I had hoped to spend the day today on the beach (have I mentioned that I live a short 20 minute walk from the beach?!) but given that it was overcast and windy I opted not to go and instead explore the nearby town of Tarumi. I had found that there were some beaches in Tarumi as well as the Mitsui Outlet Mall. I took the train over to Tarumi (only cost me 170 yen!) and headed towards the mall.
The Mitsui Outlet Mall is located right on the water and is modeled after any other outlet mall you may have experienced in the states. The mall has a sort of European with an American Sailor twist theme – actually, the theme was a bit confusing – the only thing I’m certain of is that it wasn’t supposed to be Japanese themed! I had taken a look at the mall map on the internet and was pleasantly surprised to find many stores I was familiar with!
The outlet mall has a big open area with attractions for kids and families.
There was a promenade at the back of the mall overlooking the water where a dance competition was being held. I saw people everywhere in concerts and practicing for their performances.
After exploring the outlet mall I decided to follow the beach path and see if there was anything else on the water front. I wandered into Maiko a nearby city on the JR line. The entire walk I saw the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, AKA the Pearl Bridge, which is touted as the longest suspension bridge in the world.
I walked all the way down to the bridge and happened upon yet another dance competition! The bridge is pretty amazing up close and they offer opportunities to walk out onto part of the bridge which has a glass bottom so you can see the water beneath you. I opted not to do that, but I did take advantage of the air conditioned vending are in the information center 🙂
Near the bridge there were several western style homes that took me by surprise. A sign stated that they were a memorial hall for a Chinese diplomat of sorts, but didn’t explain why they were western style.
There were some nice little gardens surrounding the buildings 🙂
I finished the day off with a beautiful view of the sun lowering to the see!