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Foreign Languages > Chiba International Information Square > Chiba Nanohana News (December 2017)

Update:December 5, 2017

Chiba Nanohana News (December 2017)

 Index

I.News   II. Festivals and Events    III.Exhibitions, Concerts, etc.

 I. News

 1) Chiba Antenna Shop Goes to Tokyo

Over the past few years, Antenna Shops have become quite popular in Tokyo. These specialty shops are sponsored by local governments and businesses and feature the local cuisine and products from areas all over Japan. Until December 16th, the Chiba centric Antenna shop can be found at the Maru no Uchi Kitte, on basement floor 1 of Tokyo City. If you’re traveling through Tokyo Station, be sure to check it out!

Dates: Now until Saturday, December 16th
Place: Tokyo City Performance Zone
Address: Chiyoda, Marunouchi 2-7-2, Tokyo
Hours: Everday 9:00 – 19:30
URL: http://chibaichiba.jp/ 
 

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II. Festivals and Events

 1) Yamakura Salmon Festival/Yamakura Shrine (Katori City) 

salmon

   Hatsuu-sai is celebrated on the first day of the rabbit, the fourth sign of the Chinese Zodiac. As offerings of salmon are made at the Hatsuu-sai of both the Yamakura Daijin Shrine and the Kampukuji Temple, this tradition is also known as the “salmon festival.” This ritual was originally held on the first Day of the Rabbit during the eleventh month. It is said that in olden times, when the time of the festival neared, the salmon would swim up the nearby Kuriyama River.

  At Yamakura Daijin Shrine, salmon are said to be servants of the Ryugu Palace. During the pre-festivities before the hatsuu-sai (currently held on the first Sunday of December), the salmon offering is cut into tiny pieces by way of the Shirakawa-style knife ceremony ritual. These are then distributed to visitors as safety charms that can only be obtained on the day of the ceremony. These are highly valued because of the play on words “wazawai wo sakeru (“avoid disasters”)” and “sake (salmon).” These cut salmon charms, as well as charred salmon charms, which are also available at the shrine, help ward off sickness and accidents. They are especially well regarded as cold remedies. During the hatsuu-sai, there will be a gallant traditional procession in which the salmon is offered up. In the evening, there will also be the mikoshi procession.

  On December 7 of every year, the hatsuu-sai is held at Kampukuji Temple. This tradition began with a tale passed down at the temple, which says that the dragon god offered salmon to Kobo-Daishi (Kukai), who had locked himself away in the temple to fast and pray. The Kobo-Daishi then split the salmon amongst the local village people and healed their sicknesses.

Yamakura Salmon Festival

  • Date: Sunday, December 3 (Yamakura Shrine), Saturday, December 7 (Kampukuji Temple)
    Procession begins at 11:00; mikoshi procession held in the evening
  • Place: Yamakura Daijin Shrine(2347-1 Yamakura, Katori City)
  • Access: A short walk from the Yamakura Shrine bus stop (40 min. via bus bound for Yamakura from Sawara Station (JR Narita Line)) (*Please note there are only about three buses per day)
  • Inquiries: (0478)79-2706 (Yamakura Shrine)
         (0478)79-2802 (Kampukuji Temple)

 2) Daffodil Festival/Ezuki Daffodil Road & Okuzure Suisenkyo (Kyonan Town)

daf daff

   Since long ago, the Minami Boso (southern Chiba) region has been so warm that it has been said, “once you cross over Mt. Nokogiri, you need one less layer of clothing.” Even when the northern regions of Japan are covered in snow, the Minami Boso region is painted with flowers.

Flowers growing in the Boshu region (now referred to as the Minami Boso region), were said to originate in the Ansei Period (1854-1860). During this time, the Japanese daffodils that grew in the Hota district were called “Motona daffodils,” and transported to Edo (Tokyo) by boat.

Ezuki Daffodil Road

  Once the shipment time has passed, the daffodils are preserved for viewing. These daffodils are in full bloom on both sides of this 3km stretch of the local town road, which is referred to as the Ezuki Daffodil Road. During the Daffodil Festival, you can purchase locally produced fruits and vegetables from local farmers and daffodil flowers as you enjoy an earlier spring.

  Thanks to the local climactic conditions, Kyonan’s daffodils are characterized by their strong fragrance and tall stalks. The peak for daffodil viewing is from mid-December to the end of January.

  During the Daffodil Festival, hot soup and other goods will be available for purchase at the Ezuki Daffodil Plaza at 11:00 on Saturday, January 13.

Okuzure Suisenkyo

  The contrast of the Japanese daffodils with the green leaves and golden fruit of the surrounding mikan trees stand out against the winter sky. Also, early blossoms of red and white plum flowers towards the end of January will welcome you.

  During the Daffodil Festival, there will be mochi pounding at the Sakuma Dam Park beginning at 11:00 on Sunday, January 14.

  As the viewing season for the daffodils draws to an end, the season for the early blooming cherry blossom trees of Sakuma Dam Park will begin. The “Yoritomo-zakura,” one of Kyonan Town’s symbols, will begin blossoming in mid-February. You can also enjoy the Tairyo-zakura, Kanhi-zakura, Higan-zakura, Somei-Yoshino, Shidare-zakura, and Yae-zakura cherry trees until mid-April.

  • Date: Saturday, December 16 to Sunday, February 4
  • Place: 1) Ezuki Daffodil Road (Ezuki area, Kyonan Town, Awa-gun)
    2) Okuzure Suisenkyo (Okuzure area, Kyonan Town, Awa-gun)
  • Access:
    (For Ezuki Daffodil Road) 15 minutes by foot from Hota Station (JR Uchibo Line) to the entrance of the Daffodil Road
    (For Okuzure Suisenkyo) Take the Town Circulating Bus from Hota Station or Awa-Katsuyama Station (JR Uchibo Line)
  • Inquiries: (0470) 55-1683 (Hota Station Tourism Information Center)
    (0470) 55-8040 (Okuzure Suisenkyo Office of Tourism)
    (0470) 55-1560 (Kyonan Town Local Development Division)

 3) Winter Illuminations

illumin

 One of the best parts of the winter season is seeing the cold night brought to life by lights of all colors. Here are some more of the must-see illuminations in Chiba. See the November edition for additional events.

Chiba Port Tower (Chiba City)

From now until the end of December, the side of Chiba Port Tower will be lit up in the shape of a Christmas tree over 30 stories high.

Date: Now until Monday, December 25; weeknights 17:00-20:00, weekends and holidays 17:00-22:00 (December 23-25 is 17:00-21:00)
Place: 1-chome, Chiba-minato, Chuo-ku, Chiba City
Admission: Adults 420 yen, elementary and junior high school students 200 yen, preschool and younger free
Access: 12 min walk from Chiba-minato Station (Chiba Urban Monorail and JR Keiyo Line)
Inquiries: Chiba Port Tower (043-241-0125)
URL: http://www.chiba-porttower.com/   

Ichihara Quard Forest (Ichihara City)

 After the sun goes down, Ichihara Quard Forest will be lit up with bright illuminations that bring out the beauty of the forest.

Date: Now until Wednesday, December 27; weeknights 17:00-20:00, weekends and holidays 17:00-20:30
Place: 1011 Kakinokidai, Ichihara City
Access: From Goi Station (JR Uchibo Line), transfer to the Kominato Railway and get off at Tsukizaki Station, then walk 15 min.
Inquiries: Ichihara Quard Forest Management Office (0436-96-1119)

Starlight Fantasy 2017 at Asahi City Unakami Community Center (Asahi City)

 This year’s Starlight Fantasy featuring various light artwork will turn Asahi City into a fantastic wonderland. A special lottery event will be held on Sunday, December 10.

Date: Sunday, December 3 to Saturday, January 13
Place: 1 Takaoi, Asahi City
Access: 5 min walk from Iioka Station (JR Sobu Main Line)
Inquiries: Asahi City Commerce and Industry Association (0479-62-1348)
URL: http://www.city.asahi.lg.jp/kanko/tanbou/17/

Onjuku Water Park (Onjuku Town)

To get viewers in the Christmas spirit, until December 25 the illuminations will feature a Christmas tree, Santa Claus, and reindeer. After December 26, the illuminations will feature dolphins, fish, and Onjuku's famous spiny lobster, as well as Onjuku's mascot character Ebi-amigo.

Date: Saturday, December 2 to Monday, January 8, 17:00-22:00
Place: Onjuku Water Park, 2208 suka, Onjuku Town
Access: 7 min walk from Onjuku Station
Inquiries: Onjuku Town Tourism Association (0470-68-2414)
URL: www.onjuku-kankou.com

 

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 III. Exhibitions, Concerts, etc.

 1) Mini Kadomatsu Making

kadomatsu

     Kadomatsu, meaning “gate pine,” is a traditional Japanese New Year’s decoration. They are usually placed in pairs in front of homes as a way to welcome ancestral spirits or gods of harvest. While building materials vary across the nation, most kadomastu are made using pine, bamboo, and sometimes ume branches which represent longevity and prosperity. Make your own kadomatsu this New Year’s at Seiwa Kenmin no Mori.

  • Date: 12/23 Holiday Saturday
  • Time: 10:00 – 12:00
  • Place: Seiwa Kenmin no Mori
  • Adress: 660 Toyofusa, Kimitsu, Chiba 292-1179
  • Fee: 1000 JPY
  • Access: Take JR Uchibo Line to Kisarazu Station, board bus for “Kameda Hospital” from platform 3, 10 min walk from San Rapo-ru Sta.
  • Information: TEL 0439(38)2222/FAX 0438(38)2229
  • URL: http://www.chiba-forest.jp/seiwa/

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