I had to catch a flight at the Narita (NRT) airport during my Asia trip, and I took the opportunity to explore the airport and check out the shops.

At one of the shops, I found this little guy.  Interestingly, I only now noticed a yellow character behind this Doraemon. It can’t be…could that have been *gasp* a Pikachu? Pika. CHU!



A Doraemon Stuffed Toy!


Then I also found this larger than life character:


Riddle me this: I know this is a famous character but what is it?


I saw a number of visitors taking a picture with the character above.   Sadly, I have no clue what it is. Maybe someone who is familiar can shed some light on what this character is and why it’s so famous?

I also window-shopped at the airport.  There is an origami shop at the airport and many of the items are creatively made. These are two works of art on display at the storefront.



Origami Works of Art


Narita Airport also had a cultural experience exhibition area while I was there.  I don’t know if it was a temporary or a permanent cultural exhibition spot, but either way, I thought was a great way to get visitors to participate in a cultural activity.

During my visit, the activity was a “Ukiyo-e printing” workshop.   It was quite a popular activity as they ended up having a wait-list with an estimated wait time of one hour.  I did not sign up as I had a plane to catch, but I watched others participate in the process for a little while. It was so much fun to watch the process even if I didn’t get to do it myself.



Item on display at exhibition booth area


I really liked the idea of the free cultural exhibition area at the airports.  I also saw something similar at Seoul’s ICN airport where visitors can dress up in imperial costumes and take pictures.  We didn’t have time to participate in that activity, but we had already dressed up in hanbok as part of a fun cultural tour while in Seoul.

I think these kinds of activities are a great way for people to learn something unique about another culture when there is some “extra” layover time.  These kinds of activities are generally good or fun learning experiences for kids and adults alike.  I hope they pick up in popularity and continue to grow at airports.

Have you come across some interesting cultural experiences while on a layover at an airport?