"What I know of..........." Chiba-ken by sarahck
Chiba-ken Travel Guide: 368 reviews and 1,053 photos
Before I lived here I lived in Orange County (it's just south of Los Angeles where Disneyland is located) When I was going to college there I had two roomates that were Japanese. Meeting them and loving them like sisters, I fell in love with Japan, the culture and the men. I ended up marrying someone from Chiba and I live here now. I have met many Japanese students and I had become true friends with many of them, however, living in Chiba it is very difficult to find Japanese friends. I have asked my husband and his friends about this and the explaination is simple. If you want to make friends with Japanese people that HAVE NOT LIVED IN A DIFFERENT COUNTRY you have to simply go to Tokyo. Young people from all over Japan live in Tokyo. They have just moved to the big city and are very anxious to meet friends. Chiba is so close to Tokyo, and yet it is suberban enough that generations of families have lived here their whole lives. You may find it difficult to make a true friend with a Chiba native because they have already made a group of friends since elementary school and breaking the clique or cutting in is very difficult. Getting married to someone in the group is a sure way for life long friends, however. There are many foriegners that live here and may be experiencing the same loneliness that you are. If you would like to learn Japanese and have at least a six-month visa go to the foriegn center located from Chiba station's east exit in the Sen City Tower located next to Sogo department store, they are located on the 12th floor and have a volunteer staff that will teach you Japanese for up to a year. If you need more info don't hesitate to ask the tourist booth in Chiba station, next to the bathrooms and McDonald's. They all speak very good English and can tell you the location, address, and phone number of any place you would like to go. Also about the restaurants I told you about they will direct you exactly. Ask them about the really good Indian restaurant that is located next to the Keisei shinkemigawa line. To be blunt, people often stare at foriegners here, and sometimes in a very bad way. Everyone says that you should just ignore it, but manners are manners and in Japan staring in the eyes is also a very bad manner, so don't be shy to say something to people who stare at you. Here is a tip- say "Konnichiwa!" The person staring will usually lighten up and say hello back.
If you are bored on the weekend, go around Chiba station (the SOBU line goes to Chiba, it is the yellow JR line)! There are many local bars where the cover charge is cheap, and the beers are cheap. They have some really good Japanese bands performing. You might have a really good time even if you come alone. If you are living alone and want to venture out at night, but you're afraid of crime, be cautious anywhere of course, but Chiba has a very low crime rate and the crimes that do occur are not the psycho rapist killer inccidents that you see in violent countries, like the U.S. It is VERY safe here, however there are a lot of drunks as well, so be on your gaurd anyway. The "drunks" that you should watch out for are men that are over sixty, they mostly just yell at people and don't pose as a real threat. Places in Chiba do close much earlier than in Tokyo. Even if a place stays open all night there might be only a few people around. Tokyo night spots that stay open all night remain crowded until about four to six in the morning.
Tokyo has many popular delicious restaurants that have great reviews and long lines where the wait (and the weight) is worth it. In Chiba the restaurants that are the greatest are not around the tourist area. Don't go to Outback steakhouse in Makuhari! In America I liked the Outback steakhouse, but here the food tastes like garbage and it is REALLY expensive. If you like italian food go to a place called Ono. It is located in Nishi-Chiba exit area and if you go or call the chiba tourist information center they will tell you exactly how to get there. For two people it may cost between 4-6, 000 yen, but it is a really good restaurant and cheap for Tokyo area. Take a loved one here for a special occasion. If you love Indian food there is a restaurant that is close to keisei shinkemigawa area. This place is small and it is REALLY good for Chiba. If you want the best deal, go there for lunch and get a lunch special. For two people it is still about 3-4 thousand yen, but it is really good food, and the lunch sets are filling. It is, in my opinion the best Indian restaurant in Chiba, but if you want to come here without having to wait in line for thirty minutes to an hour, come at 11:30 or come before six pm. Around Chuo Koen there are many restaurants, but they are not the goods Chiba has to offer. Go to the tourist guide box at Chiba station and tell them what kind of food you are looking for.
- Pros:Close enough to Tokyo for an adventure, but far enough for some peace and quiet.
- Cons:If you want to meet a lot of young people, Tokyo is your best bet
- In a nutshell:It's a REALLY beautiful area, especially the south, but for those of you who came here for the city life, try to hang out in Tokyo as much as you can.
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