Narita, Sawara, Chosh
Visit the riverside town in Sawara’s Koedo area
See the sacred temple grounds that once acted as a defensive barrier around the Kanto region’s Mount Narita
Experience the stunning geography and fishing villages of Choshi
• A chance to personally experience traditional Buddhist Zazen meditation at Mount Narita’s Shinshoji Temple, Kanto
• Dolphin watching off the coast of Choshi, where the Kuroshio and Kurile currents meet (the chance of seeing the dolphins is around 80%)
• Take in the spectacular coastal views from the cliffs of Byobugaura
• Visit an authentic fishing town and taste delicious meals made with fresh fish from the best fish market in Japan
• Take in Japan’s earliest sunrise during a stroll along the coastline and through a beachside pine forest at Kanto’s most easterly point
• Walk along the hill roads of Tokawa and Ryoushimachi (Fisherman’s town), the oldest town in Choshi
• Take a trip to Enpukuji, one of Kanto’s 33 famous sacred sites associated with Kannon, the Buddhist deity of compassion
• Try some traditional soul-food at a shop in Choshi, popular with locals for its “Imagawayaki” – a delicious hot pancake filled with bean jam
• Experience traditional indigo fabric dyeing and cotton weaving in Choshi while praying for the success and safety of the town’s fishermen with local women
• Enjoy a walk and river cruise through Sawara’s riverside area
• Visit a historical sake brewery
• Take a trip to factory famous locally for the soy sauce it produces
• A trip to Katori Shrine, one of the Kanto’s three famous shrines and the headquarters of 400 other shrines across Japan
This tour will take you on a round trip around the greater Tokyo area, starting from Narita Airport (often considered Japan’s ‘gateway’) and taking you to the sacred defensive grounds that surround Kanto. There, you will have the opportunity to personally experience traditional Buddhist Zazen meditation and relax in the stunning surroundings.
In Kanto’s most easterly region, Choshi, visit a traditional fishing village and take the chance to not only interact and talk with the people who live and work in along the beautiful coastline, but also to try the area’s famed and delicious fish.
Furthermore, this tour will take you to Sawara, located not far from Tokyo. In Sawara you will have the opportunity to explore a historical town with buildings and scenery left over from the Edo Period. In the same town, you will also be able to enjoy a trip to a historic sake brewery and locally-renowned soy sauce factory.
Despite your close proximity to Tokyo and Narita Airport, this tour presents you with the opportunity to explore authentic and historic Japan, with multiple opportunities to witness what still remains of the Edo Period.
The tour starts at Narita Airport, where the group will gather in the north and south arrivals wings for a quick activities briefing before taking the bus to Narita Station, around 30 minutes away. From there, the group will walk the road leading to Mount Narita’s Shinshoji temple, where we will have the opportunity to tour the temple and personally experience traditional Buddhist Zazen meditation. Relaxed and refreshed, it will then be time to take a short, 30 minute-long stroll to a nearby eel restaurant to enjoy an hour long lunch break.
After lunch, the group will travel to Choshi’s Atmospheric and Ocean Research Institute by bus, where we will have an hour and a half to enjoy a spot of dolphin watching and take in the view from the stunning cliffs of Byobugaura. Then, it’s time to travel to the night’s accommodation, for an hour of free time to relax and a chance to enjoy a traditional onsen (hot spring) bath, followed by a delicious dinner before bed.
The group will meet in the morning before taking the bus to Choshi’s Daiichi Oroshiuri Market, where we will take the chance to take a look around before fueling up for the day’s activities with a fresh and filling breakfast in the market’s dining hall. After breakfast, the group will travel to Kimigahama station, which will act as the starting point for a stroll around the beautiful nearby pine forest. Reaching the Inubosaki Lighthouse, there will be an opportunity to take a short rest and enjoy the scenery before continuing to walk along the coastline. When the walk is over, the group will then travel by bus to Tokawa for a spot of lunch.
Having enjoyed a leisurely walk along the hill roads of Tokawa’s fishing village, it’s then time to explore Enpukuji temple, where we will also visit the temple’s treasure hall before traveling by foot to locally-renowned “Sanoya” to try “Imagawayaki” – a hot, pancake-like snack filled with delicious red bean jam.
After relaxing and taking the opportunity to interact with the locals, we will then take the bus to Choshi Chijimi Daizen to try our hand at traditional indigo dyeing. After that, the day’s final stop will be at the night’s accommodation in Sawara.
After a filling breakfast, it’s time for a walk around Sawara’s Riverside town, followed by a river cruise and a chance to freely explore the area. Next, the group will continue on to a sake brewery to learn more about the brewing process and even taste some of the products. The second tour of the day will then take place at the Irishou Company’s Soy Sauce factory (famed for producing the well-known “Miotsukushi” brand), where we can take a look around the facilities and find out more about the production process that the area is so well known for.
We will then travel by bus to Katori Shrine, the final stop of the trip. At Katori Shrine, there will be time to explore the grounds before taking a leisurely rest at a local tea shop. Refreshed and relaxed, the group will then return to Narita Airport, where the tour will end.
Situated in the north of Chiba prefecture, this town surrounds Mount Narita’s Shinshoji Temple and is only a short distance from Narita International Airport. With over ten million people visiting Shinshoji every year, it is considered one of the most renowned spots in Japan and a ‘must-see’ for tourists. Dedicated to Fudomyoo, one of the most important deities in Japanese Buddhism, worshippers who leave offerings can receive luck and blessings related to love, family safety and health, as well as success in schoolwork and business.
A geopark located in the easternmost point of the Chiba Prefecture and Kanto region, this area is home to a stunning coastal landscape protected as part of the Suigo-Tsukuba Quasi-National Park. Additionally, the area boasts a rich legacy of sake brewing that modern breweries continue to this day, as well as a historical port city known for the highest rate of fish catching in Japan.
Once known as “Choshiguchi”, the name of this area is derived from the name of a type of sake-pouring pot originally used for brewing herbal medicine. Just as the pot has a small spout and wide base, the geography of this area consists of a narrow coastline, widening as you travel further into the mainland.
Additionally, Choshi is renowned for its soy sauce production, with well-known companies Yamasa and Higeta brewing their products there.
Known as “Hokuso’s Koedo” (the northern part of Chiba prefecture, located in the Boso Peninsula) and “Suigo Town”, in 1996 this historical townscape was the first in the Kanto region selected to have its traditional buildings protected by the government’s Agency for Cultural Affairs. In 2009 Sawara was selected as one of Japan’s top 100 landscapes of the Heisei Era, while in 2018 Sakura City (castle town), Narita City (temple town) and Choshi City (port town) were all recognized for their significance in regards to Japan’s cultural heritage. During the Edo period, the banks of Sawara’s rivers became popular trading hubs, leading to a designated trading market being built along the banks of the area’s Ono river.
Constructed during the prosperous time between the Edo and Showa periods, the streets of Sawara are peppered with a fascinating mix of shops, warehouses and buildings built in both Japanese and western styles.
Visitors to the area can take in the beauty of these buildings along streets such as the so called “Katori Highway”, running from the east to the west of the city, as well as along the banks of the Ono river. Thanks to their preservation under the government’s traditional buildings initiative, this is the ideal location to explore and experience what remains of the historical Edo period. The Ono river also boasts the Takahashi bridge, selected as one of the top 100 landscapes of Japan.
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