Travel

Umihotaru: Not your usual parking area!

When traveling from Tokyo to Chiba by car, there’s a high possibility that you want to take a break, do some stretching, answer the call of nature, and fill your hankering stomach. You’ll pass by a few convenience stores to provide you things you need and want. However, there’s this rather out of the ordinary rest area that you might want to check out in Japan.

umihotaru parking area
Heart shaped bed of flowers at Umihotaru

FACTS:

  • Constructed on an artificial island (Kisarazu, 650m) encircled by 360º of water.
  • Towers five levels tall, including parking on levels 1 through 3,
    and commercial facilities on levels 4 and 5.
  • The only shopping center on the sea where you can revel in far-reaching 360º scenes of Tokyo Bay, along with many shops, restaurants and services.
umihotaru japan
Left [Sasebo Burger on 5F], Right [Tempura from Tendon Tenya on 5F)
  • Umihotaru means sea firefly. Perhaps, this explains it. ⇓
umihotaru at night
Beautifully glows by night
  • Accessible from Tokyo Wan Aqua-Line tunnel, a distinctive underwater bridge and tunnel expressway that connects Kisarazu City of Chiba Prefecture and Kawasaki City of Kanagawa Prefecture.
  • Located here is a colossal cutter face of one of the slurry shield machines used to drill the undersea tunnel for the Tokyo Wan Aqua-Line expressway.
giant cutter face in umihotaru
My husband and the enormous cutter face of the world’s largest shield machine diameter of 14.14m.

And the last thing, but definitely the one I admired the most on our second visit is the chance to witness the spectacular phases of sunset. This may not be a fact to others, yet for me it’s the only thing that matters above all else.

sunset at umihotaru
Just the two of the many shots I took

This is my favorite…

sunset at umihotaru japan
The color of the sky, the 2 airplanes passing by, the clouds, the sea, the sunset, the reflection, the cutter face…ah~ just beautiful…

Have you ever been to an unusual parking area? How was it?

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