Blogs from Chiba, Japan, Asia


Asia » Japan » Chiba » Narita January 3rd 2019

‘I’ve booked us a room in a love hotel’ said Steve one day, all casual-like, before moving swiftly on. Oh no, hang on a minute ... ‘You’ve done what? You’ve booked us a room in a BROTHEL???’ I shrieked. ’No, no,’ said Steve, ‘it’s a luuuurve hotel. It’s just for one night, it’s near the airport and it’s relatively cheap, which is what we need.’ Well, the deed was done so not much I could do about it and, the more I thought about it, the more I thought it might be a bit of an, er – experience? So, we were delivered to Perth Airport in the rain and for once I didn’t mind too much, given that we were leaving it behind. The lovely Christmas tree we had seen in the sunshine outside Arrivals ... read more
What is this?  Where's my brothel?!
The garage!
The luuuurve hotel room

Asia » Japan » Chiba August 22nd 2017

After yesterday's long excursion, we decided to have a lazy, local day today. I've been intending to walk to the canal nearby: it's only about 3 blocks behind this building, in a direction we've not explored yet, but I was thinking I might then turn left and follow the canal about 2km down to the coast. I'm not sure if it's a beach or a port or what kind of waterfront there is down there, but it shouldn't be too far to walk and find out. So out loud, today's plan was to see the canal, but in my head I was also thinking, "and maybe walk to the sea." We had a nice leisurely get-up, with breakfast and coffee and a bit of reading and then some research for tomorrow, and meanwhile Stephen started doing ... read more
Lunch from Lawson
Canal, 3 blocks from flat
Dinner at Noodle Shop

Asia » Japan » Chiba » Funabashi August 19th 2017

Today was a day with an interesting contrast: the first part was shopping - bare naked consumerism - and the second part was all about tradition and community. And both are so Japanese! Earlier in the week we had seen on a website the suggestion of visiting a flea market. There seem to be a few around Tokyo, but they are all at the weekends, and operating sporadically. So we looked up the schedule, and found that the only one on this weekend happened to be in Chiba, and just a couple of stops away from here. Fantastic! It was due to run from 9 till 3, but being outdoor would be cancelled if it rained. Today was overcast as usual, but warm, and the rain seemed to be holding off, so we left at 10ish. ... read more
Masago Summer Festival
Masago Summer Festival
Masago Summer Festival

Asia » Japan » Chiba » Urayasu August 17th 2017

It had to be done. We weren't really sure if it was for us these days, but how would we know if we didn't try it? We'd seen the old one, a long time ago, but now there's a new one. Is it better? Or is it the same, and we're old, so it's the same old, same old? Today we went to Tokyo Disneyland. Except not Disneyland, exactly, but its newer, younger more up-to-date version, Tokyo Disneysea. Built in the same general area, and these days surrounded by Disney Resorts and Hotels. As I have mentioned, until yesterday it has been a summer holiday period for many businesses here, but today was back to normal - although it's still summer holidays for schools. And I suppose there could have been more than a few people ... read more
Tokyo Disneysea
Tokyo Disneysea
Tokyo Disneysea

Asia » Japan » Chiba August 16th 2017

After yesterday's disappointment (the more I think about it, the more I'm sure we were in the wrong place to see the Shinjuku I used to know), today was a wonderful unexpected treat. I just couldn't be bothered with another trip into Tokyo (33 minutes on a fast train, 41 on a slow one, and then however long it takes to get to your target) so I suggested somewhere in the countryside today. Before we came, I looked up to see what there was to do and see in Chiba, and at first Trip Adviser gave fully seven attractions. One of these was called the Kasori Midden, and when I saw it, I thought, "LOL, someone's mistranslated something somewhere!" (I know, I actually thought, 'LOL'. I'm sorry.) But I read further, and thought that maybe it ... read more
How roads and monorails co-exist
Kasori Midden
Kasori Park

Asia » Japan » Chiba August 14th 2017

On the way home last night, Stephen pointed out that our plan to alternate local and long trips was somewhat meaningless, as both are pretty exhausting, since both involve walking several kilometres to, from, between and around stations, not to mention the walking at the destination. He said he'd just like to have a day at home today. So that's what we've done. I privately resolved to walk to the canal, and maybe to the sea, depending on the weather, as a way to explore the local neighbourhood, but then when morning came, it was a drab, drizzly day. A fine, misty rain, although not particularly cold. I put aside my thoughts of a walk to the canal, but suggested we walk to the supermarket we found the other day, in order to get something for ... read more
Apartment blocks, Chiba
From the front balcony

Asia » Japan » Chiba August 12th 2017

Another day without a plan. The Saturday of a long weekend - does it mean that places will be more or less crowded than a normal weekend? Which places are crowded on weekends anyway, compared to weekdays? And how much do crowds matter? We're used to Ho Chi Minh City now - our first times here we were straight from Christchurch, and the crowds seemed intimidating. Over breakfast I wondered about the possibility of seeing a movie. We had seen a cinema sign on the Kaihin-Makuhari shopping complex (I've mentioned this place before, but I referred to it as as "the station one before" ours, because the name is a bit of a mouthful. I thought we could spend some time looking at the shops on the opposite side of the station from the outlet mall ... read more
Shinsen Shrine, Inage
Yukari House, Inage
Yukari House, Inage

Asia » Japan » Chiba August 11th 2017

Another good night's sleep. After an exhausting morning of showering, breakfasting and reading, we were both ready for a nap before heading out. There were no time constraints today, although we were expecting today's trip to take at least an hour one way. We thought we'd break the trip somewhere along the way for lunch, since we had two changes of train and therefore we had no reason to leave until close to a lunch-like time. Two days ago in Tokyo Station, we saw a poster advertising an Art Museum in Chiba with some names of some artists we like (Monet, Chagall, Renoir). We looked it up and found it wasn't too far, and that it would be open today (we checked because it's a holiday, one of several new ones instituted by the government a ... read more
Just a train

Asia » Japan » Chiba August 8th 2017

After an early night last night we were both awake and refreshed and ready to go at half past midnight last night. Not helpful. Stephen got back to sleep reasonably quickly, but I was awake for another two hours after that. Then we both slept till after 7 this morning. It was a cool, cloudy morning,but the rain had finished. One thing that's really weird is how quiet it is here. There are very few people around, nor even many cars, at so-called rush-hours: 5-6ish last night, and 8ish this morning. There are thousands of families - surely tens of thousands when you think of the 360-degree cityscape - in dozens of apartment blocks around here, and yet at any one time, there are maybe 4 cars on the road, and perhaps 2 or 3 people ... read more
A bottle of beer please
Hand shown for scale
Okonomiyaki chef

Asia » Japan » Chiba August 7th 2017

7 August, 8.30pm (but posted at 3.30pm the following day. Still having problems getting photos up tho, sorry.) Well, we’re here. We’ve been looking forward to this for so long, and the day finally arrived. We had three alarms set to get us up before 4 this morning, and they all worked, and we got up fine. Showers, final items in the bags, check everything, close and lock the suitcases… oops, the old one looks a bit broken. Oops, the old one has a 6-inch hole in the bottom seam. Oops, we have to find another bag and throw everything into it, now! Luckily we had another bag, a bigger one, so that was fine. We just got a bit behind on time, so no breakfast. The taxi got to the pickup spot before we did ... read more
Nearly at our Stop
First Night's Dinner
Downpour from the Bus Shelter

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