WLJT: Day 26 (Kawazu)

 photo DSC_8469_23.png

My day was originally supposed to start with a visit to a park to see susuki, or pampas grass, with a view of the ocean, but something got mixed up in the schedule, so my guides asked me to just meet them later at a small wasabi farm in town. I decided I probably had just enough time to see the pampas grass anyway, so off I went in a hurry to the park for just a few pictures, then high-tailed it back to town to make the meeting place just in time! From there, I had the opportunity to learn a lot about how wasabi is grown, make wasabizuke to take home, and see a few more of Kawazu’s famous waterfalls. You can read more about the day on the official WLJT website here, and as usual, here are a few more pictures from the day:

 photo DSC_0281.jpg
Morning views of oceans of pampas grass!

 photo DSC_8371.jpg
And views of the real ocean too, of course! It was rushed, but worth the visit!

 photo DSC_8466.jpg
Then, wasabi

 photo DSC_8414.jpg
Washing the grown plants

 photo DSC_8504.jpg
Water is the key ingredient here

 photo DSC_8630.jpg
All in a row

 photo DSC_8587.jpg
Its really all about the water

 photo DSC_8573.jpg
Speaking of water…

 photo DSC_8523.jpg
The two characters have statues all around, and are from a famous TV drama and story

 photo DSC_0299.jpg
Lots of water

 photo DSC_0304.jpg
Lots of waterfalls

 photo DSC_8557.jpg
And one very interestingly-shaped bridge

 photo DSC_8578.jpg
Delicious lunch

 photo DSC_8637.jpg
Wasabi ice cream as a snack!

 photo DSC_8646.jpg
Trying some local sake during dinner

 photo DSC_8650.jpg


WLJT: Day 25 (Imaihama)

 photo DSC_8343_191.png

I ended my time in Choshi with another soak in the rooftop baths of my hotel, and a quick look at the pretty white lighthouse before heading on a long drive towards Shizuoka Prefecture and the Izu Peninsula. I took a route that passed through the amazing underground tunnel beneath Tokyo Bay from the edge of the Chiba peninsula down to Tokyo, then through Tokyo to Shizuoka, and back onto another peninsula to the very edge at Imaihama, where I was staying at a fancy hotel that night right on the beach. I didn’t do much more than driving, but there were a few interesting stops along the way!

 photo DSC_8288.jpg
One last soak!

 photo DSC_8289.jpg
Pretty white lighthouse and blue sky!

 photo DSC_8292.jpg
The white post box is pretty unique, too!

 photo DSC_8295.jpg
Passing by Inubo Station one more time, and got lucky just as a train pulled in!

 photo DSC_8303.jpg
Looking back toward Chiba before heading under water into the tunnel… this is a giant rest stop just before the tunnel starts

 photo DSC_8298.jpg
Suddenly there’s just water! It’s pretty amazing!

 photo DSC_8302.jpg
Quick lunch and enjoying some art at the rest stop before continuing on

 photo DSC_8316.jpg
A brief stop at a waterfall before checking into my hotel, as the area has a lot of them

 photo DSC_0262.jpg
My super fancy hotel!

 photo DSC_0246.jpg
Big room for one person

 photo DSC_0255.jpg
Great views for sure!

 photo DSC_8324.jpg
The Halloween decorations were pretty cute

 photo DSC_0266.jpg
Of course, I had to get some beach time

 photo DSC_8338.jpg
I always went to Pensacola, Florida to visit my grandparents for Thanksgiving, so beaches in autumn are kinda my thing

 photo DSC_8351.jpg
Last but not least, my VERY fancy dinner and dessert!

WLJT: Day 24 (Choshi)

 photo DSC_0122_169.png

Another busy day, this time in Chiba Prefecture’s Choshi, where soy sauce connects all the different products the city is famous for. Read more about my day in Choshi here on the WLJT official blog, and here are some more pictures from the day:

 photo DSC_7718.jpg
First stop of the day was the fish market to see the day’s catches and auctions

 photo DSC_7727.jpg
Fugu (blowfish) anyone?

 photo IMG_3769.jpg
My pass for walking around the fish market… you can’t just go in, you know!

 photo DSC_7735.jpg
Tuna auction, which was almost finished as you can see by how empty the place is!

 photo DSC_7739.jpg
Tuna sold

 photo DSC_7753.jpg
Back to the fish market for a few more glimpses of catches coming in

 photo DSC_7792.jpg
I had fun with the kinmedai machine, which sorts automatically by weight evenly into bins

 photo DSC_7845.jpg
Next up, how soy sauce is made at a factory

 photo DSC_0136.jpg
The giant soy sauce-fermenting kegs

 photo DSC_0169.jpg
They’re pretty huge!

 photo DSC_7903.jpg

 photo DSC_7919.jpg
A chance to eat some of that delicious tuna I saw earlier!

 photo DSC_7955.jpg
Next, retro trains of Choshi from a station located inside another big soy sauce factory… you can really smell it!

 photo IMG_3790.jpg
“Where would you like to go?”

 photo DSC_7959.jpg
Guess who’s driving?

 photo DSC_7983.jpg
I had fun.

 photo DSC_8023.jpg
Taking a ride on the line

 photo DSC_8031.jpg
All aboard!

 photo DSC_8186.jpg
This is the Halloween version train

 photo DSC_8048.jpg
Inubo Station, the closest to my hotel

 photo DSC_8132.jpg
Time for nure-senbei making!

 photo DSC_8144.jpg
“Nure”-ing the senbei as it finishes.

 photo DSC_8148.jpg
I really liked these a lot, they’re delicious!

 photo DSC_8161.jpg
At the end of the line is the iconic train from my postcard, a little worse for wear…

 photo DSC_8170.jpg
But there’s a museum inside that is interesting!

 photo DSC_0229.jpg
A few more views of Choshi as the afternoon draws to a close from a 360 viewpoint museum

 photo DSC_8190.jpg
One side of Choshi

 photo DSC_8191.jpg
Looking toward my hotel and the sea

 photo DSC_8194.jpg
Time to get a close-up of a few more sights before finishing up

 photo DSC_0232.jpg
Famous cliffs

 photo DSC_8202.jpg
Lovely ocean views!

 photo DSC_8212.jpg
“Inu” is dog, so how Inubosaki got its name, from this dog-shaped rock. Can you see it?

 photo DSC_8216.jpg
*as we are driving around* Me: “WHAT IS THAT and can we go there?”

 photo DSC_0240.jpg

 photo DSC_8226.jpg
I love unique little shrines like this one!

 photo DSC_8233.jpg
Cabbage is also famous, by the way

 photo DSC_8277.jpg
My dinner

 photo DSC_8279.jpg
With some of that kinmedai from earlier! Hello again!

A busy but amazing day!

WLJT: Day 23 (Inubosaki)

 photo DSC_7682.png

My next destination was pretty close to my previous one, and in an area without a lot to see, so most of the day I spent doing laundry before driving straight to Inubosaki on the Chiba coast. Luckily, there were some nice views around the hotel!

 photo IMG_3756.jpg
Most of my day

 photo DSC_7666.jpg
A really fancy hotel!

 photo DSC_7669.jpg
These traditional fishing flags are so cool!

 photo DSC_0118.jpg
My room!

 photo DSC_7672.jpg
The Inubosaki Lighthouse

 photo IMG_3765.jpg
Another rooftop soak!

Not a very exciting day, but laundry is always necessary on the road!

WLJT: Day 22 (Hitachi Seaside Park)

 photo DSC_0094.png

My day at Hitachi Seaside Park is pretty well documented in the blog post of the WLJT official website here, so here are just a few extra pictures I liked:

 photo DSC_0088.jpg
Cosmos and Kokia

 photo DSC_7347.jpg
Bright red bushes

 photo DSC_7365.jpg
Looking out over the park

 photo DSC_7367.jpg
Or to the ocean beyond

 photo DSC_7427.jpg
So. Many. Cameras.

 photo DSC_7461.jpg

 photo DSC_7502.jpg
I think this tree was planted solely for the contrast

 photo DSC_7533.jpg
A different area, these are also cosmos

 photo DSC_7545.jpg
Three colors of cosmos!

 photo DSC_7561.jpg
My second favorite area of the park, the sand dunes

 photo DSC_7580.jpg
After the park, Oarai Shrine on the water

 photo DSC_7583.jpg
The main building

 photo DSC_7584.jpg
Then down

 photo DSC_0108.jpg
To the torii gate on the rocks

 photo DSC_7632.jpg
So pretty!

 photo DSC_7651.jpg
Wine with dinner