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Lake Kameyama, A popular place to see fall colors near Tokyo

Take in the colors of the seasons from the water with a 40 minute boat tour on Lake Kameyama. Hop aboard on weekdays without the need for a reservation. For weekend tours, be sure to book the popular cruise in advanced.
lakekameyama_chiba_japan

・Dates: Late November to Early December (11/16-12/9)
・Hours of Operation: 10:00〜15:00
・Departure Times: 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00 (Final Departure) (Each about 40 min)
・Boat Fare Adults 1200 JPY per person Children 1000 JPY per person

おりきさわボート/ORIKISAWA BOAT (Tel. 0439-70-7025)
のむらボートハウス/NOMURA BOAT HOUSE (Tel. 0439-39-3020) 
湖畔の宿つばきもと/KOHAN NO YADO TSUBAKIMOTO (Tel. 0439-39-2110)
トキタボート/TOKITA BOAT (Tel. 0439-39-3010)
ボートハウス松下/BOAT HOUSE MATSUSHITA (Tel. 0439-39-2926)

The leaves of Lake Kameyama start the season by turning a brilliant gold color before shifting to a deep red. The lake reflects the beautiful transition of green to gold to red in the late fall. Then in early December, the vibrant leaves rain down around the area.

We suggest spending the night and enjoying a cruise the following day!
KAMEYAMA ONSEN HOTEL
Book Here:https://www.booking.com/hotel/jp/kameyama-onsen.ja.html

Please enjoy the traditional Japanese beautiful red and yellow autumn leaves and Hot Spring!!

Planning a Trip to Katsuura, Chiba

Following the last post where we traveled the fisherman's town of Katsuura for its fresh Bonitos, abalones and more seafood, today I am going to put down my knives and pick up my camera for a photo shoot!

The Katsuura actually belongs to the Boso-hill area, as the very east end of the Fossa Magna, a Graben that separates Japan into the eastern and western halves geographically, this is an area of vigorous geological activities. The Boso hills is formed when seabed sediments are pushed up during one of these events. Being so, the cliffs are of complex geological composition, and only thanks to that, sea caves and pockets can be formed to harbor all the delicious seafood that we not enjoy! Naturally, eroded landscapes are photogenic as always and are truly worth a day or two, or three! To capture onto film, or eh, sensor...

Tomisaki Shrine【遠見岬神社】

Before heading out we first visited the morning market again, local children can be seen playing in the Tomisaki shrine right next to the morning market. In Tokyo and other big cities, it is common to see that Shrines are now devoid of local people outside celebration days. However in rural shrines like this one, I feel that the soul of shrines live on, they are meant to be both sacred and lively.


This old women who was selling Bonito next to the entrance says her daily prayer.


The main shrine is built atop a small rocky hill, connected to the morning Market by a long stairs known as the Tomisaki No Ishidan (Tomisaki Stairs), up this stairs is the Inari Shrine of the fox god that blesses agriculture. You can also enjoy the sea breeze and a beautiful view of the town below.

Walking up the Tomisaki Stairs is said to bring luck, happiness and prosperity.


The stone Torii at the entrance to the main shrine, looking mysterious.

Tomisaki【遠見岬神社】 may not be a huge Shrine but certainly a very old one. It is the shrine devoted to the deity "Amenotominomikoto(天富命)", according to legends, in the ancient age when Emperor Jinmu, the very first Emperor of Japan, raised its army to conquer the east, Amenotominomikoto lead his tribe from far west (Near modern Shikoku), landed on the beaches of Fura to the south of Katsuura. He brought with him wealth and knowledge of agriculture, taught the locals to plant Ramie and rice, and played an important role in spreading culture to the then undeveloped Kanto Area, which would, after so many years, house Tokyo, one of the greatest cities on earth. This Shrine is supposed to mark the final resting place of the god, while exact date of erection is lost in history, the earliest record of refurbishment can be traced to the Heian Era (794-1185AD)


The main Shrine


This fude-tsuka, or the grave of pens, is a place to offer old, used pens to the gods who will in return bless your intelligence.

Between 2/23 and 3/4, the stairs feature the "Katsuura big Hinamatsuri"(かつうらビッグひな祭り), where dolls will cover every steps of the stairs, one of the most famous Hinamatsuri events in Japan.

Photo credit belongs to :http://www.katsuura-sanpo.com/


Cute handmade bonito charms, a fortune slip is hidden at the back fin of them! 300JPY.

Leaving the shrine, a local photographer friend agreed to take us on a photo shoot, how lucky!


In this quiet town a lot of the buildings are still built using wood, this scenery is becoming rare in the country.


The hilly area has a lot of tunnels, this one faces the fishing port

While this one faces a beautifully green Sugi forest, I like tunnels as they provide a natural frame for my photos.

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Location:
Tomisaki Shrine【遠見岬神社】
1 Katsuura, Katsuura, Chiba, Japan
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Katsuura Lighthouse【勝浦灯台】
The Katsuura Lighthouse from afar


Katsuura Lighthouse


Hachiman Misaki Cliffs

The Octagonal Katsuura Lighthouse is first lit in 1917 and this is the 101st year. Built on top of a high cliff, this lighthouse had been protecting vehicles along the coastline for a century. It is possible, under clear weathers, to get a view across the spectacular cliffs of southern Boso Peninsula to the tip.

Unfortunately, the Lighthouse itself is not normally open to visitors.

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Location:
Katsuura Lighthouse【勝浦灯台】
Kawatsu, Katsuura, Chiba, Japan
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Onaura【尾名浦】

This is my favorite spot, the glasses rock of Unaura cove, looking fragile, this rock had been standing against the waves for centuries. For exactly two days (unfortunately not today) in a year, the sun rises right behind the hole!

Wild radish is a common coastal plant in the area, they prefer well drained sand and are seen all around the coast, blooming purple flowers in April and May.

From a neighboring cove 5 minutes across a short tunnel from Glasses Rock.

【まんまる亭】Manmaru-Tei
Taking a break from the photo shoot, after carrying around kilograms of gear for half a day, we needed something big!

Combining fresh Bonitos and the Chinese spicy Tantanmen Noodles, people of Katsuura invented the Bonito Tantanmen (カツオ担々麺). It had been said that the spiciness is there to keep Abalone divers (usually women) warm when they often have to dive into the icy pacific waters during the colder months. The noodle spread and there are multiple restaurants now. They are all slightly different in terms of hotness and texture, but Manmaru-Tei happens to be just right for me, as I like slightly harder noodles. I am guessing it may be on the hot side for many Japanese people, if you are not a chili-holic, you could ask for less chili oil! the spring onion on top is a good match with the chili!

Another staple is the deep fried bonito fish cake. This is invented about 40 years ago in a year when the bonito catch was abnormally huge. In a time when refrigerators were not commonly available, the mother of Manmaru-Tei's owner made them into fish cakes both for better storage and to sell further. Everyone loved it and another regional dish was born!The fish cake is 100% and therefore not as fatty as it seems, very nice compliment to an icy beer!

To cater for hungry students of the nearby Katsuura International University of Martial Arts, Manmaru-Tei serves huge portions for a very reasonable price. The Tantanmen and Bonito fishcake set is 1200JPY.
------------------------------
Location:
Manmaru-Tei【まんまる亭】
1253-2 Kushihara, Katsuura, Chiba, JAPAN
------------------------------

Uhara Beach【鵜原海水浴場】
The sun was falling, to get the last glimpse of Katsuura's scenery, we went to the Uhara beach, a small inlet surrounded by tall cliffs. Boosted by the terrain, this is one of the more popular sites where wind surfers enjoy their sport. Almost all beaches in Katsuura has a Torii (The shrine door), Built to protect seafaring fishing boats, the gods have probably gotten busy to have to protect windsurfers too.

The white shrine Torii on Uhara

The tall cliffs on the two sides concentrated waves into this small inlet


Unfortunately waves were not on his side until sunset, and I couldn't capture the moment of him standing up!
But I feel that he will be back again tomorrow

 

Matsunoya Guesthouse【旅館 松の家】
Having finished food we visited a guesthouse not far away from the morning market, The Matsunoya Guesthouse.

In Katsuura there is a very old guesthouse that began probably in the Edo Period (Edo ended exactly 150 years ago), while written history traces back to Meiji, giving the main building designation as a National Tangible Culture Heritage. The current owner is the 7th Generation. When I stepped in, I could smell the calming scent of Igusa grass from the Tatami flooring. The building is purely wooden, giving an illusion of being sent back in time!

Ancient television, haven't seen this before.

An ancient corridor on the entrance floor.

You may start to think this guesthouse would be expensive but it is in fact one of the best deals I have heard in this country! A huge Tatami room including two meals is just below 12000JPY! Now Let's see how good the meal is..I could almost pay that amount for the meal alone.

Turban Shells are huge, this dinner features two, one cooked and one eaten raw. I love raw fishes but prefer cooked dishes for shells, taste reasons, nothing dangerous about it. The huge abalone on one side was trying to run away..
The deep fried lemon sole is a common western-influenced local dish and is very good!!

Huge live Abalone!


Bonito(of course), huge Turban Shell and fresh tuna sashimi

Grilled local red snapper

Friendly staff makes your bed on tatami after dinner.

The guesthouse features the old wing and a newly built new wing at the back. To keep its status as a tangible cultural property, major refurbishments are not allowed, including the installment of toilets and bathrooms inside guests' rooms, and guests will need to use the ones on the corridor.

The new wind is slightly newer, its rooms still feel antique but feature these facilities, the choice is yours, I would go for the old wing!

A room of the old wing

Spacious inlet behind the dormitory to rest and enjoy tea

Beautiful Japanese Garden outside a room of the new wing.


Breakfasts features grilled half-dried fish which is another specialty here, this is horse mackerel, purely Japanese style breakfast is my favorite breakfast.


While Japan:s population gradually shrinks, it is getting harder to hire young people to help with bust guesthouse work. While grilling our Abalone, the owner's wife, now in her 70's, talks about their determination to find the best and energetic people to maintain the guesthouse:s quality of services, as they believe this is what guesthouses are meant to be.

The young girl is a student from the nearby university of martial arts, energetic and cheerful, she tells that university scores, together with salaries, can be earned by working in local businesses, a pact formed between the town and local educational institutes to boost local economy and preserve local culture.

------------------------------
Location:
【Guesthouse Matsunoya】(Matsunoya)
30, Katsuura, Chiba, JAPAN
------------------------------


Kappy Visitor Center 【KAPPY ビジターセンター】
Katsuura is not just a food town but a quiet fishermens’ town with spectacular view and warm people, one of the perfect short breaks from Tokyo if you are tired of busy streets!


I wanted to do a bicycle trip... The Kappy Visitor Centre rents out bicycles with electric assist, for 1000JPY per day, just drop by and they will be happy to help.
------------------------------
Location:
Kappy Visitor Center 【KAPPY ビジターセンター】
815-56 Tona, Katsuura, Katsuura, JAPAN
------------------------------

Enjoy cooking one of the freshest seafood in Katsuura, Chiba

When traveling around the world, cheap and exotic local produce and fresh seafood are often something that tries to awaken your inner chef, yet especially in Japan, it is often impossible to "cook on the go", leaving these beautiful ingredients somewhat a privilege of the locals. Keeping in your suitcases kilograms of cooking utensils may seem a workaround but trust me it is a huge burden when you drag it around, and don't even think to carry cooking gas onto planes!!

Katsuura is about 1 hr 40 mins on the Express train from Tokyo. This pacific-facing fishing village is a small one, but it is home to one of the four oldest morning markets in Japan, the other three being Washima, Takayama and Yobiko. Perhaps what makes this market so special is its proximity to Katsuura fishing port, a mere 5 mins walk away.

 A port where fishes can fly!
Arriving in Katsuura in early morning, it is all congested with fishing boats, about a line of 8, hurrying to unload their catches while others wait politely slightly offshore, locals said this fishing port operates 24 hrs in theory, but between 5-9 in the morning is the busiest hours, and it is rare to see actual operations past 2p.m.

Katsuura Port is one of the largest ports in Chiba, and also THE largest port for Katsuo (Bonitos) in the Greater Kanto Area, in other words, a huge share of Bonitos you see in big cities like Tokyo and Yokohama comes from this port! Even the official logo KAPPI is designed after the fish, this is Katsuo town!

KAPPI



The landing of yellow fin tunas, these are caught further away from the coast, I believe there are more than 100 of these per load. May is the Bonito season, and you can see workers working at Japan-speed, throwing Bonitos around into ice buckets like they are flying!


Ice buckets are filled very quickly, and the carts can sometimes be as fast as those on roads! Do be careful both not to get knocked or causing trouble to the locals, as they can be in great hurry! In addition, tripods are prohibited within the port area.

A fisherman repairing the boat's fishing rods. Hatsukatsuo, or the "spring-bonitos swimming north" are paid a premier if and only if they show no signs of damages of scars. This is why all bonitos unloaded here are fished out of the sea one by one by hand! This practice also helps protecting the population from over-fishing and avoid leaving behind broken fish nets.


Unloaded and off again! Like this boat from Miyazaki, Kyushu, Hatsukatsuo fishing is a huge yearly event that boats from Chiba alone are not enough. Boats from southern parts of Japan are often seen chasing the crowd northwards, sometimes until they reach the icy waters of Aomori. Pass Katsuura, the next port will be Kesennuma in Miyagi, where bonitos will still be abundant, but slightly fatter!

There is a Shrine on the rock just off the port, fishing boats, especially seafaring ones, often circles this shrine before its long trip out on the ocean, as a charm of safety and a good catch.

 A morning market that never changes The Katsuura Morning Market had been supporting the kitchens of the locals for 4 centuries, apart from swordfishes, tunas and sardines, this port is best known for its Katsuo (Bonitos). Bonitos from here are second to no other bonitos in Kanto in terms of freshness, fattiness and price!

In addition, the sea-eroded pacific coast is also home to countless species of shells and seaweeds, such as Abalones, Turban Shells, Sea urchins and seaweeds of all kinds. On the hills, warm wind from the pacific gives life to wild and farmed vegetables and fruits. This unique set of climate defines the local cuisine a little differently from elsewhere in Kanto.


The Amanatsu orange tastes somewhat between grapefruit and orange.


Garlic, Myoga and Mitsuba, local specialties of spring.


Warabimochi, a sweet made from wild fern, can often been found year round all over Japan, but this is the season of the ferns and they taste much better!


Bonitos straight from the port


Wild vegetable vendor who probably collect these from a nearby mountain.

Chiba is a land full of Marshes, when summer comes these marsh fields are covered with beautifully purple Ayame (Iris), this flower is another popular item for sell as a decorative flower. On the other side near the Shrine, I saw this elderly lady cheerfully enjoying her own shaved ice.

The morning market started only as a small market for exchange of goods 400 years ago by the local landlord. 400 have passed and everything pretty much stayed the same, the shops, the people, the culture. This respect for tradition is probably a defining trait of the nation and the reason it is loved by people around the world.


The products sold here are mostly farm and sea produces, exactly like what it was 400 years ago, except for perhaps this shaved ice.

 Fresh seafood rice from the sea 

As the morning market closes by around 10, crowds, locals or tourists alike, move towards one of the many (maybe as much as 10) seafood restaurants on the streets between the market and the port. They are both restaurants and supermarkets, selling seafood, fresh or dry, and seasonings, seaweed and sometimes rice too. It is common to see local women buying fishes for today's dinner.

The restaurant we went to features a rather wide variety of sashimi rice and shell miso soup. But being in Katuura in the midst of the Bonito season, I couldn't help to go for a bowl of Bonito Sashimi rice (600Yen)! Local live Oysters are on the feast too, I got them for 300 Yen (Normal Oyster) and 400 Yen (Rock Oyster) respectively.

All Sashimi on the rice bowl are sliced on order


Two types of oysters, "Rock Oyster"岩ガキ400Yen・"Normal Oysters"真カキ300Yen


Bonito Sashimi rice and Oysters

Bonito is a typical "red fish" and is enjoyed for the slight taste of blood. Just like its cousin, the tuna, bonito spoils quite rapidly. With all the handling, it takes at least half a day to get these fishes from here to the shops and supermarkets of Tokyo. This is why they are often enjoyed with raw ginger, garlic and wasabi to help with the slight fishiness that is a result of the transportation. Here however, 5 minutes from the port, these fishes are good to go with just a dip in Soy sauce and wasabi for taste!

The Oysters are mildly mineraly and crisp, which is not what you'd normally expect from creamy Hiroshima Oysters. For raw oysters, I like the ones here better! (The Hiroshima ones if cooked)

Bonito is of course sold cheaply in all outlets, here's a tips for choosing them, look for ones that are blueish-purple, shiny and shows clear mosaic patterns on their skins. Slimy surface is certainly to be avoided! I am sure you will not need this advice in Katsuura but it is still nice to know when you want more after you go home!

Abalones are also sold for a fraction of what they normally fetches in the markets of Tsukiji!

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Location:Asaichi fresh market / 朝市新鮮廣場
136, Katsuura, Katsuura, Chiba
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Now you may be in a hunter food gatherer mood, it is necessary to mention that economic sea produce (Abalones, Turban Shells, Sea urchins, edible seaweeds) on the shores of this municipality are properties of the municipality. Any attempt to collect these produces for consumption of sales is considered theft, and this is tightly watched!

What to do with the fresh food?

Coming back to the cooking problem, where should we cook them?

It turns out there is a hotel that features a kitchen and I decided to take a look.
From outside the Katsuura Hilltop Hotel and Residence looks like an ordinary hotel standing on the foothills of a small hill to the west of the town.
So is the hotel lobby which is just like any other hotel lobby, but once shown the family room I am surprised this is indeed not a normal hotel!
First of all the flooring are wood instead of carpets, and the floor planning resembles a normal (somewhat big) Japanese family apartment rather than a hotel room.

Not just the floor plan, but furniture and fittings are all what you would expect from a normal household, including cooking utensils, forks, knives, chopsticks, dishes and a stove!

The sofas face east, and is the perfect setting for a nice morning view of the sunrise before heading out for a day in the town.

If you plan to stay for any extended period, the washing and drying machines are definitely a plus, especially when most outdoor activities on the beaches are likely to make you wet!


Two bedrooms of this type if you choose the 4 people's room.


Dormitory


An electric stove we kitchen lovers yearn for!! A real fire would have been even better but Japanese regulations are strict on installing such stoves in a hotel.


A panoramic view of the silent little village

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Location:Katsuura Hilltop Hotel and Residence
441-1 Sawakura, Katsuura, Chiba
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Food alone is not enough! Two Japanese Sake Breweries operate in this area, "Koshigoi" and "Higashinada". Both can be found in the Takeguchi Wine Store near the Station.
If Sake is not your thing, the shop also features wine, beer and liquors, The Kujyukuri Craft Beer (九十九里ビール) is not exactly local but is from not far away and is totally worth a try! But I DO recommend the Sake!


"Koshigoi" 「腰古井」 and "Higashinada" 「東灘」

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Location:Takeguchi Wine Shop
815 Tona, Katsuura, Chiba
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So how was this virtual trip, a place near the sea where you can eat out or cook your own dishes of Bonitos, Shells, Wild vegetables, feel the sea breeze of spring! Bonitos are heading North towards Aomori, Northern Japan, gaining weight as they travel. In Autumn, those lucky enough to escape humans will turn fatty, face their destiny when they will be treated as another kind of delicacy, I am ready to come back for them!

In the next post, I will talk more about the natural landscapes, cultural heritages and... more food! About Katsuura!

Spring in Chiba

Chiba Prefecture, home to Narita Airport, has a temperate climate with ample access to the ocean, mountain scenery, and nature. The area is also overflowing with local cuisine and exquisite seafood.

With easy access from the Tokyo Aqualine, Chiba is a popular tourist location for drives and daytrips.

This time we would like to introduce our travels around the southern half of the Boso Peninsula.

 

Made Popular Abroad through SNS, the Noumizo Waterfall

Noumizo-Waterfall

Located a short distance before entering Kamogawa City is the Noumizo Waterwall. A popular spot for taking “Mysterious Natural Photographs.” The promotional power of SNS is truly amazing. 

At the Shimizu Keiryu Square, the boardwalk also offers great views of the fall foliage.
*As of 2/23 the boardwalk is under construction

Shimizu Keiryu Square (Noumizo Waterfall/ Kameiwa Caves)
Hours: All Day
Admission: Free
Parking: Available (26 spaces, 2 bus spaces)/ Free
Map

 

Impressive Force of the Killer Whales at Kamogawa SeaWorld!

Kamogawa Sea World

The aquarium theme park Kamogawa SeaWorld, opened in October 1970 with the concept of being a place to interact with the world of the Ocean. Through interactions with marine life, guest can experience the wonder and importance of life as well as enjoy learning about the natural world and marine animals that live there.

 

Impressive Killer Whale Performance

Kamogawa Sea World

Kamogawa Sea World

It is a performance in perfect coordination with the whale trainers. Visitors sitting close to the tank get ready to be splashed as the killer whales display their awesome power. Raincoats are available for purchase before the show.  
http://www.kamogawa-seaworld.jp/english/aquarium/program/orca.html(ENG)

*Performance contents and times may change based on weather or animal conditions

Kamogawa Sea World

Afterwards, check out the shows by the dolphins and sea lions.
Performance Schedule
http://www.kamogawa-seaworld.jp/english/aquarium/program/(ENG)

 

Kamogawa Sea World

Following the shows by the dolphins and sea lions, you can get photos with the animals (separate admission fee). Tickets are available for purchase from staff before the show.

The photos are a great way to commemorate the visit, so do not miss this chance to get pictures with the adorable sea life! Pictures with the dolphins are 600 JPY; the staff will take photos with a single camera provided by the guest.

 

Enjoy a meal while watching the Whales!

Kamogawa Sea World Restaurant Ocean

 

Kamogawa Sea World Restaurant Ocean

 

Kamogawa Sea World Restaurant Ocean

Restaurant Ocean is the only restaurant in Japan where you can enjoy your meal while watching the killer whales. Adults too can admire the elegance of the swimming killer whale, as well as sample a diverse set of cuisine.

Kamogawa Sea World Restaurant Ocean

Demi-glace Pork with Killer whale Rice and Soup 1,300 JPY

Kamogawa Sea World Restaurant Ocean

“BOSO” Issei Ebi Lobster Curry (Includes Rice or Bread, and Salad) 2,060 JPY

Kamogawa Sea World Restaurant Ocean

Ocean Parfait 620 JPY

 

Kamogawa Sea World

Also, do not miss meeting the sea turtles, fish, penguins, and more.

 

Kamogawa SeaWorld
Hours: Show times may change, please see homepage for details
http://www.kamogawa-seaworld.jp/english/guide/ (ENG)
Admission: Adults 2800 JPY Ages 4 through Middle School 1400 JPY
Parking: Available 1000 JPY per car (1 Day)
Access: http://www.kamogawa-seaworld.jp/english/guide/access/(ENG)
MAP

 

Make a Japanese Traditional Craft at Suzuki Dyed Goods

Maiwai was originally made as a type of traditional clothing worn formally by fisherman. During the Edo period, the clothing spread amongst fisherman as folk clothing, and it is said that this style of clothing originated from fishing villages in the southern half of the Boso Peninsula.

 

Here you can try dying your own Maiwai fabric. This picture is of a third generation artisan. Currently, he works with his son who is a 4th generation artisan who I heard spent some time in the U.S. before deciding to carry on the trade. At that time, he traveled to Monterey, California, which has friendly exchange with Kamogawa. There he was surprised to find a fishing banner designed by his father on display in a museum. That is when he decided he wanted to continue on his family’s work. I highly recommend trying this traditional work that has been passed down for generations.  

 

This time I tried coloring a Happi Coat. The most difficult part was trying to get the color gradient right, but the kind instruction was very helpful.

 

After adding color, the piece is dried and ready to take home. After two days, but within a week, soak the piece in water to remove the stencil.

 

Here is how it looks after drying. Add it to a frame for a great decoration.

Suzuki Dyed Goods
Fabric Dyeing Experience: About 1 hr 30 min
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kamogawa.suzusen/
Reservations and Inquiries (English Assistance Available)
e-mail: suzusen@awa.or.jp
MAP

~This is the end of day one.~

KAMOGAWA GRAND HOTEL

For the evening, I suggest staying somewhere in the Kamogawa or Tateyama Area. There are many rooms with ocean views and large baths available for rent.

 

SENRINOKAZE

There are also many rooms with personal outdoor baths, there is sure to be a room that fits your budget.

 

Japanese Sake Brewery Kameda Shuzou

The next day we visited the “Kameda Shuzou” Japanese Sake Brewery.

Plum wine made with Sake is sweet and easy drink, a good recommendation for anyone that prefers less harsh alcohol. There are also a variety of Japanese sweets and souvenirs for purchase. 

Kameda Shuzou
Hours: 9:00~18:00
Parking: Available/ Free
MAP

 

Japan’s Second Oldest Lighthouse, Nojimazaki Lighthouse

The lighthouse was built in 1869 by a French engineer and is ranked as one of “Japan’s Top 50” lighthouses. It is also registered by the nation as a tangible cultural property.

The park around the Nojimazaki Lighthouse is also worth a visit, its takes about 20min to walk around it.

Nojimazaki Lighthouse
Hours: 9:00~16:00 (October to April)  9:00~16:30(May to September)
Closed: During Inclement Weather
Lighthouse Admission: Adults 200 JPY
MAP

 

Limited Supply Each Day, Tateyama’s Broiled Seafood Bowl

SENRINOKAZE

There is a famous broiled seafood and rice dish in Tateyama. Currently, only 4 shops offer the meal. The picture above is of the 1800 JPY menu which also includes and original drink, seafood based soup, and dessert.

The dish is only available at lunch and only for a limited number of visitors, some places even only offer it on weekdays. To get a taste of this surprisingly hard to come by cuisine, I recommend having the front desk of your accommodation reserve a spot at the nearest restaurant. For this article I visited “Tateyama Onsen Senri no Kaze,” a reservation was required.


Tateyama Senri no Kaze
Hours: Lunch 11:30~13:30
Limited to 30 orders/ Lunch only (Reservation Required)
TEL:0470-28-2211
MAP

Superb View! Walk around Nokogiriyama

NOKOGIRI YAMA

At a height of 329.4 meters, Mt. Nokogiriyama offers scenic views of Mt. Fuji when the weather is nice. The charming ropeway, a 4 minute ride, makes it easy to get a view from the summit as well.

Inside the expansive temple grounds of Nihon-ji Temple (separate admission), you will find the impactful “view of hell,” a popular tourist spot. The area offers a chance to reach out and touch the mining history of the Boshu area.

NOKOGIRI YAMA

Mt. Nokogiri Ropeway
Hours: 9:00〜17:00    9:00〜16:00(11/16〜2/15)
Fee: One Way 500 JPY Round Trip 930 JPY Ages 12+
  One Way 250  Round Trip 450 JPY Ages 6+
MAP

 

Great Spots to Visit this Season

One million Flowers in Bloom, Tateyama Family Park

Largest in Kanto, a 1 million poppy flower field. Best viewing time late-February to late-March.

Poppy no Sato Tateyama Family Park
Hours: 8:30~17:00 *Depending on the Season
Closed: Thursdays *Depending on the Season
Admission: 550 JPY Middle Scholl Age+/ 350JPY Ages 4+
MAP

 

All-you-can-eat Strawberries! Tateyama Strawberry Picking Center

30min All-you-can-eat Strawberry Picking.

Tateyama Strawberry Picking Center
Admission: 2018 30min All-you-can-eat
1/9〜4/8  1600 JPY Ages 6+/ 1400 JPY Ages 3~5
4/9〜5/6  1200 JPY /1000 JPY
MAP

Access Tokyo, Kanagawa, and Chiba
For those wanting access from the city, the Tokyo Aqualine and the Tokyo Bay Ferry are great options. There is also a convenient outlet mall near the Tokyo Aqualine. The Tokyo Bay Ferry is a 10 minute walk from Tateyama. You can even bring your car across.


Tokyo Bay Ferry

One Way Adults(Ages 12+)720 JPY  Children(Ages 6 to 12)360 JPY
Round Trip (Valid for 12 days) Adults 1320 JPY  Children 660 JPY

I hope this guide was helpful.
Be sure to get out and explore a different side of Japan.

 

Good Eats around Naritasan Temple

Previously we introduced the Naritasan Temple promenade, but there are also a variety of great foods found between Narita Station and Naritasan Shinshoji Temple. Here are some recommendations for when you are in the area.

When you say Narita, famous Unagi Eel comes to mind. There are so many places to get the dish that it can be daunting trying to decide. This time we traveled to Surugaya. Like Kawatoyo, you can also expect a line. Today we waited about an hour and a half.
Finally, we were seated on the 2nd floor with bamboo flooring. The menu we received was in Japanese, I am unsure whether there is an English menu.

This is the broiled eel served over rice with a side of eel-liver soup and pickled vegetables for 3600 JPY (including Tax). There is also a special set of the broiled eel and liver soup 4950 JPY (including tax).

This is the broiled eel served over rice with a side of eel-liver soup and pickled vegetables for 3600 JPY (including Tax). There is also a special set of the broiled eel and liver soup 4950 JPY (including tax).

Next up we went looking for a café. There are many long-standing shops along the Naritasan Temple promenade.One of which, GodoDangoya, has been in business since 1845. The shop offers both tatami and table seating.

Since long ago, themochi (crushed rice) used for making the handmade dango (skewered rice dumplings) has been made fresh each morning.You can taste the freshness in each chewy bite.

This time we ordered a colorful arrangement of dango made from that very mochi.

The dango above including the one with anko bean paste, WarabiMochi, Tokoroten, pickles, and tea, was all 700 JPY.

For only 700 JPY, what a great value!!
During the summer, we also suggest their shaved ice.

Also on the promenadeis Ramen Bayashi, a ramen shop ranked as Trip Advisor’s number 1 shop in the Narita area.
The place is always bustling with tourists from all over.

Inside there is both counter and table seating. When we visited, the place was packed full. I heard that it is a favorite among the airline staff landing in Narita.
This time I went with the Shisen Pork Cutlet for 950 JPY. It was a little bit spicy. For seafood lovers and fans of tonkotsu pork, it might not be enough to hit the spot. However, it is a great place to get a taste of historic ramen.

I hope you enjoyed this entry.
Of course, there are still many more shops to explore. This time we could only introduce a small fraction of what is out there. If you visit the Narita area, be sure to seek out those gourmet experiences!

*Recommendation
Narita Travel: Enjoying the Temple Promenade

*Chiba's local cuisine
Fried Golden Mackerel!
Regional Ramen ~Takeoka Style Ramen~

Narita Travel: Enjoying the Temple Promenade

Narita, a popular tourist destination, is easily accessible from Narita Airport. Home to the famous “Naritasan Shinshoji Temple,” the promenade that approaches the temple is full of old-world charm.

You will also find Narita’s famous Unagi Eel. There are many shops to get the famous eel, some so popular that people line up to get a bite. Narita is the perfect place to add to your tour. (more…)

My visit to Mother Farm!

A farm for kids and adults alike, where you can get your fill of nature and adorable animals.

http://zh-tw.lovechiba.jp/mother-farm/


By train head to JR Kimitsu Station, from there tale the direct bus to mother farm.Borrowing a rent-a-car is another easy way to get there.

【Access/ Train】
・From JR Narita Airport to JR Kimistu Station takes about 1hr 50min.
・From JR Shinjuku Stationto JR Kimistu Station takes about 2hr.
After departing the train, head for the direct bus.
Details here:
http://www.motherfarm.co.jp.t.acb.hp.transer.com/access/index.php

At Mother Farm, there are flowers blooming throughout the year. This season the cosmos flowers were in bloom.

First, I visited the popular agrodome sheep show. The 30min performance showcased 19 varieties of sheep as well as sheep shearing.

After the show, we were invited on stage to get a closer look at the sheep. It was a great experience to get up close and pet the sheep dog.

Next, we went to lunch. We ate at the newly opened Café & Jingisukan FARM DINER, which opened this year on July 8th.

In the shop, we selectedour meal from the popular Mother Farm menu. You can also enjoy the Jingisukan Mutton dinner.

There is a bunch to choose from, I also suggest this!

The half steak and homemade sausage platter is only 1630 JPY. The half size steak and juicy sausages make for a great meal.

After my stomach was full, I traveled to the Fureai Meadow.

Here I was able to spend time with the capybara, turtle, and the goats. It is a great place to pet and interact with the animals.

There is also an area for feeding the animals.

Near the FureaiMeadow, there is a shop selling Mother Farm’s popular soft serve ice cream.

The ice cream is sold throughout the year, but there is always a special seasonal parfait. You do not want to miss out!

And before heading home, I checked out the gift store.

Among a variety of gifts, they also sell cheese and homemade sausage.

There is so much to choose from, and lots of samples to try.

I found a calendar that any cat lover would want to have!

Mother Farm Suggested Purchase Ranking

At Mother Farm, there is alwaysseason fruit picking, delicious cheese, and fun crafts like sheep doll making to try! It is a great place to tour and spend the day.

There are also lockers available to store suitcases and bags (separate fee).
You can also ask the staff for rental strollers.

*Kira Kira Farm's Info
Night Time Park
A collaboration between the Tokyo Bay Skyline and our Illumination!
Bungee Tower’s Fantastic View
Star Party
Warm-up with Two All-You-Can-Eat Menus
Kira Kira Farm Limited Offer☆ Café Menu Debut!
Meet the adorable animals before the Illumination begins!