Friday, January 11, 2019

naritasan

Since Satoshi had one more ride using his Seishun 18-kippu, we went to check out Naritasan Shinshoji (a temple) in Narita city, which is in Chiba prefecture.

From Tokyo, it took us about 2 hours.

And because it was the start of the new year, there were lots of people there.

After all the different shrines we went to in Tokyo during the New Year break, I was surprised that no one was selling baby castella...tiny castella in the form of different characters.

In Osaka, there would always be several vendors selling this at festivals and near shrines during their events, but in the Kanto area, we've noticed they aren't easy to come by.

During the New Year break (in Osaka) when we would go for hatsumode (first prayers of the year), I often would buy a bag, and Satoshi and I would munch on the warm little castella as we walked from one shrine to the next.

Luckily, we were finally able to get our fix in Narita.

On our way to visit the main shrine, we noticed that a lot of shops had lines in front of them, we looked at the time and it was nearing lunchtime.

This particular area has many unagi shops.

It was once said that during the Edo period it took at least 2 days to walk to Narita, so unagi (eel) was eaten to relieve the fatigue.

We stopped in at Surugaya (which if I understood correctly has been in business since 1798!) and got a numbered ticket for a table.

The man at the ticket machine mentioned it would probably be an hour and a half wait....

So, we went to the main shrine and checked out various areas of the property.

We also caught a glimpse of the priests making their way through the property...if you'd like to view a short video, click on the link.

At about an hour's wait (12:00), we went back to see what number they were on...they were no where near ours...sigh.

To kill time, we walked around looking at shops...the only thing is that there were so many people so it made walking around kind of tiring.

And the shops that they have all kind of repeat themselves after awhile...

In the end, we ended up just waiting in front of the shop where an hour turned into two and a half hours...

While waiting for our table, I shot a short video of the men preparing the unagi...here.

Then they called our number!

We were seated but were told that after ordering it would take at least 20-25 minutes for them to grill our unagi...nooo!

We ordered some beer and waited for "lunch".

(actually while waiting in line, we chatted with another couple and they had mentioned that they had tried other unagi places along this shopping arcade but loved this one because they actually grill to order. Some of the other places they tried would just bring out the unagi right after you ordered it...)

Finally at about 15:00 we got our meals...

Someone looks happy, yeah?!

It was delicious...the flesh was kind of fluffy, though I wished the skin was more crisp.

The wait was krazy but I'm glad the unagi didn't disappoint.

On the way back to Tokyo, we picked up some hand grilled arare (rice crackers) from Sakurayahonten and since Chiba is known for their peanuts, I was happy to find some of my favorite "peanut brittle" type of arare at Mame no Fukudaya, which kind of look like this...


It was a long day, but I'm glad we were able to use Satoshi's last ride using his Seishun 18-kippu and that we were able to visit Narita city.

Surugaya
359 Naka-machi
Narita, Chiba
Phone: 0476.22.1133
Closed Thursdays
Hours: 10:00-17:00

Sakurayahonten
547 Kami-cho
Narita, Chiba
Phone: 0476.22.0725

Mame no Fukudaya
526 Hanazakicho
Narita, Chiba
Phone: 0476.22.2471

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Now I absolutely have to go to Narita! That peanut brittle arare is my GF's and my favorite. I always look for it in the stores but rarely see it. And freshly grilled unagi, yummy!
Thanks for this post too because I have been always meaning to go to Narita whenever in tokyo but always run out of time.
v

K and S said...

I would've thought you already gone V! If you fly in/out of Narita, you could probably go before your flight...

Take care!
Kat

jalna said...

I applaud your perseverance and patience.

K and S said...

Jalna, krazy yeah?!

Take care!
Kat

KirkK said...

Looks a lot more crowded then when we visited Kat! New Year..... Satoshi looks very happy!

K and S said...

it was really packed Kirk!

Take care!
Kat

Rowena said...

you both deserve a medal for patience, no way I could wait that l would or could wait that long!

K and S said...

after an hour waiting Rowena, there was no turning back :) plus I was past the point of being "hangry"

Take care!
Kat