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

Update:September 10, 2018

Chiba Nanohana News (February 2017)


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

 I. News

 1) Kitachiba Road(Highway 464): Inzai City to Narita City Bypass Complete

map       The 4.2 kilometer bypass connecting Wakahagi, Inzai City and Kitasuka, Narita City has been completed. Following a short ceremony, the highway will be open for use starting at 16:30 on Sunday, February 19th.     
      This section of road is part of an ongoing project to connect Narita Airport and the outskirts of Tokyo(the Tokyo Outer Ring Road). While the new bypass is only 2 lanes, there are plans to expand the road into a 4 lane highway. With the completion of this bypass, approximately 25 kilometers out of the planned 43 kilometer project have been completed.

 2) Free Consultation for International Residents

       Throughout the year, the Chiba Convention Bureau and International Center (CCB-IC), in association with the Chiba Prefecture Lawyers Association and the Chiba Prefecture Notary Association, offers a variety of free legal consultations pertaining to immigration, visas, start-up businesses, pensions, insurance, labor problems, and other legal matters.

       The next free consultation that covers all the above mentioned legal matters will be on Monday, March 6th. Interpreters are available upon request. Reservations are required, and interpreters must be reserved 10 days in advance. For reservations or more information, please contact the Chiba International Center at TEL: 043(297)0245, or by E-mail at kudo@ccb.or.jp.

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 II. Festivals and Events

 1) Tomisato Watermelon Road Race (Tomisato City)




        Famous for its deliciously sweet watermelons, each year in June Tomisato City celebrates the popular summer gourd with a 3km road race for elementary and middle school students, and 5km and 10km road races for high school students and adults. Runners placing in the top 20 will receive a watermelon, and runners placing in the top 10 will also receive a trophy to commemorate the event. The race is scheduled for Sunday, June 25th, but registration will be Thursday, February 23th to Saturday, March 4th. Space is limited and once capacity is reached, participation will be determined by a lottery. Please see the Tomisato Watermelon Road Race Website for more information http://tomisato-suikaroad.jp/.

  • Date: Sunday, June 25th, 8:00-11:50
  • Location: The start of the race will be near the Tomisato Junior High School
  • Address: 652-226 Nanae, Tomisato, Chiba Prefecture 286-0221
  • Inquiries: Tomisato Watermelon Road Race Planning Committee
    TEL:0476-93-1145 (Mon-Fri 9:00-17:00)

 2) Warabi Naked Festival/ Mimusubi Shrine & Warabigaoka Park (Yotsukaido City)

pnotoyotsukaidohadakafesta     This event, also known as the “Mud Festival,” is held at Mimusubi Shrine each year on February 25. The main Shinto rite at 11:00 is not open to the public, but anyone can come to observe the festivities that begin after 13:00.
      Just as the festival’s nickname says, the afternoon rituals including purifications, blessings for children, mud-throwing, and kibasen wrestling battles (where teams of three holding up a fourth on their shoulders try to knock over other teams) are all mud-filled events.
       The mud-throwing and kibasen events will begin at 14:00. The participants dressed in loincloths are not the only ones who will wind up covered in mud as the mud from the pits tends to fly towards onlookers as well, so watch out!
       Additionally, there is a ritual where fathers carry their newly born children down to a rice paddy and then has the baby’s cheek painted with mud. This ritual is said to protect the babies from bad luck.

  • Date: Saturday, February 25
  • Location: Mimusubi Shrine(692 Warabi, Yotsukaido City)
    Warabigaoka Park(192-23 Warabi, Yotsukaido City)
  • Access: 15 minutes by foot from the South Exit of Yotsukaido Station (JR Sobu Main Line)
  • Inquiries: (043)421-6134 (Yotsukaido City Industrial Promotion Division)

 3) Katsuura Big Hina Doll Festival/Tomisaki Shrine (Katsuura City)




      Over 30,000 hina dolls will be displayed all around Katsuura City in celebration of the hina-matsuri, or Girl’s Festival. Hina dolls will decorate the 60 stone steps of Tomisaki Shrine, and the area will be illuminated in the evenings. This event first originated from efforts to hold the “Big Hina Doll Festival” (originally held in Katsuura Town in Tokushima Prefecture) in eastern Japan. Chiba’s Katsuura City has adopted 7,000 hina dolls from Katsuura Town in Tokushima.
      There will be a hina doll parade featuring children in hina doll costumes, as well as a dance parade, and much more!

Display Locations:

Tomisaki Shrine

  1,800 hina dolls will line the shrine’s 60 stone steps. Every day of the festival, volunteers will put the dolls out for display and then put them away at night. (Events will be canceled in case of bad weather.)

Katsuura central shopping area

  Here in the central shopping area located next to Tomisaki Shrine, you can find special platforms displaying the dolls, unique displays at each of the stores, and doll decorating workshops in vacant store lots. There will also be special hina doll exhibits at the Kakuoji Temple gates and Tona intersection.

Other displays

  The largest kyoho-bina dolls in Japan will be displayed at the Katsuura Art and Culture Center Kuste (pronounced “kyuste”). The Emperor and Empress dolls measure 120 cm tall. At Matsunochosho Temple, there will be a lit-up display on Saturdays and Sundays during the festival period.

Dolls will also be displayed at Okitsu Community Center, Ueno Assembly Hall, Fusano Assembly Hall, tourist facilities, financial institutions, and other locations.

  • Date: Friday, February 24 – Sunday, March 5
  • Place: Tomisaki Shrine, 1 Hama-Katsuura, Katsuura City
  • Access: 10 minutes on foot from Katsuura Station (JR Sotobo Line)
  • Inquiries: Big Hina Doll Festival Planning Committee (Katsuura City Tourism and Commerce Division) (0470-73-6641)
  • URL: http://www.katsuura-sanpo.com/facilities/event/post-449/

 4) Chiba Traditional Handiwork on Display (Chiba City)

       Join us in celebrating over 100 years of heritage as we display traditional pieces of Chiba craft work from the last century. Born out of the natural splendor and temperate climate of the prefecture, these items have developed with the people who have used them. A variety of traditionally made tools and crafts will be on display including Boshu Saws for Kamogawa, beadwork from Kashiwa, Boso Takuhachi Flutes from Ichihara, and more.

       There will also be a chance for visitors to try their hand at making their own cell phone strap shaped like traditional armor, paint ceramics, and practice traditional dyeing methods.

  • Date: 2/1 (Wed) -2/6 (Mon) 10:00-1900 (2/6 until 17:00)
  • Location: Chiba Mitsukoshi 8th Fl.
  • Entrance: Free
  • Access: 5 min walk from JR Chiba Stn.
  • TEL: 043-224-3131

 5) Narita Plum Festival/Naritasan Park (Narita City)




      Enjoy the outdoors as you spread out over the vast 165,000m2 park behind the Great Main Hall of Narita Shinshoji Temple. Naritasan Park boasts of having a color for each season with its many varieties of plum blossoms, cherry blossoms, and maple trees.

      In the Japanese garden, there are approximately 500 white and red plum trees with an average age of over 50 years old. Many of these plum trees have aged gracefully and the sight of the delicate blossoms delight temple visitors.

      On weekends during the Plum Festival, there will be poetry contests, live music, and tea ceremony, as well as free amazake (sweet sake) to welcome visitors.

  • Date: Saturday, February 18 – Sunday, March 5 (events held on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 to 15:00)
  • Place: Naritasan Park, 1 Narita, Narita City
  • Access: 10 minutes on foot to Narita Shinshoji Temple from Narita Station (JR Narita Line or Keisei Line)
  • Inquiries: (0476) 22-2102 (Narita City Tourism Association)
  • URL: http://www.nrtk.jp/

 6) Mobara Winter Tanabata Festival (Mobara City)


     Tanabata, which originates from the Chinese Qixi Festival, is a holiday that celebrates the meeting of Orihime and Hikoboshi. Orihime and Hikoboshi fell in love at first sight, but once married, they neglected their duties: Orihime stopped weaving cloth, and Hikoboshi’s cow herd strayed all over heavens. As a result, Orihime’s father, Tentei the sky king, separated them across the Milky Way (Amanogawa, literally “heavenly river”), and forbade them to meet. Orihime cried so much that her father relented and allowed them to meet on the seventh night of the seventh month. Today, tanabata is a festival often associated with starry nights and love.

The best place to celebrate tanabata is in Mobara, home of the Amanogawa River which separates the two star-crossed lovers in the traditional story. Usually tanabata, which means “Seventh Night,” is celebrated on July 7 (or in accordance with the lunar calendar), but Mobara has created a second night when the lovers can meet in winter, aligning with Valentine’s Day on February 14th. The night will be filled with a variety of romantic events.

  • Date: Saturday, February 11, 12:00-20:00 (The illumination beginning each night at 17:30; Amanogawa River illuminations until Tuesday, February 14)
  • Place: Mobara City Hall South Side Parking Lot, Main Community Center, Resident Meeting Hall, 1 Dobyo, Mobara City
  • Access: 20 min walk from Mobara Station (JR Sotobo Line), 20 min by car from Mobara-Chonan IC (Ken-O Expressway)
  • Inquiries: Mobara Tanabata Festival Planning Committee, Event Committee (within the Commerce, Industry and Tourism Division, Mobara City Hall) (0475-20-1528)
  • URL: http://www.mobara-kankou.com/tanabata/

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 III. Exhibitions, Concerts, etc.

 1) Chiba Museum of Science and Industry: Magatama making (Ichikawa City)



  Visit the Chiba Museum of Science and Industry on Sunday, February 19th for a chance to make your own Magatama. A popular form of earthenware from prehistoric Japan, the curved,comma-shaped bead was a popular form of decorative jewelry from 1000 BC to 6 AD. Children of all ages are welcome to try their hand at making one of these traditional beads.


Magatama Makingphotomagata

  • Date: 2/19 (Sun)
  • Time: 10:10 and 13:20
  • Capacity: 30 people (Third year elementary students and younger must be accompanied by an adult)
    Sign-up: Day off, will close when capacity is reached
    Fee: 300 yen (plus museum admission)

Place: Chiba Museum of Science and Industry, Onitaka 1-1-3, Ichikawa City

Museum Hours: 9:00-16:30; closed Mondays (or the next day if Monday is a holiday)

Admission: 300 yen; 150 for high school and college students; free for junior high students and younger, age 65 and older

Access: 15 min on foot from Motoyawata Station on the JR Sobu Line, 5 min from Ichikawa IC on the Keiyo Road

Inquiries: Chiba Museum of Science and Industry (047-379-2005)

URL: http://www.chiba-muse.or.jp/SCIENCE/

 2) Chiba Museum of Science and Industry: Exciting Science Classroom (Ichikawa City) 

     The Chiba Museum of Science and Industry in Ichikawa City shows the history of modern technology (especially Chiba’s key industries of electric power, petroleum, iron, and steel), explains how advanced technology has changed society, and considers the relationship between science and people.

      Here are some of the hands-on experiences for the whole family, this February.

Make a hot air balloon and watch it fly

  • Date: 2/4 (Sat)
  • Time: 10:10 and 13:20
  • Capacity: 20 small groups per session (junior high school students and younger)
    Sign-up: 10 minutes in advance (same-day). If capacity is reached, participants will be chosen by lottery.
  • Fee: 50 yen per group (plus museum admission)

Finding life frozen in Amber

  • Date: 2/12 (Sun)
  • Time: 10:10 and 13:20
  • Capacity: 24 kids per session (junior high school students and younger, elementary students must be accompanied by an adult)
    Sign-up: 10 minutes in advance (same-day). If capacity is reached, participants will be chosen by lottery.
  • Fee: 350 yen (plus museum admission)

The search for Fossilized Leavesphotoleave

  • Date: 2/26 (Sun) 
  • Time: 10:10 and 12:40
  • Capacity: 24 kids per session (junior high school students and younger, elementary students must be accompanied by an adult)
    Sign-up: 10 minutes in advance (same-day). If capacity is reached, participants will be chosen by lottery.
  • Fee: 150 yen (plus museum admission)


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