As of February 1, 2016, the city has an estimated population of 131,096, and a population density of 613 persons per km². Its total area is 213.84 square kilometres (82.56 sq mi).
Top: Naritasan Shinsho Temple, Middle left: Narita Sky Access Line, Middle right: Tosho Temple in Sogo area, Bottom left: Narita International Airport, Bottom right: Narita Newtown in Karabe area
Location of Narita in Chiba Prefecture
|• Mayor||Kazunari Koizumi|
|• Total||213.84 km2 (82.56 sq mi)|
|Population (February 1, 2016)|
|• Density||613/km2 (1,590/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|Address||760 Hanasaki-cho, Narita-shi, Chiba-ken 286-8585|
The area Narita has been inhabited since the Japanese Paleolithic period. Archaeologists have found stone tools dating to some 30,000 years ago on the site of Narita Airport. Numerous shell middens from the Jōmon period, and hundreds of burial tumuli from the Kofun period have been found in numerous locations around Narita. Place names in the vicinity of Narita appear in the Nara period Man'yōshū (although the name “Narita” does not appear in written records until 1408). As Narita is located roughly equidistant from the Pacific Ocean and Tokyo Bay, around a number of small rivers, it was a natural political and commercial center for the region, and gained importance as a pilgrimage destination with the foundation of the noted Buddhist temple of Shinsho-ji in 940 AD. During the Heian period, the area was a center for the revolt of Taira Masakado. During the Edo period, the area continued to prosper as part of the tenryō within Shimōsa Province under direct control of the Tokugawa shogunate.
After the Meiji Restoration, the area was organized as a town under Inba District on April 1, 1889. Portions of the town were destroyed by Allied air raids in February and May, 1945. On March 31, 1954, Narita gained city status through merger with the neighboring villages of Habu, Nakago, Kuzumi, Toyosumi, Toyama, and Kozu. Growth in the area began in earnest in 1966, when Prime Minister Eisaku Sato laid out the plan for Narita International Airport. The development of the airport and accompanying access to central Tokyo led to widespread residential, commercial and industrial development in the city. However, construction of the airport was widely opposed, and violent demonstrations occurred through the end of the 1960s and early 1970s, which delayed the opening of the airport until May 20, 1978.
Central Narita is roughly defined as the area between Narita Station, Keisei Narita Station and the Narita-san Temple. The main road in central Narita is Omotesandō (表参道), which is lined with about 150 small shops and has been extensively renovated in recent years.
Narita New Town is a planned residential area to the west of Narita Station. It has 16,000 homes with a total population of 60,000. The area was designed in 1968 based on the new towns surrounding London in the UK, and now houses most of the city's population. Many residents of the area are airport or airline workers: the new town houses corporate housing and dormitories for Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau and Japan Customs. There are also several Urban Renaissance Agency and other government-subsidized housing projects in the area.
Kōzunomori is a suburban area of Narita located south of the New Town, about 4 minutes by train from Keisei Narita Station. It has a population of about 12,000. The Kōzunomori Station is flanked by a large Ito-Yokado department store.
Narita International Airport is located on the east side of Narita in a historically agricultural area called Sanrizuka (三里塚). The construction and later expansion of the airport led to intense civil unrest among Sanrizuka residents (see Narita International Airport's history). Although land expropriation and poorer farming conditions due to the airport's construction have caused Narita's farming population to drop two-thirds from pre-airport levels, the area immediately surrounding the airport remains lightly populated by farmers.
There are two main industrial zones in Narita: Nogedaira (野毛平) and Toyosumi (豊住). Both zones were laid out in the 1960s to take advantage of Narita Airport and the ability to quickly import and export goods by air. An aircraft part repair plant operated by JAL (Japan Airlines) and Pratt & Whitney, called Japan Turbine Technologies, is located in the Taiei industrial estate.
|Climate data for Narita, Chiba (1981-2010)|
|Record high °C (°F)||—||—||—||—||—||—||38.7
|Average high °C (°F)||9.2
|Average low °C (°F)||−2.4
|Record low °C (°F)||−10.7
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||61.8
|Source: Narita Aviation Weather Service Center|
Although Narita's economy was historically focused on agriculture, the opening of Narita International Airport refocused the local economy on transportation, logistics and tourism. Most of the airport property is located within Narita City, but many airport hotels and airport-related logistics facilities are in the neighboring towns of Shibayama and Tomisato.
Narita has 24 public and one private elementary schools, on public combined elementary/middle school, and nine public and one private middle school. The public schools are under the control of the Narita City Board of Education. The city has four public high schools operated by the Chiba Prefectural Board of Education, and one private combined middle/high school:
The City of Narita operates the Narita Public Library. In addition each community center includes a library branch.
Narita operates several community centers, including the Central Community Center and various others.
The Higashi-Kantō Expressway connects Narita to Tokyo and Chiba City. Chiba Kotsu and Narita Kuko Kotsu provide bus service through the city. The Narita City Loop Bus, operated by both companies, operates on two circular routes around the city, stopping in major commercial areas and at all major hotels.