千葉県Chiba Prefectural Government

Main content starts here.

Update:September 10, 2018

Chiba Nanohana News (February 2018)


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

 I. News  

 Highway 464: Inzai City Soufuke Off-ramp to Open 2/21

     The 4.2 kilometer bypass connecting Wakahagi, Inzai City and Kitasuka, Narita City is part of an ongoing project to connect Narita Airport and Tokyo City. While the current bypass, which was completed last year, is only 2 lanes, there are plans to expand the road into a 4 lane highway. The newest addition to the bypass, the Soufuke Off-ramp in Inzai City, is scheduled to open Wednesday, February 21st. For more information, please see the Chiba Prefectural Website.

URL: https://www.pref.chiba.lg.jp/dousei/press/2017/soufuke.html

 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 will be on Monday, February 5th and will only cover legal matters, divorce, accident, inheritance, and labor issues. However, the next consultation on Monday, March 5th will covers all of the above mentioned legal matters. Interpreters are available for English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, and Thai. Reservations are required, and interpreters must be reserved 10 days in advanced. For reservations or more information, please contact the Chiba International Center at TEL: 043(297)0245, by FAX at 043(297)2753, or by E-mail at kudo@ccb.or.jp.


  • Date: 2018/2/5 & 3/5
  • Time: 13:00 – 16:00
  • Cost: Free, but reservation required
  • Location: 5min walk from Kaihin Makuhari Sta. South Exit
  • Website: http://www.mcic.or.jp/en/Advisory/free_legal_consultation/index.html
  • Address:
    Chiba International Center
    14th Fl. Marive East, World Business Garden (WBG)
    2-6, Nakase, Mihama-ku, Chiba
  • Information: Chiba International Center at TEL: 043(297)0245, by FAX at 043(297)2753, or by E-mail at kudo@ccb.or.jp.


 Back to top   I.News   II.festivals and Events   III.Exhibitions, Concerts, etc. 

 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 22nd to Saturday, March 3rd. Space is limited and once capacity is reached, participation will be determined by a lottery. Please see the Tomisato Watermelon Road Race on the Sports Entry website for more information http://www.sportsentry.ne.jp/event/t/73314.

  • Registration: 2/22 – 3/3/2018
  • Event Date: Sunday, June 24th
  • Location: The start of the race will be near the Tomisato City Hall
  • Address: 652-1 Nanae, Tomisato, Chiba Prefecture 286-0221
  • Access: There will be a temporary bus to and from Keisei Narita Station.
  • Inquiries: Tomisato Watermelon Road Race Planning Committee
  • TEL:0476-93-1145 (Mon-Fri 9:00-17:00)
  • URL: http://tomisato-suikaroad.jp/
  • Registration: http://www.sportsentry.ne.jp/event/t/73314

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


     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: Sunday, 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)

hina hina 2

     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:

1) 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.)

2) 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.

3) 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 23 – Sunday, March 4
  • 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) 2018 X-RUN Chiba Cross Country/Showa-no-Mori Park (Chiba City)

     This international cross country event, held once a year and now celebrating its 50th anniversary, also serves as the qualifying meet to determine the athletes who will represent Japan in the Asian and World Cross Country Championships.
Cross country is a challenging sport that requires athletes to run on a course with obstacles and varying elevations. Each year, elite athletes from all over the world, including ekiden (road relay), marathon, and track runners, come to compete in this exciting event.

  • Date: Sunday, February 4
  • Place: Showa-no-Mori Park, 22 Tokecho, Midori-ku, Chiba City
  • Access: 30 min on foot from the south exit of Toke Station (JR Sotobo Line)
    By bus: take the Chiba Chuo bus bound for Asumigaoka Brand New Mall, get off at “Showa-no-Mori Nishi,” and walk 5 min
    *Free shuttle buses will also be available from the north exit of Toke Station
  • URL: www.chibakuro.com
  • Inquiries: Chiba Track & Field Association (located in the Chiba Prefectural Sports Center) (043-245-5966)

 5) 4th 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 10, 12:00-20:00 (The illumination beginning each night at 17:30; Amanogawa River illumination from 2/1 (Thurs) until 2/14(Wed))
  • 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/

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

plum plum trees

     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 17 – Sunday, March 4 (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/

   Back to top   I.News   II.festivals and Events   III.Exhibitions, Concerts, etc.

 III. Exhibitions, Concerts, etc.

 1) Try on Samurai Armor at the Otaki Castle Museum (Otaki Town)


     Otaki Castle was once home to Honda Tadakatsu, a samurai and general of the Warring States Period through the Edo Period who was famous for his fierce loyalty to Tokugawa Ieyasu. His helmet was adorned with deer antlers and his legacy as a samurai has inspired many legends. Now his castle is a museum with a variety of exhibits and displays on the history of the town, the Boso area, and the warriors who lived there. The museum often holds events to introduce the history of weapons, armor, clothes, and other items of everyday life.
On March 3rd, the Otaki Castle Museum will offer visitors the opportunity to transform into a samurai. Try on medieval samurai armor or a beautiful kimono and travel back in time!

  • Date: Saturday, May 3 at 10:00 and 13:30
  • Place: Study Building
  • Capacity: 10 people per session
  • Fee: free (admission is separate)
  • Museum hours: 9:00-16:30 (closed Mondays or the next day if Monday is a holiday)
  • Place: Otaki Castle Museum, 481 Otaki, Otaki Town
  • General Admission: 200 yen; high school and university students: 100 yen; junior high school and younger, age 65 and older: free
  • Access: By bus: From Mobara Station (JR Sotobo Line), take the Kominato Bus bound for Otaki and get off at “Kubo” and walk for 20 min, or take the HMC Tokyo Bus bound for Otaki and get off at Otaki Station (“Otaki-eki”) and walk for 15 min.
    By train, take the Isumi Railway to Otaki Station and walk for 15 min.
  • Inquiries: Otaki Castle Museum (0470-82-3007)

 2) The Sounds of Winter Natural History Museum and Institute in Chiba City


     On Saturday, February 10th, the Natural History Museum and Institute in Chiba City will have a special lecture on the “Natural Sounds of Winter.” Get in some hands-on learning as the lecture tours visitors around the part to learn firsthand about the winter biosphere.

  • Date: 2/10 (Sat)
  • Time: 13:30~15:30
  • Place: Natural History Museum and Institute, Chiba, 955-2 Aoba-cho, Chuo-ku, Chiba City
  • Museum Admission: 300 yen; 150 yen for high school and university students; FREE for junior high school students and under and seniors 65 and older
  • Museum Hours: 9:00-16:30 (last admission 16:00)
  • Closed: Mondays (or Tuesdays if a National Holiday falls on a Monday)
  • Access:
    From Chiba Station east exit, take the bus from platform 7 bound for Chiba University Hospital (“Chiba daigaku byoin”) or “Minami-yahagi,” or take the bus from platform 6 bound for “Kawado-miyakoen.” Ride for about 15 min and get off at the Natural History Museum and Institute (“Chuo hakubutsukan”). From there it is about 7 min walk to the museum.
    From Soga Station east exit, take the bus from platform 2 bound for Chiba University Hospital (“Daigaku byoin”). Ride for about 15 min and get off at the Natural History Museum and Institute (“Chuo hakubutsukan”) and walk for about 7 min to the museum.
    The museum is about 20 min walk from Keisei Chiba-dera Station.
  • Inquiries: Natural History Museum and Institute, Chiba (043-265-3111)
  • URL: http://www.chiba-muse.or.jp/NATURAL/


 HOME  Back to top  I.News  II.festivals and Events      III.Exhibitions, Concerts, etc.