Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sano Outlet Mall

Map Location

Sano Outlet Mall feels pretty much like an American Outlet Mall. In fact I think this company also manages the outlet mall in Las Vegas (which is amazingly good BTW). You can find plenty of international brands here. I've heard people complain its hard to get large sizes here.

Sorry for the awful photo. Its taken before we started to take photos seriously.

You can get there easily from the highway or you can get there by train too. Details are at the site listed above.

The outlet is expanding and will open a new section in July 2008. Also I hear Nasushiobara will be getting its own outlet in July near the Shinkansen station.

You can combine this trip with Ashikaga pretty well.

Ashikaga Flower Park

Map Location


This park's claim to fame is its wisteria vines (has the biggest one in Japan??). A great place to visit in early May.


You really should get here nice and early. It gets quite busy. We got there at 8AM and things were already starting to getting busy. Its lit and can be visited at night (which is sure to be beautiful) but we haven't been there at night.


There are other attractions nearby. Ashikaga downtown is quite historic, there is an art gallery nearby, a winery and a Kirin brewery (which we need to collect the whole set of brewery visits) and Sano factory outlet. We haven't been to many of these places so we'll fill them in over time.



Lots more photos

Shiodachoseichi Shibazakura Park

Map Location


This park has a very beautiful flower display which you can view in early May. The photos here were taken on May 1st 2008.


I don't recommend going here as a dedicated trip. However, if you are going to somewhere nearby (like Motegi or Mashiko) then you should stop here. It won't take very long to look around. Its a fairly small simple park.

There is a dam right next door to it which you can walk around too.


As usual in Japan you should plan to get here as early as you can so you beat the crowds.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Narita, Chiba Prefecture

Map Location

We all know about Narita because its where the airports is. Everybody flies in and out of Narita, but few know that its a nice place to visit. We frequently stop there for the night on our way in or out of Japan or perhaps when we have to go there for a guest visit. The hotel we stay at has a bus to both downtown Narita and the shopping center.


The highlight of Narita is the temple, the gardens surrounding it and the road leading to it. If you come from countryside Tochigi like us there is a movie theatre, shopping and plenty of restaurants.


The road leading to the temple is very pretty. Its lined with little shops and restaurants. It seems to specialize in Unagi (fresh water eel).


The temple and gardens are at the end of the street. You could easily spend 1/2 a day to a day looking around the whole thing.


More Pictures