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Tuesday, 12th May 2015
In Japan Travel News,

Narita Airport launches guided tours for transit passengers

Narita International Airport has started to offer passengers waiting for a connecting flight guided tours to cultural and historic spots in the airport district. People who have a few hours to spare in transit often feel that their time cannot pass quickly enough, and the tours are a way of spending this layover time usefully. The short trips are organised by the transportation ministry and the airport. 

Kazuki Nozawa, a spokesman for Narita International Airport Corp said the initiative had been launched in response to passenger demand.

Travellers who will be stopping over at Narita can book the tour in advance or apply in person for the tour at the reception desk in the arrivals halls of Terminals 1 and 2. The passengers are accompanied by volunteer tour guides to various sights in the airport district including Naritasan Shinshoji Temple in the city of Narita which has been in existence for more than 1,000 years, and the town of Tako which is situated in idyllic countryside landscapes. 

Passengers are also encouraged to take a trip by themselves to the various shopping malls near the airport. Guided tours take up to three hours and there is no limit to group size. The tour guides provide their services free but the participants pay for transportation and admission fees. 

“We want temporary visitors at Narita International Airport to directly experience the sense of omotenashi (Japanese hospitality), which cannot be experienced just by passing through,” Nozawa said. 

The tours have only just been launched and the first reports indicate they are already a hit, with over 100 groups of layover passengers having toured the area in recent weeks, according to a report in the Japan Times.

Nozawa attributed the success of the initiative to social media and word of mouth. “Hopefully, they will come back to Japan again as our guest next time,” he commented.  

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