CHIBA | Back to Nature [Day 3]

Sorry for the hiatus guys, been going through a rough patch now and so much for a better 2016 with it starting with more shit than 2015, thank you for nothing asshat. So i need some major distraction to keep myself from crying my eyes out everyday and reminded myself i had happier times alone- In Chiba of course!
Who needs men right? They give you nothing but empty promises, rip your hearts out and leave you there to bleed emotionally while they can continue with their gaming and other childish fantasies like nothing has happened. Also realized when i am F*cking pissed i tend to type so much faster than my usual typing speed.

GOAL(s) for 2016 : 

  • Forget men, not worth my time. Seriously. Ain't going to commit & grow with me. then please go back to your child day care where you belong.
  • Go on more SOLO travels (especially Japan)
  • Do not hesitate to slap/ step (literally) on men who underestimates me. Time to make use of my tomboy skills again.

I sincerely apologize for suddenly starting a post this way but i can't find any other ways to put it as that is what i am feeling right now, so much pain but all the cries are turned to his deaf ears while his friends are the ones taking up my gross sobbing. Sorry about that but thank you 2 for being there.

-END of RANT-

Time to start for the happy part of this blogpost because life is too short to be sad over one thing right? Also i can assure you guys that i am trying very hard not to be sarcastic in this post, so please do bear with me if i suddenly break into another round of rant in between lel.



Am back with my 3rd post on my amazing trip in Chiba just few weeks ago, and now after all has happened recently i am wishing to go back there alone for some soul searching a.k.a Time alone. Away from people i know and in a foreign land without any plans for maybe a month or two. Sounds like a great idea now that as it's been typed out. Lol.
No, i ain't turning into Julia Roberts in Love.Eat.Pray (whichever the order, i couldn't care less lol).

On the 3rd day, it was another fun filled day for all of us but this time it's literally in the fields & mountains of Atago, heart of Kimitsu City, wakaba-ku and Narita as our last stop.
But let me start from the super beginning of the day, brace yourself for another lengthy post but this time more pictures and i'll try to cut down on the talking lol.


Can you guys believe i woke up 5am AUTOMATICALLY (well the alarm rang at one point la lol) just to catch the beautiful sunrise while chilling in an onsen? Just for a frigging sunrise i am amazed myself too lol, slept only like 2-3 hours because i was busy repacking my suitcase and coordinating my clothes for morning.
You have no idea how cold it was to go outdoors for the onsen at 5.30am, makes me wonder how do people even do it seriously wtf. For those who has been to an onsen would know the rules of no large towels in the bathing and soaking premises except as small hand towel so tell me, what can a small hand towel do for you except cover your crotch area while you willingly walk out into the open COLD WINTER morning just for a hot soak lol wtf.


My view of the day


An experience nonetheless, did so many crazy things here just for the sake of "trying" and now looking back it felt kinda dumb haha. But how often do you even get to enjoy nature doing it's work (not shitting lol) while you sit back and relax in a pool filled with steaming hot water that feels so right for a cold winter's morning.
This is a built in onsen in Kamogawa Grand Hotel by the way, it's big and the best time to have this whole place all to yourself (especially shy people) is very early morning and late at night around 1am before they close.
There's just so many reasons to stay in this hotel, so best i list them all out below here:-


Reasons to stay @ Kamogawa Grand Hotel


  • Great strategic location with rooms built facing the sea for sunrise & sunset view
  • Public Open air Onsen that opens from 5am-9.30am & 11pm- 1am 
  • Famous Surfing Location
  • Traditional Tatami room sleeping experience (what more can i say lol)
  • Delicious fresh seafood served daily (highly recommend the full Japanese dinner set)
  • Private Japanese banquet room for large groups available
  • Souvenir shop available on 1st floor 
  • Kombini-s nearby (24 hrs)

Website for more info on facilities : www.kgh.ne.jp/english

Didn't get to soak in the onsen long as much as i wanted to, since i was planning to have a stroll by the beach before heading back up to get ready by 8am. See? Ini panggil "progressive" lol
I usually get questions like how long i roughly take to doll up etc and that made me kinda curious too lol. How long exactly do i usually take to look presentable so I tried doing my make up & hair while recording it which totaled up about 30 minutes lol. Is that considered long girls? XD
And back in ponpon land the most obvious thing to do is use my Canmake cosmetics since this is their birthplace :-P


Hair by Daisuke Salon

Seriously the sunrise here is beyond amazing, this is my actual first experience watching a complete sunrise instead of the usual partial ones i've seen back in Malaysia and most of the time it's being blocked by buildings lol.
This is a full view of it from over the horizon (cheh, sound like Lion King pulak) as it rises the golden rays pours into the sea and fills the skies. Makes me reflect that how grateful i am to be alive to see all this despite all the nonsense that has trampled me over again and again making me feel like giving up on life because at that moment what's the point of living when all to it is just misery? Going back to nature is one way to find back what is lost and be at peace with myself even if it's for a little while. Now i feel like being a hermit lol wtf.




Sunrise by the beach

Our first location of the day was in the valley of Mount Atago where the Shibaraki family has resided for over a decade passing on from one generation to another. It's almost like going up to Cameron highlands sort of feeling where the air is crisp, fresh and cold because it's up on the mountain slopes and obviously you wont find much residents here like in the city as it's a this place is used for farming purposes.
On the way up you can see how the hill slopes are being layered for rice planting and the rest is just forest surrounding the whole area, felt almost like we are in the heart of the mountains because upon reaching a clearing (end of the main road) we had to take smaller vehicles to reach Shibaraki-san's house since the roads leading up was too narrow for anything but cars. 




This house has been in the family for over 180 years, and there is a saying in Japanese folkore that once an item of possession turns 100 years old it will start to form a life of it's own like a living thing lol, Not here to scare you but i do find this fascinating :-P 
I didn't see anything running around, don't worry lol but that's not why i am here for! Today we are going to learn how to make Okazari お飾り from otou-san & sushi with Oka-san.


Shibaraki family house



I know that i am not very kitchen savy but at least i know how to make edible cooked food now compared to 4 years ago lol but still presentation wise needs tons of practice. Making sushi isn't as easy as it looks especially this one since we are going to make specifically- Futomaki (太巻き) with flower crests representing Chiba prefecture. For our case due to time constraints we only made 2 flowers which is the Camellia & Rose.
Watch me make Futomaki like a PRO! Bwahaha, i might have sucked badly while trying to make an Okazari but at least i can make pretty looking fat sushi rolls.


 Mine turned out okay i guess lol? Brought this back to Malaysia by the way :D


Sudden selfies are in order


Otou-san also shared with us that his farm was used as a shooting location for one of Japan's top drama series and had the pleasure of having the actors staying over at his place during that few months of shooting. Isn't that the coolest?

Posing with our proud handmade Okazari!

Had so much fun doing hands-on stuff in Shibaraki-san's house and i believe that during travels, this method allows travelers to get a full experience of life as a local rather than just watching, also getting their hands dirty shouldn't be a problem as the outcome of it would be a precious memory :)
Who doesn't want a lifetime experience of learning from a pro wei!
Because i know i do, and if you don't that's your loss :-P
Now at least i can try to practice making this at home for my future bento, which i will eat ALONE, because no one to share with now. So sad lel.


Make sure to roll it tight & firm so it doesn't fall apart.
Futomaki is considered one of Chiba's food specialties, and most of them have crazy detailed designs in the middle.

 Guessed which is mine? 
Haha, we too were trying to figure out who's is who's.


So proud of my masterpiece!


In case you guys didn't know about the meaning of futomaki, it literally direct translates to fat roll lol. 
FUTO-MAKI = FAT- ROLL
Futo is one of those early Japanese words i learned before anything else haha like all languages we tend to pick up the foul words faster for self defense purposes in school.
After our sushi making classes with the ever so patient oka-san, which we are so grateful for her guidance and even got to eat our handmade prizes as part of our lunch for the day! 
Haha, smart way to cut down food preparation time by making us help out in the kitchen XD

Camellia & Rose Futomaki

After a long morning of learning how to make our futomaki, oka-san was so nice to serve it together with her homemade soba noodles, both noodles & soup are made from a scratch so you can imagine how good this bowl of piping hot noodle taste. Heaven in such a cold weather too.
Lost count of how many bowls of hot soup i had, but one thing is for sure i know i'll be missing this till my next visit (god knows when) lol.


Missing this simple bowl of heart (and stomach lol) warming soba :'(

This is also an experience which i like to call "living life like a local", from cooking to eating style, everything goes back to its roots where nothing is compromised. If you would like to experience all this, the Shibaraki family would be more than happy to open their arms and doors to welcome you, but prior booking is needed to prepare for sessions like these.

You may contact them through this website for booking & visitation inquiries.



We left the farm with a super duper full stomach (felt like a whale) but heavy hearts because knowing maybe this is my first and last time visiting Shibaraki-san :'(
But i am glad at least i got to meet this lovely couple in their beautiful countryside home.


The water is sparkling blue *w*

Off to our next destination in Kimitsu City to visit (actually our much overdue exercise lol) the mysterious enchanting waterfall that has captured the breath of many visitors from far & wide who came here just to see this after a photographer by the name of Yuzoooo whom posted it on his instagram account. You may view the legendary photo here, now i am hoping one day i'll get to meet him in person and do a mononoke hime shoot here >w< lol


Gotta walk through the marsh to reach the waterfall and this bridge is about a 10 minutes walk into the mountain foot


It's so breath taking that i can just stand there a stare at it all day

After coming here, i think trail walking in the forest or anywhere, just away from the city is one of the best activities one can do to relax and enjoy mother nature's beauty.
This place is not exactly accessible via public transport, so my advice would be to rent a car/ bike or a bus (for groups) to reach here.

Nomizo no Taki WaterfallAddress: 1954-17 Sasa, Kimitsu-shi, Chiba-ken 292-0526, Japan
website: www.senjyunoyu.net

There is a bell to be struck above the waterfall and it's said to bring good luck.

Can walk around this area for hours since it's surrounded by trees and nothing else

During winter the sun obviously sets faster compared to summer, so we didn't have the leisure to enjoy the view here much longer as we had to head to our 2nd last destination before the sun sets completely and our next stop involves food again! This whole trip i ate so much everyday and felt like i weighed double the amount once i get back to Malaysia lol. 

But seriously, it's hard to gain weight in Japan especially if you are doing tons of activities throughout the day and if you still feel it's not enough just wear lesser clothes outside XD
The cold will help burns your fats to keep warm haha wtf indeed! My logic is kinda screwed up in a way, but i will not be held responsible for any cases of frostbites and such :-P




From where we were it took about an hour+ ride to reach Oguracho in Chiba city itself where a favorite local strawberry & blueberry picking farm called Dragon Farm (i first thought it was dragon fruits hence the name but no lol) is located slightly in the middle of something like a recreational park area because i noticed the whole place is surrounded with trees (left & right) and just a road in between them leading in & out of the area.




We were thought the proper way to pick a strawberry without killing the entire stem, by doing so this allows the the next fruit to grow again from the same single stem.
But sadly December isn't exactly the right picking season for strawberries as most of them are still in the process of ripening. Don't get me wrong, there are some that are ready to be plucked and eaten but most of them are still small which it's best not to touch :-P
But i was lucky enough to have a taste of the famous white strawberry that's a rare lover's gem called Hatsukoi no kaori (Scent of First Love)* which is usually high in demand during Valentine's and gawd...it tastes so deliciously sweet!

*genetically modified species

Doesn't taste one bit like you usual strawberries, for normal one it has a combination of sweet and tart mixture but for the white ones, it's just pure strawberry sweetness minus the tart-ness.
And it smells so good too! How i wish they invented a perfume with this scent, wouldn't mind smelling like "First Love" everyday lol :P


Enjoying my juicy fresh strawberry ₍՞◌′ᵕ‵ू◌₎♡
Lol so many similar shots, trying to find the "right angle" might as well just use them all.

Here in Dragon Farm, fruit picking is only available according to season, so it's usually best to check on their website for updates before making your way down here as these fruits are not available all year round. Chiba prefecture is one of the places in Japan where you can enjoy seasonal fruit picking as part of a tourist & family activity.  If i am not mistaken for strawberries it's usually end of winter to late spring that's when it's ready to harvest meanwhile for blueberries it's during early summer and pears for the start of autumn.

Strawberry Picking : December -May
Blueberry Picking : June - September
Pear : August to October




Inside the farm itself there is a partition between the waiting/ souvenir area before entering to the back where the strawberries are kept in an well regulated temperature tent. Each person are only allowed 30 minutes to pick & enjoy their strawberry buffet, but one MUST finish all they have on their bowl before leaving the tent. Before being ushered to the back each of us were handed a plastic bowl and had the choice to choose between condense milk or chocolate for our dips, i naturally choose chocolate of course because that felt like the right combo for me lol. 
Who else here enjoys strawberries dipped in Chocolates? Raise your hands :D
In this tent there were at least 18 types of  different species for you to pick from, and if you have a sharp taste bud you'll be able to tell the difference for each type; even if it's just a tiny difference.




Imagine how difficult it was for me to enjoy these strawberries because i was too busy taking videos and photos while there is still some light left lol. Without realizing i actually wasted almost 20 minutes, so i plucked what i could which is only one bowl full about 10-12 pieces and shove them all into my mouth since time was almost up lol.
Look pretty only but eat like a pig, not such a pretty sight XD
Alas, another fully belly but at least it's fruits except the dip made me feel kinda guilty for my waistline lel, by the time we boarded back unto the bus the sun has set completely and as the night falls the temperature drops drastically with it. Heck winter is cold but i am enjoying myself here so not complaints expect saying "samui" lol.

Dragon FarmAddress: 264 0007, 1354 Oguracho, Wakaba Ward, Chiba, Chiba Prefecture 264-0007, Japan
Phone:+81 43-235-3788
Website: www.dragon-farm.com

So that marks almost the end of our 3rd day in Chiba, soon headed up north towards Narita (1 hour 45 minutes drive) where we are to have our final activity of the day before checking into our hotel. Guess what activity?



SHOPPING!!!


Haha, everyone's tired face instantly perked up at the thought of shopping, and this isn't just an ordinary shopping mall. In fact it's the famous Don Quijote, one of tourist favorite stores to visit when they come to Japan because it has everything, literally every single thing under one roof.
From beauty, to household items, fresh food to souvenirs, they have it all, it might cost a lil bit more from other places but at least you are paying for convenience than to visit multiple specialty stores just to get things you need.

Good luck trying to resists shopping here.

And the Don Quijote we are visiting isn't your average Don Quijote. It's a MEGA Don Quijote and like it's name this store has x10 times more stuffs than their usual outlets.


Found sanrio face powders! 
Last time i came to Japan, Gudetama wasn't even in the collection so i am guessing he is new and a best seller too pfft! :P


 On my wishlist, dream portable & wireless curler :D
But close to 10,000‎¥  though lol.Ouch.


As a tourist you should be well aware that you are entitled for tax exemption but of course with a minimal purchase of 5000 ‎¥ for food & beauty category and 10,000 ‎¥ for electronics.
Make sure to have your passport prepared and presented at the cashier.
Another reason why this Don Quijote is famous among tourists that flies to and from Narita airport it's because of the short distance of the airport from Don Quijote it's like about 10 minutes?


Bundle packs are even available for a great price, makes a suitable Christmas gift or souvenir for your friends and family.

And trust me when i say 1 hour here isn't enough to shop lol.
There's just so many sections to go through properly one by one, unless you are just briefly scanning through or you know what you want get already.
Spent a total of 5000 ‎¥ here lol but much more in Jusco which i will reveal later on my next post which will be the last activity day for me here in Chiba *sobs* how i wish it did not have to end so soon :'(

What did i buy in Don Quijote?
  • Facial & Foot Masks
  • Food/snacks for souvenirs
  • Make Up souvenirs 
  • Make Up removers (Bifesta is cheap here!)

It's Gudetama, couldn't resists lol


Not much would have bought more, if i had more time to browse LOL but good thing i didn't bust my entire shopping budget here lol, since we are also visiting Disneyland tomorrow and heard all the souvenirs there are crazy expensive but worth buying as a keepsake.
After our brief shopping session was up, we had to bid Don Quijote farewell and head to our hotel as we have a dinner reservation waiting for us.




Little did i know of this business hotel near Narita Airport called Marrod International Hotel Narita serves halal food too! And yes, another round of good food before we headed down to the convenience store on the ground floor of the hotel to buy ice cream as dessert lol, this is what i call low will power. Complain "fat, whale, bloated, unsexy" but we are still eating more than we should lol wtf. Coming back to Malaysia would definitely be a strict diet time! 
Can't wait to have a long hot soak and crash on my bed for the night, funny enough that my windows can't be opened. Maybe it's because since it's located near the airport, their concern would be noise obstruction for the customers, so that's why it's sealed shut OR my room window was just faulty pfft!
Gonna be crying tonight because tomorrow would be my last day discovering Chiba before my flight back home on the 28th.


My room for the night ₍₍ ( ๑॔˃̶◡ ˂̶๑॓)◞♡

See you guys on my next post and it's would definitely bring back tons of childhood memories ;) 





Missing Japan Dearly,


CONVERSATION

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