29 Days of Love: Day One to Eight
I decided for my first set of articles, I`m going to get a little ambitious. Since my own relationship is in its honeymoon stage, I guess you can say I`m feeling a bit lovey-dovey. This month, I will be featuring 29 different date ideas in Kashiwa! I`m not only focusing on Valentine`s Day because I`ve never been one for consumerism and I firmly believe that you should cherish your loved ones every day! Here are some great ways to spend time together, whether you`re on a first date, taking a break from the kids, or enjoying your golden years together!
Explore Kakedashi Yokocho
There`s a nice selection of bars and restaurants down Kakedashi Yokocho at the west exit. I really enjoy the tomato ramen at Balloon Bal so that might be a good place to try! The fried rice at Chahan Gyoza Kigen is fantastic as well and the owner there is very nice. If you`re looking for more of a rowdy international bar experience, then Run & Café Bunny Burrow is the place for you! While many of the illumination events around Kashiwa end in December, you can also see all of these brightly-colored lights near the Mitsui Garden Hotel and all around the west exit of the station until Valentine`s Day.
See the plum blossoms at Akebonoyama Park
You don`t have to wait until spring to see the flowers. Grab a cup of tea and walk around Akebonoyama Park where you can catch the full bloom of the plum blossoms! It shouldn`t be too crowded and it will be a great opportunity for the two of you to take photos together and get to know each other more. If you want to have the full hanami effect, then hot nihonshu or mulled wine is always an option!
Pick out each other`s clothes at one of the vintage shops
If you and your special someone have a passion for fashion, it might be fun to dress each other up for once! For the past twenty years or so, Kashiwa is well-known for having a large assortment of used clothing shops and vintage stores. Whether your style is elegant or edgy, you will definitely be able to find a shop that suits your style! I took a photo of the colorful and inviting storefront at Woodstock, but there`s a huge variety of places around here! There`s rockabilly fashion down at Shamrock, a bit of European flair at Gimmick, and casual cool American fashion at Fabric. There`s something for everyone, so I highly recommend checking it out.
Go Bouldering at Energy Climbing Gym
This is definitely one for the more active types, but what could be more fun than taking on a new challenge together? At Energy Climbing Gym, there are bouldering areas for all different levels of difficulty and it`s very beginner-friendly. They even offer beginner`s courses that you can take together (which are free on certain days if you pre-register)! Make sure you wear clothes that are easy to move in, but rental shoes and chalk are both available if you need them! They also allow outside food and drink in case you wanted to bring something to power you through your workout. It takes just six minutes to get there from Kashiwa Station, so why not give it a go?
Have a Jam Session at Gateway Studio
Is there anything more romantic than serenading your sweetie? At Gateway Studio, you can sing and play to your heart`s content without having to worry about upsetting the neighbors. They have microphones, amps and drums available in each room for free and guitars and other instruments can be rented for a small fee. Best of all, they`re open 24 hours and just minutes from the station so you can stay as long as you`d like! Will you play a heart-warming Humbert Humbert duet or shred the guitar to some Slayer? It`s all up to you!
Take a one-day cooking class together!
They say the way to a person`s heart is through their stomach. Kashiwa is lucky enough to have a couple different companies offering cooking classes in the area (Better Home, ABC Cooking, Homemade Cooking, and Life With Cooking, just to name a few). Not only can you get to know the other person better, but you can also gain a new life skill and learn how to make something new! The companies offer a variety of different courses and types of food from Japanese cuisine to foreign cuisine and even desserts! Since there are so many different cooking schools in the area, it`s easy to shop around and find a school that meets your budget, language ability, and appetite!
Get liquored up at Bar TACT
I haven`t personally been here, but my coworkers have raved about this place and looking at the photos I can see why. Everything from the beautifully-arranged dishes to the backlit bar full of elegant bottles gives a sense of class and style. There are even sofas to lounge on while you drink. According to Tabelog, Bar TACT`s menu features items such as fois gras and tripe and as far as drinks go, whiskeys seem to be a big favorite. However, a lot of people seem to really enjoy the wide variety of interesting cocktails they offer as well! It seems like a nice place to go if you are looking to impress.
Get your game on at Jelly Jelly Station
Board games are a classic activity for all ages and interests! At Jelly Jelly Station, you can find all kinds of board games from cult classics like Catan to newer ones like Hagetaka no Ejiki (ハゲタカのえじき). Go with a group of people and make it a double-date for even more fun. Best of all, for just 1000 yen you can stay for up to five hours and get a free drink! It`s also right inside Tsutaya, so you can check out some CDs or movies while you`re there!
Hey guys! I’m Sydney, your friendly neighborhood foreigner! I moved to Japan in 2014, but I came to Kashiwa in 2019. Despite my name, I’m American not Australian.
When I first arrived in Japan, I was so relieved to find articles written by other foreigners about how to make my way in my new country. Now that I’ve been here a while, I’d like to share what I’ve learned as well and pay it forward.