Dave & Barb Bindewald

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Chiba Castle

Monday is our day off, and I had seen a castle off in the distance from the train a few stations away so I went exploring. When I found it I was excited upon approaching that there was only one older lady outside. I thought this is great, I'll have the whole place to myself! Turns out the reason it wasn't crowded is that it is closed on Monday. Since I didn't get to go in and up to the top, those pix will have to wait for another day. It was cold, crisp and sunny, great for outside pictures.

 In my wandering around looking for the castle, I found a great ramen shop. Delicious. Always on the lookout for these places!

The main approach

Assuming this is the warlord who owned the place, or maybe just one of his warriors.

Quite a tree trimming job. The car gives perspective for how big it is. Can't imagine the ladder or scaffold or crane needed.

If it had been open, this is where I would have gone in!

A little rest station on the grounds

 As always, there is a shrine nearby. Stone lantern out front.

Close up of lantern - that's a sheep, I think. 

Closer still, a macro of the top decoration of the lantern.

The main part of the shrine itself

Side view of shrine with water and flower offerings

 Gateway to the shrine

Back out near the castle, there was tea house on the grounds that oddly enough was open. There was a camellia shrub wall all around it.

I think they serve the tea and sweets as you sit out here. There was also seating inside. But zero customers.

Bamboo grove nearby

Probably a cherry blossom tree. Should look really beautiful in a month or so!

On the way back to the station I saw a graveyard right in the middle of downtown and decided to take a look around. There were two cars parked inside, and what looked like the caretaker / priest's house, but no one to be seen.

 At another similar graveyard years ago we were told these are memorials to children who have died, possibly aborted ones. Don't know for sure about these.

A few blocks down toward the station was the local municipal building with this guy's statue outside. No idea who he was, but a statesman of some kind it appears.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Chiba City Day Trip

We went into Chiba City for a day to look around.

Kamatori, our local train station

 Chiba City is a few stations to the left, through Soga. One to the right is Honda where Honda Chapel is, one of the MTW church sites.

Signs from the train platform

 Did I lose that ticket already?

More signs, and a view of our station area

Now in Chiba station area

Shopping area around Chiba station

No explanation needed, for most of you

Pachinko pinball parlor. There is a video below.

Artificial but pretty

In Japan, too

These are real. Cabbage plants with pansies.

Chiba Station area

 Chiba Station area

Near Chiba Station East Entrance

Decided to take a short trip on the Chiba Monorail. This is inside the monorail station.

Took the monorail to Chiba Zoo & Park but did not go in.

Under the monorail tracks

Inside monorail car. Looks almost identical to regular train & subway cars. Sound was different, though.

Zoo Entrance


Leaving Chiba Station

Walking down street and into pachinko parlor

Ever wonder how they get the drinks up to vending machines on train platforms?

Monorail coming into Chiba Station. No wheels below!

Monorail leaves Chiba Station with view out over city

Monorail arrives at zoo stop to go back to Chiba. I had to run a little to get on, and thought I had turned off camera but it kept running. Sorry for the shakiness!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Visiting Other Churches

The fourth Sunday of each month Barbara and I try to visit a different MTW Chiba/Tokyo church. In January we went to Shin Urayasu Church. They meet in an apartment in a huge complex in Shin Urayasu, the same area that is home to Tokyo Disneyland. 

We had lunch after the service.

The apartment complex is new and huge. Here's a quick video: