New York Times Practical Traveler

August 14, 2005

Making the Best of That Long Layover


IN November, Jennie Perkins, a Los Angeles-based employee of a concert promotion company, was booking a 10-day vacation to Thailand when she realized she would face a 10-hour layover at the New Tokyo International Airport in Narita City on the return flight.

"I resigned myself to sitting and reading, eating sushi and experiencing Japan from inside an airport," Ms. Perkins said.

But Ms. Perkins visited the discussion boards on, where she read about a Web site devoted to those facing long layovers in Narita. The site, Mike Newman's Narita Layover Page (, helped her navigate through customs and out to the city for six hours - long enough to visit the Narita Temple.

Web sites like the Narita page offer a wide range of information for people who are anticipating long airport waits, but are close enough to an Internet connection to do some quick research. Airports' own Web sites are frequently worth a look as well.

Unlike the official airport Web sites or those produced by established travel publishers like and, Mr. Newman's site does not try to offer objective information. Mr. Newman, who first posted the Narita page in 1996, after experiencing multiple layovers at the airport there during his business and personal travels, sprinkles in his opinions, and those of fellow Narita travelers.

In the What Can I Do in Narita section, for instance, Mr. Newman writes of "several rather uninspired places" to dine in front of the bus station, then yields to recommended restaurants from other travelers. For example, one contributor recommends Edokko Sushi near the Keisei station.

Read the entire article here: New York Times Practical Traveler