This month I was lucky enough to be rostered two trips to Narita, Japan. Having previously visited Tokyo on a family holiday a few years ago, I decided not to make the journey into the city (which can take around 1,5 hrs), and instead to explore the small town of Narita.
It’s a funny place – while it is very obviously Japanese, the majority of visitors are foreign cabin crew and pilots, so it feels like a mini air crew village!
After arriving at our crew hotel, our first port of call was to get some tasty Japanese food, and I had a recommendation for a place called Ramen Bayashi, serving up delicious hot ramen soup.
We headed inside to the cozy restaurant, which is decked out with model aircraft and even a few crew uniform items.
I ordered a delicious bowl of ramen, and after dinner the group of us popped to a bar next door which I’m sure any crew who have been to Narita will be familiar with, the Jet Lag Club, for a drink.
The next morning 4 of us had plans to go and do something a bit different, try on a kimono! Despite the rainy weather, we took the shuttle bus into town and hopped off just next to a little studio, which specialises in kimono photoshoots.
You choose your kimono, and the lovely lady there dresses you up in it, and her husband takes the pictures which you can then download from the link they send you.
Such a fun experience, and something I can truly recommend if you’re ever looking for something a bit different to do in Narita!
This is what goes under the kimono – it’s actually a lot of layers, and once it’s on it’s so tight you can barely breathe. For me the funniest part of the whole outfit had to be the toe socks though – hilarious!
I chose a beautiful red kimono with pretty flowers on it, and the other 3 girls all chose a different colour kimono, so the group shots really turned out well.
After our photos (in the pouring rain outside!) we decided to head to the nearby temple, Narita-san Shinshoji Temple. It was a lovely stroll through the main street, despite the rain.
We picked up some sort of pancake/pastry, filled with white bean, to try along the way. Interesting!
Something that I’ve noticed is very common in Japan is that all of the restaurants have displays of their dishes in the windows, made out of plastic, quite funny!
Once we arrived at the temple, we had a quick look around, although didn’t spend too long there as most of it is outside, and it was still raining heavily.
However, on our way out, we spotted a little garden area, with some pretty blossom, so decided to wander over to have a look.
Sadly it was a little too early and rainy for the cherry blossom, but these plum blossoms were just as pretty!
Starting to get a little peckish, we stopped off for some lunch at a sushi restaurant we’d passed along the way to the temple.
Not long after I got back from this trip, it was time for me to head back to Narita again. Having only been there a couple of days previously, I decided to take it a bit easier on this trip and catch up on some sleep.
There was time for a trip to the nearby mall, where we were lucky enough to finally spot the much sought-after cherry blossoms!
I even managed to pack a flowery shirt, in the hope that we might spot some blossom to match.
After a browse in the mall, I stopped at a little sushi place for lunch. It was even better than the last one!
So happy I had the chance to see some beautiful cherry blossom in Japan, and maybe next year I will be lucky enough to go back towards the end of March or beginning of April, where the flowers are out in bloom even more.