29 Days of Love: Day Twenty-Three to Twenty-Nine

This month, I will be featuring 29 different date ideas in Kashiwa because every day should be Valentine`s 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!

Day Twenty-three
Grill up some fish at Teganuma Fishing Center

The weather is looking pretty good this week, so it`s a great time to enjoy the outdoors with your loved ones! Teganuma has a great fish center where you can catch massive rainbow trout! There`s a reason this fish is prized by fishermen. It`s a powerful fish that puts up quite the fight when caught. However, your efforts will not go unrewarded when you hook one of these bad boys. On Sundays, the shop will grill up your prize for you for a small fee! Trout is healthy and packed with protein, not to mention the fact that the food you catch yourself always tastes the best!

Day Twenty-Four
Hang out at Aeon Mall!

The mall is a simple plan but allows for a lot of flexibility. This is especially true at Aeon Mall, which is filled to the brim with cafes, restaurants, clothing stores, and cute little shops! The two of you can look at cute puppies and kittens at Aeon Pet, grab some lunch at Tonkatsu Sanbuta, browse through the cute items at Hapins, and get ice cream at Baskin Robbins all in one place! If you`re looking for a good first date, this is the place for you! It`s also surprisingly easy to get to since there is a free shuttle bus that runs from Kashiwa Station, Toyoshiki Danchi, Hikarigaoka, Shin-Kashiwa Masuo, and Otsugaoka to the mall entrance!

Day Twenty-Five
Eat strawberries until you burst!

Sometimes, it`s nice to get out of the center of the city and get some fresh air. Being around nature is great if you want to ground yourself and take off some of your stress. Fortunately, you don`t even have to leave Kashiwa to do all of those things! There are many areas where you can go strawberry picking within the city limits at this time of year. Many places boast 30-minute all-you-can-eat sessions! There`s Kuramochi Kankou Farm in the Akebonoyama Park area, which can be easily reached by bus. There are also several places near Teganuma, including Sonobe Farm. I hear the strawberries at Sonobe are extra sweet and there`s this great café right next to the farm called Eagle 137, which makes this place well worth the trip!

Day Twenty-Six
Go geocaching at Teganuma!

It may come as a surprise to you if you`ve been in Kashiwa for a long time, but there are hidden treasures scattered around the city! I`m not even joking! These treasures are called “geocaches” and they can be found using the geocaching app. Teganuma just so happens to have a ton of these geocaches. Many times, they are placed in areas of interest like the geocache on the first pedestrian bridge in Japan near Kashiwa Station or near the strongest magnet in the world at Tokyo University! All you have to do to get started is download the app and click on the cache you want to find. On the cache`s page, you can find hints about its location and its rough coordinates. If you`re able to find the cache, you can mark the cache as “found” on the app and write your nickname on the notebook inside. Keep an eye out for my article later this year all about geocaching!

Day Twenty-Seven
Go dog-spotting at 3-2-Wan!

If you`re a dog person, this place is heaven on earth! 3-2-Wan is an indoor and outdoor café where small dogs are free to roam around as they please. It`s a comfortable café with a cabin-like interior and a spacious outdoor dog run! The menu changes frequently and there`s a lot of variation in the types of food they serve, so humans are also treated quite kindly here. Dogs can have a meal suited for the likes of Lassie or Hachiko: a burger and goat milk! Feel free to bring your own nice little doggies or pet one of the adorable pooches that stay at the café! You can bring up to four dogs with no trouble!

Day Twenty-Eight
Check out the new Benneiten Exhibit

(2/28/2020 Update: The grand opening has been postponed until further notice. Stay tuned for future updates about the opening date. In the meantime, feel free to check out the Former Yoshida Family Residence to learn about life in the Edo Period. That way, you can still get your history fix!)

(3/04/2020 Update: The Former Yoshida Family Residence has been closed to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. Well…uh…I`ll keep you posted. Wash your hands and stay safe!)

This special exhibit is opening for the first time at Kashiwa City Local Artifacts Room to celebrate the life of Yamazaki Bennei, a shonin monk whose importance to Buddhism is akin to that of a saint in Christianity. Hailing from Kashiwa City, this year marks the 100th anniversary of his death. I`ll admit that I didn`t know anything about this man before I began writing this article, but he really was a remarkable person. We have him to thank for the establishment of Taisho University and Zenko-ji. I think the most incredible thing about him is the fact that in the year 1894, he went on a pilgrimage throughout India: a difficult feat to accomplish in those times. He spread his religion through song and music, using both the shamisen and western instruments like the accordion. In the exhibit, you can find the actual accordion he used among other artifacts of his. If you want to learn more about Japanese history as well as Kashiwa`s history, this could be a great place to visit!

Day Twenty-Nine
Paint the town red on rent-a-cycles!

Kashiwa is the perfect city for outdoorsmen, and this is evident by the sheer number of rent-a-cycle locations! As the weather gets warmer, you can take these cycles for a spin and get some fresh air together. Just within the city limits, there are bicycle rentals at Kashiwa StationKashiwa-no-ha Campus StationSeven Park Ario, and Kita-Kashiwa Furusato Park. Once you get on your bicycle, you can feel free to stop by any of the locations I previously mentioned, since bicycle parking is plentiful here. Once you`re finished, bicycles rented from stations must be returned to the station you rented from but there are many locations where the other bicycles can be returned. Happy cycling!

Well, this marks the end of my articles for the month! Did you enjoy the trip? I hope you had as much fun reading my articles as I had writing them! I was excited to hear feedback from people born and raised in Kashiwa, surprised that some of these locations even exist in the city! I guess it goes to show that there are always some exciting things to do if you stay curious! Thank you so much for reading and I hope to see you again in the next article!

 

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.

 

 

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