Narita is a city located in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. It is the site of Narita International Airport, the main international airport serving the Greater Tokyo Area. The area around present-day 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 Jmon 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'ysh . 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.