Stroll the Historical Streets of Sawara

In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, tours on the Narita Airport Transit & Stay Program are temporarily suspended.
Thank you for your understanding, and we look forward to being able to restart Volunteer Guided Tours, Self-Guided Tours and Bus Tours again soon!


Discover the Edo Period Atmosphere of Riverside District Sawara

  • History & Culture
Sawara was an important commercial hub in the Edo Period, when many canals were built to help transport goods to the capital of Edo (Tokyo) by river. Now part of Katori City, Sawara retains much of its Old Japan atmosphere and is perfect for a stroll or boat ride.

Time Required: 4 hours

Minimum Budget: 1,430 yen

Meeting Time: 9:00 AM

Guide Language: English

Tour Highlights:

  • Stroll the Historical Streets of Sawara

Optional Activities:

  • Suigo Sawara Dashi Kaikan
  • Ono River Sightseeing Boat Ride
  • Katori Jingu Shrine

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Tour Highlights

  • Stroll the Historical Streets of Sawara

    Stroll the Historical Streets of Sawara

    The town of Sawara is located on the banks of the Tone River, an important waterway in the Edo Period that was used to transport goods from the countryside to the capital of Edo (present-day Tokyo). Sawara prospered as an essential hub for commerce, and many canals were built to facilitate easy transportation of both goods and people. Today the town is popular with Japanese tourists, who come to enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of Old Japan created by the canals and streets lined with merchant houses and souvenir shops, and is perfect for a relaxing stroll.

Optional Activities

  • dummy bg Suigo Sawara Dashi Kaikan

    Suigo Sawara Dashi Kaikan

    At Suigo Sawara Dashi Kaikan you can see some of the huge floats, called dashi, used in the Sawara Grand Festival. This festival is held in July and October, and is included in UNESCO’s list of Japan’s intangible cultural heritage. A famous figure from Japanese mythology or history stands atop each float, reaching a towering height of 8 meters (26 feet). Also on display are the instruments used to play the festival music, called Sawara Bayashi. Tour participants with foreign passports get discounted admission: 350 yen (ages 16 & up); 150 yen (ages 7–15).

  • dummy bg Ono River Sightseeing Boat Ride

    Ono River Sightseeing Boat Ride

    Climb aboard a small Japanese boat for a relaxing tour of Sawara from the Ono River, giving you a taste of how residents navigated the waterways of the town in the Edo Period. Cost for boat tour: 1,300 yen (ages 13 & up); 700 yen (ages 7–12).

  • dummy bg Katori Jingu Shrine

    Katori Jingu Shrine

    According to legend, this important Shinto shrine was founded in 643 BCE, during the reign of Japan’s first emperor. Katori Jingu was the highest-ranked shrine (ichinomiya) of the former Shimousa Province, and along with Ise Jingu Grand Shrine, one of only three shrines in the country designated with the Jingu name pre-Meiji Period. Its current main hall was built in 1700 by the Tokugawa Shogunate, and is designated an Important Cultural Property. This option is only available on weekdays, and requires a taxi ride from Sawara station (roundtrip fare approximately 3,500 – 4,000 yen).

Related Information

Official Information

Terms and Conditions

Narita Airport Transit & Stay Program Terms and Conditions
Revised June 2018

  1. This program is for those who have spare time during a layover at Narita Airport or when staying at a hotel in the Narita area.
  2. Tour participants must be eligible to enter Japan. You will need to go through Immigration and Customs in order to join a tour, and we accept no liability for issues that arise therein.
  3. Please ensure you have sufficient time to participate. Tour participants are solely responsible for their schedule and being on time for their flight. All listed times are approximate, and unforeseen delays can occur due to traffic conditions, weather, unexpected problems or other causes. If you have a flight departing on the day of your tour, please ensure that you return to Narita Airport at least two hours before your scheduled departure time.
  4. All tours are intended to guide non-Japanese travelers who are changing planes at Narita Airport (either domestic or international flights) or who are staying in the Narita area.
  5. Guides are volunteers. They may not necessarily have expert knowledge on the tourist spots you are visiting.
  6. Tours are free of charge; however, participants are responsible for all personal expenses, including transportation costs and entrance fees, during the tour. Tipping the tour guides is not necessary.
  7. Please have Japanese yen with you to cover any costs during the tour.
  8. Due to the limited number of volunteer guides available, there is no guarantee that a Volunteer Guided Tour can be provided to all participants desiring one. In other cases, we may ask that you join a tour with other participants.
  9. Booking a tour does not absolutely guarantee that the requested tour can be given. Unforeseen circumstances, including but not limited to bad weather, may require us to cancel the tour or ask that you participate in a different tour.
  10. All the Volunteer Guided Tours are walking tours. Please let us know in advance if you are pregnant or not feeling well. Participation in the tour should be decided at your own responsibility. Should you feel unwell in any way during the tour, please inform the tour guide immediately.
  11. Participation in a Volunteer Guided Tour is limited to once per day.
  12. Please follow the instructions of the guide during the tour.
  13. If you become separated from the guide during the tour, please check the information map and return to the airport reception desk by the scheduled time. Those who have means to contact the reception desk should let them know as soon as possible.
  14. Volunteer guides will accompany you until you are back at the airport, arriving no later than 2pm regardless of tour start time. For participants on Tour 1 (“Get a Full Japanese Cultural Experience at Naritasan Shinshoji Temple”), if your flight leaves after 5pm or does not leave that day, and you wish to have more time in Narita, you may optionally choose to continue exploring on your own past 2pm. If you choose to do so, be confident you can get back to the airport without a guide. Under no circumstances will Narita International Airport Corporation or Narita Airport Transit & Stay Program, including Volunteer Guides, be responsible for missed flights or accidents occurring either during or after a Volunteer Guided Tour.
  15. If you have large suitcases or other bulky luggage, please store them in one of Narita Airport’s coin-operated lockers or at a luggage storage counter at your expense.
  16. Please note that we may take photos during the tour for use in promotional material or posting to our Facebook page or other social media. If you do not wish to appear in any photos, please let us know before leaving on your tour.
  17. You are free to do shopping during guided tours. However, please be mindful of the restrictions on liquids, aerosols and gels (LAGs) of over 100 ml in carry-on luggage, and restrictions on bringing agricultural produce into another country. Be sure to keep these things in mind when making purchases, as you are responsible for all purchased items. Weight limits for items that can be carried with you onto the aircraft may differ from airline to airline. An excess baggage fee may be levied if the weight limit is exceeded, so make sure to check with your airline for details.
  18. Narita International Airport Corporation and Narita Airport Transit & Stay Program shall not be responsible or liable for any misunderstandings, accidents, damages, bodily harm or costs incurred for any reason, directly or indirectly, while participating on a Volunteer Guided Tour or Self-Guided Tour with this program, regardless of whether the rules outlined in these Terms and Conditions are followed.