If it hadn’t been for my trip to Yūkarigaoka I would never have bothered with these twin towers but as I was in the area, and had the time, I thought I should take advantage of being in such a location. Some people will no doubt think it wasn’t worth the effort but up for a bit of adventure I decided to go the extra mile…or in this case, the extra five miles!
First up though was the aforementioned Yūkarigaoka Station where I spent a few hours walking and then riding on the whole Yamaman Yūkarigaoka Line.
As a fan of Katakana-named stations (only in Tokyo usually though to keep it simple!) I was intrigued by Yūkarigaoka Station (ユーカリが丘). At first glance, it’d be easy to just think that Yūkarigaoka is a Japanese word but it actually derives from the bastardised pronunciation of eucalyptus, well the first three syllables of it anyway! For the record, oka (丘) means hill and ga (が ) just links them which all equates to the name eucalyptus hills. Given that koalas feed on eucalyptus leaves it’s perhaps no surprise that that particular native Australian animal is the mascot of the private train line.
After I was done with my train line adventures in Yūkarigaoka I went one stop east along the Keisei Main Line to Keisei-Usui Station where a ten minute walk led me to the first of two water towers which is admittedly a very nerdy thing to go in search for but I was up for the adventure of only knowing my destination and nothing before that! As it was there wasn’t much to see in this area at all but that was fine with me as it was quite nice to not see any people at all and just some fine nature.
First up was Nomadai Surge Tower (1390 Usui, Sakura) and the most impressive thing here for me about this water-purification plant was the red-orange coloured staircase but not surprisingly the area was fenced off with a strict no entry sign so I couldn’t ascend the tower.
Chiba Prefecture has been divided into seven districts to develop industrial water supply and this one, developed in collaboration with JFE Steel, supplies five factories in the cities of Ichihara, Sodegaura and Chiba. From a distance it could be mistaken for some kind of giant amusement park slide ride!
Due to the intense heat of the August sun, I was admittedly quite tempted to give up on the second tower as it was another 45 minutes on foot but, after a bit of deliberation, I decided to push on as I knew I’d never bother coming back out that way just to see a water tower! I was glad I did as the views of the yellow-green rice fields were very pleasing on the eye.
As the blue dot on my map apps closed in on my destination, the tower suddenly appeared in the distance jutting out from a field and looking very out of place amidst such surroundings.
Hadori Surge Tower (958 Hadori, Sakura) is nine metres tall and in all fairness is probably the kind of thing you wouldn’t look at twice in an industrial area but in this setting it really stands out with a sense of mystery around it for those who don’t know of it’s purpose.
This light blue tower supplies six companies in the region but of far more interest to me was the spiral stair case. As expected, the plant was closed off to the public so I could only admire from through the fence. I should add that it’s not a leaning tower but that’s the way the above photo may appear due to my bad photography skills. This pressure control tower has windows in the roof which make it seem like a tall robot…or maybe that’s just my wild imagination!
That was far from the end of this journey though as a further 40 minute walk to the nearest station Sakura was needed. With views like those seen below it wasn’t too much of an arduous walk.
As I closed in on Sakura Station, the countryside began to make way for some shop chains and I was surprised to see this Japanese sweet shop called Mochikichi (1-6-6 Terazakikita, Sakura) with some foxes on the window decor. Only time to take a quick picture though as I was already jogging in part by this stage in order to catch the train home.
I did consider properly disembarking at Yotsukaido Station for a platform zero photo opportunity but that would’ve cost me another 40 minutes in time so I decided to run out and capture it in the 30 second gap between the doors opening and closing. Ultimately I failed to get a new shot within such a short window of opportunity but fortunately I have a poor-quality photo (below) from when I passed through in 2011 on the way back from a semi-naked man mud festival (a.k.a. Hadaka Matsuri) at Mimusubi Shrine in Yotsukaido.
Click here to read ‘The Japanese Town Which Has It’s Own Local Rail Line’
Click here to read ‘Tokyo Daytripper: Sakura Tulip Festival (Chiba)’
Click here to see the ‘Top 10 Chiba Sights’
Click here to read ‘The Complete Tour Of Katakana-Named Stations In Tokyo!’