Near infrared light has been used for the determination of blood oxygenation in the brain but little attention has been paid to the fact that the states of blood oxygenation in arteries, veins, and capillaries differ substantially. In this study, Monte Carlo simulations for a heterogeneous system were conducted, and near infrared time-resolved reflectance measurements were performed on a heterogeneous tissue phantom model. The model was made of a solid polyester resin, which simulates the tissue background. A network of tubes was distributed uniformly through the resin to simulate the blood vessels. The time-resolved reflectance spectra were taken with different absorbing solutions filled in the network. Based on the simulation and experimental results, we investigated the dependence of the absorption coefficient obtained from the heterogeneous system on the absorption of the actual absorbing solution filled in the tubes. We show that light absorption by the brain should result from the combination of blood and blood-free tissue background.