Christmas in Japan has gotta be one of the things in my unending bucket list that's been scraped off much earlier than i expected lol, funny how we humans always trying to have a bucket list with a time frame to achieve what we have penned down, but most of the time it doesn't go according as planned. Life screws with us that way, but for the most parts that's where unexpected blessings step into the picture :)
- Learned how to appreciate & drink traditional Japanese green tea
- Met the Governor of Chiba Prefecture, Kensaku Morita-san
- Hugged two cute mascots: Chiba-kun & Kisa-pon
- Ate delicious authentic Japanese cuisines for Lunch & Dinner (so atas!)
- Been blown away (literally) @ Umihotoru port
- Watched one of the best Christmas light illuminations in Japan @ Tokyo German Village
FYI: Did you know despite the Christmas decorations and all, 25th December is not considered an official public holiday for Japan lol. They are just adapting the western cultures of celebration without the religious purpose (like Halloween, Valentines' Day, etc) hence it's not exactly an official thing but just a popular one.
Before we get to that part which i would show you guys in a video, it's seriously like a red carpet greeting man! The whole office building awaiting for your arrival and upon stepping in, you are greeted with thunderous sounds of clapping @_@ Shy person like me want to just dig a hole & hide in it wei lol.
This was the moment i wished so badly i could speak the language fluently when we were asked to introduce ourselves to the governor and everyone else on the board. Pretty embarrassing for me honestly, in my opinion but was told not to be too hard on myself. Let this be an motivational booster to master the language for 2016! *Adds oil*
FYI: Did you know that Morita-san used to be a well known actor & singer who was the heartthrob of his time & is still is to this very day! Even our tour guide, Akiko-san said she had a childhood friend who was a huge fan of Morita-san, convinced her to join Kendo because of him lol
And this is where i finally got to meet Chiba-kun in person, he was standing there in his cute christmas outfit (can i please design & make this year's Christmas Outfit for Chiba-kun? lol) and i couldn't help myself from wanting to hug him. Everything about Chiba-kun is so lovable, from his character to his design execution to his back story and all, just makes you happy just seeing him.
Yes, i might act like a tough tomboy girl (it's a habit since young) who denies everything cute but the truth is, i love them very much!
He is actually derived from the geographical shape of Chiba prefecture. So if you look closely on the map of Japan, you'll definitely see the figure of Chiba-kun with his belly button sticking out :-P
Don't so naughty to think of something else okay? I swear i won't forgive any of you guys, if you ruin the image of cute Chiba-kun for me lolol.
About Chiba-Kun taken from Chiba Prefecture’s Tourism Website:
He is very curious and loves to take on a challenge. When facing something unknown, he becomes even more courageous and passionate, and his body shines red.
Living in Chiba Prefecture, blessed with a warm climate, rich nature and abundant seafood and agricultural products, he has a weakness for tasty foods and loves to eat. He is a lovable character who can sometimes be mischievous.
Now it's almost about lunchtime after our meeting with Morita-san ended (he had another meeting to rush off to),so we were back on the bus again waving to Chiba-kun our last farewells. Such a bittersweet moment that this is our first and last meeting with Chiba-kun *sobs* hope one day we'll get to see him again soon. Well at least i have a mini keychain given to us by the governor as a souvenir of Chiba prefecture, that i can look at it everyday to remember chiba-kun (‘∀’●)♡
Lunch we had was at Kisarazu City and to enter it we had to pass the Tokyo-Bay Aqualine bridge (4.4km) which is also known as the fourth longest underwater tunnel bridge in the world (9.6km) spreading across at total of 14km. Cool right? :D
Really thoughtful & considerate of them!
Not only that the owner whom we shall address as "okami (女将)-san", was really welcoming to all of us, making sure we were comfortable whilst enjoying our lunch in their humble family restaurant.
Talking to her was really pleasant too since she's quite friendly & talkative, reminded me very much of my mom!
During our lunch, we suddenly had a surprise visitor! It's none other than the mascot of Kisarazu city named KISAPON!
He is a cute Tanuki 狸 (raccoon) by the way and it's common for each city/ prefecture to have a mascot that represents them. Which i kinda regretted not purchasing any of the mascot plushie sold at Takaraya cashier counter upon leaving >.<
At least i have a photo of him as a keepsake lol.
If you are wondering why is Kisarazu represented by a Tanuki, feel free to read more about it on the city's official website: www.city.kisarazu.lg.jp/kisapon
The only thing i could say about the food here is AMAZING!
Haven't had a bento (lunchbox) this satisfying in my entire life till this, seriously fresh meats (white & red) served in multiple ways whether its cooked to perfection or served raw, all of them just give your mouth a literally orgasm (is that even possible? lol).
Takaraya was nice enough to prepare a special bento for me without any shellfish in it as i am sadly allergic to them, so more fresh fish for me yay!
Not to mention the portions were generous too, is it me or Japanese have a somewhat bigger appetite than us (lol) when it comes to food, because i had a hard time forcing myself to finish it :P
And i would definitely feel super guilty if i didn't wipe my plate clean!
Left feeling like a bloated whale (but a satisfied & happy whale!) before heading to our next location by the sea, a port named UmiHotaru (海ほたる).
LOLOL this feels legit alright, left feeling like a whale and ended up by the sea next XD
If you are doubting my review, feel free to check what others have to say on TripAdvisor :P
They too would agree with me on what i have to say about Takaraya (宝家)
Thank you Takaraya for the wonderful experience, would definitely come back again for another round with my family & friends :)
Today has gotta be the best day of my life because not only i met & hugged Chiba-kun, but also Kisapon of Kisarazu city!(♥ω♥ ) ~♪
I am seriously not kidding when i said i love cute animals very much, remember animax's notable blue raccoon mascot called OO-kun? That also i went head over heels with it lol wtf, i sincerely apologize if i have ruined any imagine you had of me guys (actually not sorry at all LOL!).
Our 4th location of the day was Umihotaru, which we passed by earlier on the way to Takaraya so now we are heading back through the same highway bridge of Tokyo Bay Aqualine where Umihotoru is also located.
Guys, i would highly recommend to stop by this port if you are using this bridge!
The view here is amazing, you can even see the others cities opposite by just standing there and the wind here is not to be messed with too haha!
I literally felt like i was being blown away, kena up-skirted by the wind countless of times (thank god for black leggings or my 'pansu'* would have been flashed lol wtf) and i am not exactly that light ya'know. With my current weight i am still being able to be blown off my feet, can't imagine my
skinny 35kg self. Confirmed fly off to the next prefecture liao lolol.
This port has 5 floors, the loading docks are at the ground floor where you can also park your vehicle, climb up to the 5th floor to enjoy the full view of Umihotaru, seriously you won't regret this and make sure to have a camera to take tons of nice pictures.
There are stores on each floor, foods, entertainment & souvenirs but didn't have much time to explore every one of it but you can study the layout of Umihotaru HERE.
After complaining "samui samui" (寒い寒い)* for being out in the open cold sea air for almost an hour, guess what i did next? Ate ice cream even when i was already freezing my butt off, just for lolz, genius right?
Ah well.. #yolo while we are young haha.
photo by Khalil who was having a bad day lol.
Big thank you to the group members who helped me took some of the photos featured in this post, Violet, Khalil, Kenta, Hermes, Faiz & Idham :)