Chiba Castle and other adventures

13 06 2009

Our apato is all set up now. We hired a car so we could buy the last of our furniture and carry it home.

We got a very cute green Mazda Demio. I’m seriously considering buying a bright green Kermit the frog car when we return to Adelaide, converting it to electric and calling it “The Green Car”. At least it’s easy to spot in the car park.

Benno in matching green with our hire car.

Benno in matching green with our hire car.

We drove the 50km to Chiba, which took about 2 hours (there’s real traffic on these roads). While I had printed off strip maps from google maps, the GPS navigation in the car was very handy in knowing where we were.

Inside the car - the navigation panel and the road.

Inside the car - the navigation panel and the road.

First stop was IKEA where we got a sofa bed couch for when people stay. We also stocked up on raspberry jam and vegan swedish dark chocolate. We tried to go shopping at Costco Wholesale but it was packed with Japanese people getting bargains in their ultra-big shopping trolleys.  We realised that it was a members only store and couldn’t be bothered signing up for $50, so we heading to Chiba Castle for lunch.

Chiba Castle, Chiba.

Chiba Castle, Chiba.

The five story castle doesn’t seem to feature much in the tourist guides – even the Chiba local government tourist website doesn’t mention it. Maybe it’s because it’s actually a ferroconcrete reconstruction of the original built in 1126. Still, it had some nice grounds and we were able to have our bento lunch under the shade of a tree.

Benno enjoying his bento lunch by Chiba Castle.

Benno enjoying his bento lunch by Chiba Castle.

Lara in front of Chiba Castle.

Lara in front of Chiba Castle.

Chiba Castle from the car park side - is this the front, or the back?

Chiba Castle from the car park side - is this the front, or the back?

Stone Lantern by a small shrine in the Chiba Castle park.

Stone Lantern by a small shrine in the Chiba Castle park.

After our bento we heading back to Kisarazu along highway route 16. We did some extra furniture shopping at Nitori and D2 – a spare futon for visitors, some curtains, a rug and a small saucepan for making sauces.

In the evening we watched The Bourne Identity on TV in English (we found the movie channel!) sitting on our new couch. We had the options of watching it in Japanese (dubbed), English (original) or both (Japanese coming from the left speaker, English coming from the right speaker – very confusing to listen to having all those voices at once.)

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