korean and Chinese.

Getting off at Naritasan-monmae bus stop, you arrive at the entrance of Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple which is one of the most famous temples in Japan. This temple, founded in 940, has been worshipped by people for more than 1,000 years, and even today, as many as 13 million people visit this temple every year. In the extensive grounds of the temple precincts, there stand various Buddhist architectures including the Three-Storied Pagoda, the Shaka-do Hall in which 500 Buddhist statues are enshrined, and the Great Pagoda of Peace which is 58 meters tall. At the annual festival held in early July, you can enjoy the spectacle of 10 highly-ornamental floats being paraded down the streets.

Adjoining the temple, there is a large park of over 165,000 m², where you can appreciate the four seasons of Japan. If you are interested in kanji (Chinese writing) and Japanese letters, try visiting the Naritasan Calligraphy Museum standing on the banks of the pond inside the park.

The road leading to JR Narita Station is called Omote-sando and is lined with souvenir shops, ryokan and restaurants for some 800 meters. Sweets made with peanuts, which are a specialty of Chiba, tsukemono pickles and rice crackers make fine gifts.

Your next destination is Boso-no-Mura Museum. Take the bus from the West Exit of JR Narita Station, and after a 20-minute ride, you will arrive at Ryukakuji-dai 2-chome bus stop, from where it is 8 minutes' walk.

Here, you can experience various aspects of traditional Japanese lifestyle and try using old-style tools. No reservations are required for trying your hand at origami paper folding, traditional children's games, making coasters by using tatami materials, and fabric dyeing. Depending on the time of the year, you may be lucky and encounter a seasonal event.

Also in the "Fudoki-no-Oka Area", there are ancient ruins. The manner in which the mounted tomb is encircled by dolls, called Haniwa, is a mystical sight. Private residences built 300 years ago have been relocated here.

From Keisei Narita Station, take the Keisei Line to Keisei Sakura Station, and from there take the bus (or walk) to the National Museum of Japanese History. You can learn about Japanese history, from the origins of the Japanese archipelago to the present day, through the history of everyday life. Ask for the free "Audio Guide" which provides explanations in English, Chinese, Korean or French. Next to the museum, there is a park which has been formed on the site of a castle.

In this town, where a castle once stood, there remains a road retaining vestiges of some 300 years ago when samurai warriors used to be active. In the three old samurai residences (buke-yashiki), you can catch a glimpse of the samurai lifestyle. The Chiba Green Bus departing from the station is a convenient way to get to each of the sightseeing spots.

If you have time to spare, it is worth visiting the Kawamura Memorial Museum of Art which houses and exhibits collections not only of contemporary art but also of Japanese-style paintings (Nihon-ga) and Western-style paintings by Rembrandt and other artists.

Return to JR Sakura Station and take the Sobu Main Line to Chiba Station. You will stay overnight in Chiba City.