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Sakura City, Chiba Prefecture: History and Culture in the Suburbs of Tokyo

Narita International Airport, also known as Tokyo Narita Airport, is the most popular gateway to Japan, but in reality, it is not in Tokyo at all.  It is a 60-minute express train ride (80-90 minute bus ride) outside of Tokyo in Chiba Prefecture. If you are stuck by Narita Airport, because of a long flight connection, there is still lots to do.  Sakura City is a twenty-minute taxi or train ride (JR or Keisei lines) from Narita Airport.  Overflowing in history, it is renowned for its well restored former samurai residences and the National Museum of Japanese History, whose exhibits reveal the story of Japan from archaeological discoveries to modern times. From an artistic perspective, Sakura boasts two distinctive art museums: Sakura City Museum of Art and Kawamura Memorial Museum of Art.  The former was previously the Sakura City branch of Kawasaki Bank and its entrance way is a prefectural cultural property. It displays work by local artists from Sakura and Chiba's Boso Peninsula. The latter museum is heralded for its rich collection of European masters, including: Rembrandt, Renoir, Monet, Chagall, Picasso and Braque, as well as 20th Century Japanese sensei, such as Korin Ogata.

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