Sunday, November 18, 2012

2012 CHI-BA+KUN Ambassadors in Makuhari.

Modern Makuhari peeks out from behind the views of Mihama-en (美浜園) park.
Let's take a time trip back to September. The blue and green tones make it look nice and cool, but it was actually still incredibly hot on this day. Still, that didn't stop me and the CHI-BA+KUN Ambassadors from enjoying the lovely Mihama-en (美浜園), a Japanese garden tucked away in the heart of Makuhari.

The park is around a 15 minute walk from JR Kaihin-Makuhari Station on the Keiyo Line. I go to Makuhari all the time and I had no idea this park even existed prior to this a good way! Now that I know it's here, it'll be a nice break away from big city hustle next time I go to Makuhari for shopping at the nearby outlets or to see a show at Makuhari Messe.

Makuhari's APA Hotel & Resort standing tall in the distance! And duckies.
So quaint but so gorgeous! I really do love how vivid the green tones turned out in the photos (but that's how brilliant the colors really were).

I wonder what the park looks like during other times of the year - might be a good time to visit the park again now, in the fall...hmm...

Empty exhibition hall.
After the park, we also got an insider tour of Makuhari Messe! Unfortunately none of my photos here turned out so this is all I've got...But anyway, the hall might seem tiny enough here, but if you've ever been to the Messe during an event, you'll realize just how gigantic the place is! Check out the Makuhari Messe website for upcoming events information:

I won't delve too much into lunch...but it was at a favorite haunt of mine, Nanoha! It's an all you can eat place that specializes in mostly Japanese/organic/natural foods. (I've got other pictures from this place from when I took my parents here last year when they visited.)

Orientation about MIS.
Next stop: Makuhari International School! It's a sparkly new-ish (opened in April 2009) international school located in...well none other than Makuhari. Apparently it's the first international school in Japan to be accredited by the government, so one of the big "sales point" of this place is that students should have a much easier time transitioning into the Japanese education system. The school teaches grades P-6.

We had to be careful not to take any photos of the children (although we ran into the preschoolers during their recess and they were ADORABLE), but here's a random photo tour of inside the school!

One of the 6th grade classrooms (I think).
Roald Dahl corner in the library! Jealousness.
I happened to chance upon this and I thought it was super cute.
This reminded me of elementary school!
The kindergarten area! I think?
Anyway, it was really lovely touring MIS. Random thought - I feel like the interior is something that IKEA would come up with if they ever got to build/design their own school.

And it felt really weird/interesting - it was like being back in the US or some other English-speaking world - I guess that is obvious since it's an international school. Just seeing the children, some Japanese, and many from other ethnic backgrounds, interact with each other normally is not something you really get to see in Japan everyday. So this served as a nice trip to a separate little world!

Hop on the new Urban Flyer! Loving the spaceship feel and sleek colors.
Finally, it was time to head back to the Chiba Station area via the Chiba Urban Monorail, when we were pleasantly surprised to meet the new Urban Flyer model of the monorail, which they just started operating in July! It's waaaay more modern than the "standard" monorail cars (more spacious and classy interior, has a digital display showing the next station, and makes all sorts of exciting "woosh" sounds when it takes off).

Everyone was excited to ride the new monorail car :D
I commute on the monorail everyday, so I've found that I get to ride on the Urban Flyer at least 1-2 times a week. But since it's still fairly new, it's entertaining to watch other people on the platform and see how excited they get when this new car pulls in. I suppose I still react like that too.

My favorite part of the new monorail...!
Best thing about the new monorail car is that the conductor/operator's area has glass panels on the if you get to ride the Urban Flyer during the daytime, try to grab a spot right by the conductor's area! Also unlike the standard monorail cars, the Urban Flyer has a full glass door separating the conductor and passengers' areas, instead of just a tiny window - so you can observe how the monorail is operated while "walking on air." :D

Anyway, the next CHI-BA+KUN Ambassador next outing is coming up at the beginning of next month! Hopefully I will be a bit more punctual about updating from here on out!!

1 comment:

  1. Great blog update Laura!
    Nothing half-baked about it at all!
    Seeing the pictures and your story lets me enjoy it all over again. :)
    I love your writing style.