Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Traveling Tuesdays: Cool One-Day Trips in the Kanto Area

One day late but who cares.

Recently, at school we are having the students give informative speeches on the topic of "Cool One-Day Trips in the Kanto Area".

I'd like to pass on what I learned from their speeches.

In Tokyo
Harajuku is a good place to go shopping, visit a famous shrine and see lots of people dressed up in costumes. We are not talking about Halloween scary costumes. Imagine multiple versions of Little Bo Peep walking around, and you will have some idea of what we are getting at. It's called CosPlay.

Akihabara is a great place to buy electronics, visit Maid Cafes and observe lots of anime geeks (called "otaku") in their element. Otaku are "kimochi warui", according to my student. Kimochi warui means "gross."

Asakusa is the best place for first-time foreigners in Japan because you can visit the famous temple with the big red lantern and you can shop along the street at all the little "totally Japanese" stalls where they sell everything from chintzy fans to samurai swords.

In Chiba-city
Aoba-no-mori is a nice, big park perfect for viewing cherry blossoms in the spring.

Soga boasts a mall called Ario, and nearby is Chiba-city's soccer stadium.

In Chiba Prefecture
Urayasu is located between Tokyo and Chiba (much closer to Tokyo though!) and is the home of Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea.

Choshi is located on the pacific coast of Chiba and is known for having a soy sauce factory. The soy sauce goes well with the fresh fish served at the restaurants there and the great views of the ocean.

Narita is the home of Narita International Airport. There is a park where you can get a good view of the planes taking off and landing. There is also a farm nearby called Narita Yume Farm and you can milk cows and experience a host of other farm activities with your kids.

Kamogawa is also on the pacific coast of Chiba but a little further south. You can visit the SeaWorld there and see the awesome killer whale show. Mother Farm is nearby for some more cow-milking.

Tateyama is located on the southern border of Chiba, along the Pacific Ocean and because it is so far out of the way, it is a great place to escape the crowds. The hot spring resort has a huge living room-type place to relax in after your bath.

Other Areas of Kanto
Utsunomiya is located in Tochigi prefecture and is famous for chinese dumplings (gyouza). They even have a gyouza festival in November.

Mito is located in Ibaraki Prefecture, just north of Chiba and you can visit their Natto factory. Natto is fermented soybeans often eaten with rice or with raw eggs and rice. Yummy.

FujiQ Highland is a famous amusement park located in Yamanashi prefecture and boasts some heavy-duty scary roller coasters and haunted houses.

Yokohama, as we all know, is like a twin city of Tokyo and is the home of China Town, Yamashita Park, and tons of shopping opportunities. Who doesn't like Yokohama?

Hakkejima Sea Paradise is actually located in Yokohama and has an amusement park, an aquarium and great views all around.

Kamakura is famous for tons of shrines and temples - a perfect place for foreigners to go and get to know old Japan. There is a shopping street with lots of great Japanese souvenir shops, restaurants and cafes. Have fun hiking along the trails from temple to temple.

Wow, I hope you learned something. Next time you come to visit Tokyo area, you won't have to lack ideas of what to do. Congratulations to 1I class on your great speeches!


Anonymous said...

Hiking between temples sounds fun. I can just imagine the beautiful countryside to be seen on the hike.

What is a Maid Cafe?

Mande said...

Well, a google search for "maid cafe" lead me to several people's blogs with first-hand accounts and photos, but I will put this wikipedia link here. I have never been to one, but it is a place where otaku people especially love to go.