As it was the Tokyo 2020 Olympics this summer, Marine Day and Sports Day were put together to form ‘Mega Weekend’. This was not its official title but it meant that in Japan we got Thurs 22nd, Fri 23rd, Sat 24th and Sun 25th off (unless you work in one of the many places that didn’t).
We decided to go to Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art in Sakura, Chiba. It was a reservation system and they were quite strict on only allowing people in at their stated times. They have a free shuttle bus from both Keisei Sakura and JR Sakura stations which was really helpful as it is quite far from the station.
Inside is quite small but there is lots to see. If you like art (clues in the name), you’ll probably like it. If you don’t like art so much, the grounds are free to get into, you can still use the free shuttle bus and you could take a picnic and enjoy the greenery that surrounds.
The museum has a tea room located inside (so if you want to go, you will need a ticket to the museum). It was a really lovely experience – very calming and if you like or want to try matcha and wagashi, I’d definitely recommend doing it. We were the only ones in until just before we were leaving when another group came in. We had a lovely view of the gardens as we enjoyed our rest.
There are some lovely grounds to wander about, including a wooded area, fields and a lake with swans. It felt very soothing to spend some time in nature and we came back to Tokyo feeling at peace with the world. There are tables to have picnics which people were, but there is no shop so you’d need to bring your own food.
We had tried making a reservation for lunch at the restaurant before we went (perhaps a week in advance), but unfortunately, it was all booked up. They said we could try on the day, but the wait time was too long, so we decided to leave it. Perhaps next time because it did look really nice.
Instead we got the free shuttle back to the station and we were going to try our luck and go to an Italian restaurant nearby. However, along the way we came upon Vegan Deli Optimist. Now if you go or have ever been to Sakura, it is fairly countryside so to say that we were surprised to see a vegan deli is an understatement. I practically skipped on inside. They had a variety of sets and individual items and both meals were really nice. The staff were really friendly as well and we felt very welcome. It seemed to be most popular with ladies whilst we were there and it is quite small inside but they do have some seats outside
If you want an escape from the city, I would highly recommend the art gallery. Sakura seems to have a few other museums and such in it’s vicinity so I would definitely like to go back to those to see what they are like and go back to the Optimist – the yakionigiri was divine!
Take care and see you soon,