There were a couple of reasons why I decided to take the night flight to arrive in Narita airport in the morning. One was to get tickets for the night train and two because I just couldn't wait to be in Japan. So there I was bright and early in Narita airport. After storing my luggage and getting the tickets for our Hokutosei Tokyo-Sapporo for that night, I decided to make full use of my Japan Rail Pass and head out to Narita city.
All the guides for Narita city claimed that unagi is their specialty. Thus, while I wonder through the city on the way to Naritasan Shinshoji Temple. It took only 15 minutes by JR train from Narita Airport terminal 2 to Narita city station. The walk to the temple was fun as I get to see the shops on both side of the street and of course making a mental note on where I should get my unagi lunch.
View of the garden from the main gate
I thoroughly enjoyed the temple and the garden behind it. My Japanese failed me after 5 years of absent use but I felt like I could find my zen again. I wish I could just sit there for ages, but I had to get lunch and get back to collect my travel buddy, let's call her Ginko chan, from the terminal later that same day as she was flying from New York.
The inner garden with small creek, so green and peaceful
I decided to get my unagi lunch from this cute little traditional inn and restaurant operated by a local family. My unagi set consisted of an unadon (unagi on top of rice), bamboo shoots, pickles and clear soup. So simple, so deliciously good. This is what I love about Japanese food. The ingredients are there to enhance the original flavor of the dish, not overpowering it.
The ladies waiting for customers
My unagi teishoku
Close up of the soup
The ladies of the restaurants were so hospitable and gracious. It was heavenly. I cherished it more now that I've experience the hellish customer experience in Singapore, where waitress and shopkeepers are just plain rude. When I got in, they greeted me and ushered me in while telling me to sit at the table by the AC as it was hot outside. They gave me tea and set down my meal gently while giving me a warm welcoming smile. Heaven!