Shibayama Bus Tour: History, Terracotta Figures, & Lunch by the Kuriyama River
- History & Culture
The Shibayama Course includes local destinations that are not well known even by Japanese tourists, making for a unique experience that gives you a glimpse into the mind of the Japanese and their everyday food culture. Each town offers pleasant, rural Japanese scenery that would be difficult to see without the benefit of a bus tour, including views of verdant rice fields in summer and other quintessential Japanese landscapes.
This tour is conducted by a local English-speaking guide. Cost for bus and driver is 3,500 yen per adult, with children half-price. Participants should meet at the Narita Airport Transit & Stay Program counter at Terminal 1 or 2 at the designated meeting time.
Time Required: 6 hours
Minimum Budget: 3,500 yen
Meeting Time: 9:20 AM
Guide Language: English
- Boso no Mura Theme Park
- Tako Ajisai-kan Roadside Station
- Shibayama Nioson Temple
Boso no Mura’s authentic Edo Period townscape has been used as a filming location for numerous Japanese period dramas, and is a great place to get a feel for what life was like in feudal Japan.
Cost for happi rental is 500 yen.
Roadside Station Tako Ajisai-kan sits right on the bank of the Kuriyama River, and sells a variety of Japanese-style bento lunches, dango, tamagoyaki rolls, and of course the delicious Tako rice. Limited production has meant that Tako rice is not widely available throughout the country, but it has garnered top accolades (including “Best Tasting Rice of Japan”), and on this tour you can try your hand at making onigiri rice balls using this top-quality rice. In addition to a restaurant, there is a dining space on the second floor where you can look out onto the river and the seasonal flowers while eating your lunch.
Shibayama Nioson Temple was founded over 1,200 years ago, in Japan’s Heian Period. It was patronized by local rulers for generations, and in the Edo Period its two black Nio statues were revered by merchants and other commoners for their power to ward off fire and theft. The temple is also home to the Haniwa Museum, which displays 150 terracotta figures, called haniwa, made by people living here long ago. Visitors may be shown around by the head priest himself, and depending on the day you may be able to ring the temple’s iron bell, or partake in the Goma Fire ritual, both special experiences available only to participants on this tour.