by Ashley Heil.
This is a little bit of a delayed post, but one I didn't want to forget about!
While flying home to the USA, we had a long layover, from 9:55AM until 4:40pm in Tokyo in order to switch between Tokyo Haneda and Tokyo Narita layover. Being over 6 hours, I definitely wanted to use this opportunity to see a little more of Tokyo and eat some great food. At first we considered going more into Tokyo proper to eat at our previous favorite ramen restaurant in Tokyo, Ichiran ramen, but after considering it our time in Tokyo seemed to short to manage this. I found out about this little town called Narita, just 2 train stops away from Narita airport. This seemed like the perfect place to come. I did some research on the trains and some directions, and we were set.
So, on the day of our layover, we quickly got off our plane and got our bags, and asked the nice helpful airport customer service workers for directions to Keisei Narita station. We got our train tickets, and we were on our way. I believe it took about an hour and 45 minutes to get to Keisei Narita station from Haneda. You can also choose to go to JR Narita station, they're both in Narita town. I think for the money and time the Keisei line was the best bet.
At Narita station, we were able to stow our bags in some lockers there. If there aren't any lockers available at the Keisei Narita station, you can always use the JR's lockers as well.
After walking a little bit on Omotesando road, we found Ramen Bayashi. Inside, there are decorations of planes and souvenirs from different airlines around the world. You see, this ramen resturant and town is famous for having pilots and flight attendants come here on their long layovers. While waiting for our food and eating we even overheard two pilots next to us talking about flying different models of planes. It was quite fascinating. Although this restaurant is famous with foreigners and people on layovers, there was plenty of Japanese people there as well, so it was still quite authentic. We both ordered the spicy pork ramen, and one order of the Goyaza. The broth was spicy, but not overly spicy. It was superb. I normally order tonkotsu ramen at ramen restaurants, so this was a great change. The pork and noodles were delicious as well. The bowl was plenty big, with the addition of the gyoza we were very full after the meal. The goyaza was excellent as well.
After enjoying the ramen we walked around the cute traditional town and went to visit Naritasan temple. Behind the temple there was a beautiful Japanese garden. Just walking around there, we couldn't believe we were enjoying all of that just on a layover. We even got a little carried away with the time because it was just so beautiful and we didn't want to leave. Really it was seeing this temple and the beautiful garden that made the trip to this town on our layover worth it.
So, if you're on a long transfer layover from Haneda to Narita (any less than 6 or so and it might be cutting it too close) and vice versa, or just a long layover at Narita, I recommend you go to Narita town and visit this ramen restaurant. And yes there are plenty of other amazing ramen restaurants closer to Tokyo proper, so I wouldn't come here just for that, but if you're going to the airport anyway I recommend it just for seeing this cute town and temple.
Ramen: around 850 yen . Goyaza: 400 yen
Directions: Ramen Bayashi is located at the beginning of the old Narita town, on Omotesando road. If you're on a layover at Narita airport, store your luggage in lockers at Narita airport's arrival floor, or at the train station's locker rental. Take the local Keisei train about 10 minutes to the Narita city stop (1 or 2 train stops away from Narita airport depending what terminal you are at). The train costs 250 yen per person each way. If you'd like, there are tourist centers in Narita city and at the nearby JR Narita train stop, stop by one of these tourist centers and the workers will happily give you directions to the sites in Narita and provide you with a map for free. From Keisei station, turn right outside the station. On the next street, there is a bridge heading towards the old Narita town. Go over the bridge, and before you dead end into Omotesando you'll see Ramen Bayashi on your left.
Here is a link to a website with more information: http://www.nrtk.jp/ndb/site/detail/219/?lang=en
and a facebook page (though it looks like their unofficial page), where you can read some more reviews https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ramen-Bayashi/183302421688202
We're just a couple addicted to great food. We love Anthony Bourdain!