The Charm of Chiba

Tokyo is an alluring mistress on the weekends, but as I learned during this holiday 3-day weekend, staying in Chiba can be a lot of fun, too.

For months now, I’ve been trying to convince people to go to an indoor go-karting place in Chiba City. Finally, I said screw it and just decided to go. Luckily, my partner in crime and amazing-all-around boyfriend was instantly into it and was to accompany in this need-for-speed endeavor.

But before that, we met up at Chiba Station and ate at a do-it-your-self tempura restaurant. At least, that’s what I’m calling it. You choose the meat, fish and veggies to skewer, dip them in coating and let them deep fry.

Next, we made it to Chiba Castle — my 3rd castle to go to in Japan. With admission free, the castle is lovely example of how new and old live side by side here in Japan — even in big cities.

From there, we decided to walk to the go-kart place. It was pretty nice weather — sunny and in the 50s — and walking through Chiba isn’t as crowded or busy as Tokyo. On our way, we took a bit of a wrong turn and found an American style steak and honky tonk bar. More ON THAT later… Which we decided to go back to, as I was craving a Bloody Mary drink, after getting the taste for it back whilst romping around in Milwaukee, WI, over winter break.

When we finally made it to the go karts, I learned that go karting in Japan is no joke. We had actual motorcycle helmets — I think you could wear them on a motorcycle, at least, and had to watch a safety video (all in Japanese, who needs safety anyways…). But the course was lighted and left some room for drifting (at least my crappy version of it…) and for 7 minutes and 2100 yen (about $20), we had a pretty wicked go at it.

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Japanese Oden

Later in the weekend, we were able to do some cooking — one of my New Years Resolutions.

We cooked Tacos and Oden, a Japanese style stew — although, I can’t really think of anything America is familiar with to compare it to. Stew would be the closest thing.

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Don’t forget the guac!


We were both reeling from how good each one was. The process of walking to the grocery store, picking the food out, him teaching me about new foods I couldn’t read the labels on, cooking and, OF course, eating was infinitely fun and enjoyable.


PS – We also tried a “stew pie” from McDonalds over the weekend. For the record, I was not a fan from the start, and that dislike was confirmed. What the hell, McD JP — that was a gross version of a pot pie, I guess? So many questions remain unanswered.  We also got the fried apple pie from McD for the hell of it — NO GOOD, either! Not that I was expecting it to be amazing, but this is all for the record.

Anyways, that was a little bit about my weekend 😉


2 thoughts on “The Charm of Chiba

  1. What a wonderful ‘view’ into your life in Japan Victoria! Thank you! I And of course I always am interested in the food! Love, Claudia

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