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Posts tagged ‘Chiba’

Strawberry and an electric car

Two months ago (!!!), I rented my first electric Nissan Leaf (more about it later) and drove to Chiba to the famous strawberry road – a place with 20 or so strawberry farms where you can pick strawberries “tabehodai” – all-you-can-eat style.

Picking produce in Japan is one of the popular entertainment that people enjoy throughout the year. In winter, they pick strawberries that grow in green houses.

What you basically do is pay for half an hour or an hour of green house time. There, you can pick and eat as much as you wish. Usually, it costs around 1500 – 2000 yen per person. The more you eat, the cheaper it gets. ^-^ My husband is a bad eater. For his share of 1500 yen, he only ate like 15 berries. So, I am always the one who makes it a “profitable” affair. ^-^

Two years ago, I had a record of eating 102 strawberries in 30 minutes. This year, I only managed to eat 86 which roughly estimates to 5 baskets of strawberry that is usually sold at a supermarket. I was also trying to leave some space for lunch as we had big plans for the rest of the day.. Unfortunately, those plans went south thanks to the lovely Nissan Leaf.

At first, I was excited to drive an ecological electric car but my joy was short-lived. Although the car is easy to drive, fast and very very quiet (the engine doesn’t roar), it runs out of battery very quickly. Rental offices don’t have their own charges so when you rent an electric car from them, you rent it with whatever battery is left in it. The first thing you do is look for a place where you can charge it. Normal charging takes 8 hours but there are places where you can do a “speed” charging of about 80% of the battery capacity. It takes 30 minutes. The only problem is 80% of battery roughly equals to 160 km and if you are using vipers, air conditioning and light, it is even less, sometimes as much less as only 80-90km. Plus, the charging places – mostly Nissan dealerships have only 1 or 2 charges that are often already occupied so you either have to wait for your turn and then wait some more till the car charges or look for another place. During the 6 hours we were on the road, we spend 3 hours looking for dealerships with “speed” chargers and then waiting for the car to charge.. On top of that, we punctured our tire so had to wait another two hours for the rental representative to come and change our car.. By the time we got a normal non-electric car and could drive anywhere, it was too late to go on with our plans to have lunch at an amazing local restaurant and then visit various museums… I ended up eating “nikuman” from a convenient store and watching rain from the damn Nissan…

But before our misfortunes with Nissan began, we managed to make one stop at a local farm. I was drawn to the beautiful colors of blossoming plum and these orange bushes. The weather was horrible, the sky and landscape were grey so these trees immediately popped.

I usually enjoy winter landscape even if it is drained from colors. I love countryside and walking around in the middle of nowhere under rain calms me down tremendously. ^-^ But of course if I knew that that walk was be the highlight of my day I wouldn’t have been quite so positive about it. ^-^

My poppies

A couple of weeks ago I took a trip to Chiba to see the blooming of one of my favorite field flower poppy! Ever since I was a little girl and read The wizard of OZ under the blanket with a flashlight I become fond of the vast flower fields full of poppies and cornflowers and clovers. My grandmother used to grow poppies in her garden because she often used its seeds for pies and cookies. So they were around me my whole childhood and it was such a treat to see a big poppy field again after so many years.

They were in full bloom and in so many colors. The best ones were of course red and pink ones. They way they tremble in the wind was almost magical. I just sat there and watched them dance..

Poppies grow nicely together with cornflowers so whenever you see a poppy field you can always spot patches of bright blue among the vast of red. I love running the field of wild flowers. It’s so liberating and it gives you so much positive energy and makes you remember how everything was so pure and carefree. 

Now, I am back to Russia for a vacation and tomorrow I’m going to my mom’s summer house that is right by a huge field of fireweeds. I’m so gonna spend most of my time there. ^-^

Not yet spring..

Last weekend me and the company I work for went to a “gasshuku” – corporate outing to Chiba. Rich companies usually choose Okinawa or even abroad for their semi-annual meetings but then again some companies don’t do it at all and as much as I appreciate my weekends off, once in while it is kinda nice to go out with the whole company and do something fun together. I love Japanese suburban landscapes and I love trips out of Tokyo – that’s where I start to see trees and other wonders of nature. My friend has bought this new Italian film for his camera so we went to try it out during lunch break and after a much-heated discussion about how all Windows PC should die, at least in our company and preferably within this year.

I found this beautiful tree so I absolutely had to climbed it. It already started to wake up from winter sleep. Here and there I could see the leaf-buds.

The film is really interesting. It gives you this vintage effect like old Polaroid.

This was the last shot on the way back to the hotel. I like it because you can see my brand new bag there. It was 70% off at Zadig et Voltaire – my favorite French brand that is slowly dying in Japan because of the intense competition.. The design is featuring zippers all around it – similar to Alexander Wang tote bags..And it’s purple! ^-^ I love it!

Christmas at the beach

Me at the beach

My fiance took me to the beach on Christmas because he knows how much I love winter sea. It’s so bright and blue and empty – a perfect place to spend Christmas away from crowds and commercial fantasies.

Jumping at the beach

We sat on the beach, climbed at the top of observation deck and had hot and steamy rice cakes. It was so windy and sunny and peaceful. I can sit on the sand and look into horizon for many hours.

xmas

Later on we went to the park to have picnic on the grass and then to the shopping mall to try different types of new Italian gelato.