February 26, 2016

Trip to Tsudanuma, Chiba Part 2/千葉県津田沼への旅、パート2

These two chairs and the table were the ones used in a TV commercial.
To see the commercial, go to the YouTube video. The commercial begins at around 1:38.

Another item used in a TV commercial. I forgot the details.
The history of the Kuro (Black) Label started in 1977.

Now, the main event: tasting!

Each visitor can have up to two glasses of Kuro Label beer.

The visitors were each offered a bag of snack,
which contains beer yeast, among others.

The factory tour is about 50 minutes long. I wanted to stay there a little longer to buy some souvenir or something, but I had to hurry to catch the 12:00 bus.

Chiba Beer En, restaurant nearby, where you can have several brands of factory-fresh beer and jingisukan, among others. A married couple of my age went inside after taking the factory tour.

The factory tour costs 500 yen per person. You can have up to two glasses of Kuro Label beer and you will receive a glass at the end of the tour. Great value for its price.

You can ask the bus driver to let you get off near Shin Narashino Station before reaching Tsudanuma Station, although you have to walk for about ten minutes. I asked the driver to do so.
It took only seven minutes or so.
From Shin Narashino Station, I took the Keiyo Line to go to Kaihin Makuhari Station.
There are lots of interesting places to go, but 

my destination was...

Mihama En in the Makuhari Kaihin Koen (Park).

Much smaller than I had anticipated, although I did enjoy the contrast between the traditional Japanese garden and contemporary buildings. Probably I was the only visitor at that particular time, other than the wedding couple dressed in kimono to be photographed and the staff.

I also went to the tea house, Shourai Tei, located inside the park.

Confection for the day:
Butterburr sprout
Bowl of matcha:

Park admission: 100 yen
Matcha and confection: 500 yen
公園の入場料: 100円
抹茶とお菓子: 500円

I returned to the station, and took the Keiyo Line again to go to Inage Kaigan Station. From there, I walked for about 2.0 km to the Sanyo Media Flower Museum, located in the Inage Kaigan Koen (Park).
駅に戻り、また京葉線に乗り、稲毛海岸駅まで行き、そこから、2.0 km程度歩いて、三陽メディアフラワーミュージアムに行きました。
This "flower museum" contains 48,000 plants of about 1,600 varieties.

Admission for an adult: 300 yen

I wanted to take more photos, but the digital camera battery had already run low, so I refrained from taking any more photos there, except this last one.
Then, I walked for 2.9 km to reach this public bathhouse, Yukai Sokai Mihama Ten.
それから、2.9 km歩いて、銭湯「湯快爽快みはま店」に着きました。
Naturally, I was unable to take photos of the bathing area of this bathhouse. Here is a link:

Images of this public bathhouse/この銭湯の画像

I first took a bath, and then got a 40-minute massage. Then, I had a glass of beer (Kuro Label!).
Admission: 650 yen
40-minute massage: 3,900 yen
Glass of beer: Sorry, I forgot!
入館料: 650円
40分のマッサージ: 3,900円
ビール一杯: 忘れました!

The eating area of the bathhouse is very nostalgic, reminding any Japanese, especially those of my age, of the good old days in the Showa period.

It was already past 4 o'clock, but I walked for 1.8 km to Inage Kaigan Station, took the Keiyo Line one more time to go to Chiba Minato Station.
もう既に4時を過ぎていましたが、1.8 km歩き、稲毛海岸駅まで行き、もう一度、京葉線に乗り、千葉みなと駅に行きました。

I walked for about 10 minutes or so to reach my final destination for the day: Chiba Port Tower.
Photos taken from the viewing platform of the Tower.

Soft-serve ice cream made from farm-fresh milk
260 yen. Very good!
Luckily, I was able to take the 5:40 bus to JR Chiba Station, where I took the 6:03 train on the Somu Line to reach Tsudanuma at around 6:20. I hurried to the hotel to get the bag I had checked in. Just as I entered the hotel, I got a call from my son, saying "Where are you?" I had promised him to wait for him in front of the exam site at 6 o'clock, when the exam was over. I asked him to come to the station. At the station, I suggested to my son to check on his smartphone by himself whether he passed the exam of the private university.

Max train at Tokyo Station
As you can see from this YouTube video, the cleaning staff were very efficient in cleaning the Shinkansen train.

We reached home a little over 22:00.

Glass given to me at the Chiba Factory of Sapporo Beer.

Surprisingly, my son said he wanted it, so I gave it to him as a souvenir for his success in the exam.

Souvenir for my family:
Hiyoko (lit. chick). Very popular Tokyo souvenir.

You might feel a little guilty after having a bite...


ErinBear said...

Congratulations to your son on passing his test! Does he still have more tests to take?

It sounds like that was a very good day. The Sapporo Museum sounds good, along with the visit to the bath and garden.

I was in San Francisco yesterday, and had sakuramochi there! It was delicious. Your tea and mochi look so delicious also.

Take care,

Hiroyuki said...

Erin: Thanks for your kind words! With the passing of the exam of this particular private university (my son have already passed three other exams of private universities), we have already decided not to take the secondary exam of a national university in the latter period, which is conducted on March 12. We are waiting for the results of the exam he took on Feb. 25, which are announced on March 8.

ErinBear said...

That's wonderful news! He sounds like he must be a very good student to have already passed the exams for that many of the universities. I hope you will get good news from the other exam as well. I am glad he will not have to take the other exam on March 12. Then I guess the difficult job is deciding which university to attend. Best wishes to him and to your family!

Take care,
Erin in California

Anonymous said...

Hiroyuki-san: First of all, congratulations to your son on passing the exams!

The Sapporo Museum tour reminds me of a brewery that I visited here in the US. For $10, you can join a 30 minute tour inside the brewery, sample 4 types of beer (rootbeer is also free & unlimited!), and each visitor receives an 8 oz glass as a souvenir.

When I visited Tokyo several months ago, I saw advertisements for Hiyoko in Tokyo Station! How did it taste? I didn't get a chance to try Hiyoko because I decided to try Tokyo Banana instead. Have you tried Tokyo Banana before? I wasn't very impressed with the taste at all. It's over-rated, if you ask me. On my flight back to the US, I saw a tourist with 20 bags full of Tokyo Banana. He bought so much that it filed up the entire overhead bin on the airplane .

Anonymous said...

I meant *filled up* not *filed up*...[laughs!]

Hiroyuki said...

Anonymous: First of all, thank you for your kind words about my son.

As for Hiyoko, my daughter had requested this particular souvenir, so I reluctantly bought one box (and two others for relatives). I think it's just another manju with "kimi an" (filling with egg yolk in it), and it's quite similar to much less expensive products like Satomi no Sato from Yamazaki (major bread manufacturer in Japan):

As for Tokyo Banana, I totally agree with you. It's simply over-rated. Even my daughter is of the same opinion.

Anonymous said...

Wonder which one he will choose! Don't forget that national universities have very cheap study abroad programs...helenjp

Hiroyuki said...

helenjp: We have already decided on the private university location near Suidobashi, Tokyo. We are still waiting for the announcement to made on March 8, though.

At this point, he has no intention to study abroad...

Anonymous said...

If it is the university I think it is, 2 friends told me that even though it is a big university, they thought that their sons/daughters received careful teaching there. helenjp

Hiroyuki said...

Helen: Thanks for the info! I hope so, because just a lot of money is involved!

Tea Apprentice said...

Congratulations to your son for passing at least one of his exams! And this was a very fun and interesting post -- you packed a lot of things into your day!

Hiroyuki said...

Tea Apprentice: Thank you!

Well, actually, I had two options: packing a lot of things as you say; and just killing time in the Internet cafe for hours. Because of his passing the exam, I selected the former.