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Foreign Languages > Chiba International Information Square > Chiba Nanohana News (January 2016)

Update:January 18, 2016

 

Chiba Nanohana News (January 2016)

 Index

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

 I. News               

 1) Early Spring Tourism Campaign

 logochiba    photoflower

   The Chiba Prefecture early spring tourism campaign is being conducted until the end of March. Spring arrives in Chiba earlier than in neighboring prefectures. Take advantage of this lovely time of the year by picking flowers, tasting seasonal foods, travelling on a train through yellow flower fields, and more.

Special trains

 Japan Railways will run a special train called Gurutto HOKUSO SWEET TRAIN across northern Chiba Prefecture. Enjoy locally-made sweets and fruits as you take a sweet ride around Chiba.

  • Date: Saturday, February 13, 2016
  • Route: Shinjuku- Sawara, Narita- Shinjuku

Enjoy Chiba by Train & Taxi (until February 28, 2016)

  There are 6 one-day courses where visitors can enjoy sightseeing and delicious food by taxi from each of the JR stations of Tateyama, Awa-Kamogawa, Katsuura, Ohara, Oami, Choshi.

Steam Locomotive Returns

 Steam (SL) and diesel (DL) locomotive trains will run between Sawara Station and Choshi Station. Visitors will be welcomed with a variety of attractions such as experiencing local entertainments and tasting some local products.

  • Schedule of Operation: Friday, January 29 to Sunday, January 31
  • Sawara DL: Departs from Choshi at 10:27, arrives at Sawara at 12:10
  • Choshi SL: Departs from Sawara at 14:16, arrives at Choshi at 15:50
  • Tickets & Inquiries: 0570-04-8982 (View Reservation Center Chiba)
  • URL: http://www.jreast.co.jp/chiba/ (Japanese)

CHIBA+KUN Ad-wrapped Train

   picture train

 In cooperation with JR East Japan, the train cars featuring images of CHI-BA+KUN (Chiba Prefecture’s mascot character) and Chiba in the spring will run along the Chuo-Sobu Local Line (between Chiba Station and Mitaka Station) until February 27. 

Strawberry-Picking

 There are many pick-your-own strawberry farms all over the prefecture. They have rare variety of strawberries for picking, such as fragrant “Fusanoka,” which is native to Chiba Prefecture and is popular due to its strong sweetness. Enjoy tastes that you can only sample in Chiba Prefecture in the spring! (January to early May)

Flower Fields

 The vibrant scent of stock, marigolds, poppies and a variety of other flowers in full bloom mark the beginning of spring in Minamiboso (Chikura and Shirahama districts, Minamiboso City). In the flower fields, you can enjoy flower-picking for a small fee.

The Daffodil Festival is held in the Hota district of Kyonan Town. Enjoy the fragrant daffodil flowers in full bloom.

  • Picking flowers: January to March *You can pick poppies until early May.

   URL: http://maruchiba.jp/miryoku/shun/special1501_01.html (Japanese)

  • Daffodil Festival (until February 7)

   URL: http://maruchiba.jp/sys/data/index/page/id/13309/ (Japanese)

◇Chiba Prefecture’s tourism website:

 2)Free Consultation for Foreign Residents

 If you have any concerns about visas, immigration, start-up business, adoption, pension, insurance, labor problems, or any other legal issues, the Chiba International Center will be providing free consultation by specialists on Saturday, January 16. Interpreters are available upon request. Please make reservations at the Chiba International Center.

  • Date: Saturday, January 16
  • Time: 13:00-16:00
  • Place: Chiba International Center 14Fl. Marive East, World Business Garden (WBG) 2-6 Nakase, Mihama-ku, Chiba
  • Access: 5 min. walk from JR Keiyo Line, Kaihin-Makuhari Station South Exit
  • Inquiries and reservations: Chiba International Center (043-297-0245)
  • E-mail: kudo@ccb.or.jp
   Back to top   I.News   II.festivals and Events   III.Exhibitions, Concerts, etc.    

 II. Festivals and Events    

 1) 36th Tateyama Wakashio Marathon/Tateyama City Citizens’ Athletic Field (Tateyama City)

       phototateyama1

  The Tateyama Wakashio Marathon, which began in 1981, is held on the last Sunday of January each year. The number of participants has risen to over 10,000 runners, who bring a day of excitement to the city.

  Runners can choose from one of three courses: the full marathon course, 10km course, and family (2km) course. The marathon route features numerous spots to enjoy Tateyama’s fantastic scenery. If the weather is clear, you can see Mt. Fuji floating on Tateyama Bay. Full marathon runners can enjoy nanohana flowers in full bloom along the 6km-long Boso Flower Line. Come out and cheer on the runners as you enjoy the beauty and hospitality of southern Chiba.

  • Date: Sunday, January 31
  • Place: Tateyama City Citizens’ Athletic Field, 4302-2 Masaki, Tateyama City
  • Access: Shuttle buses departing from the west exit of Tateyama Station (JR Uchibo Line)

             *Parking is limited, so please come by public transportation.

 2) Strawberry Picking in Chiba  

   photostrawberry2   photostrawberry1

  Chiba is one of the top producers of strawberries in Japan, and since they are grown in greenhouses, strawberry season is during the winter months. There are so many places to pick strawberries that the list would go on forever, so here are just a few places across Chiba where you can pick your own big, delicious strawberries!

Fruits Land Toke Tourism Strawberry Farm Erd Beere (Chiba City)

  This strawberry farm has a 5,000m2 space just for strawberry picking, making it one of the largest in the prefecture. It is handicap-accessible and visitors can also purchase fresh vegetables, flowers, and souvenirs.

  • Season: January to late May (open every day)
  • Place: 26-34 Otakacho, Midori-ku, Chiba City
  • Price: January to February 28: 1,700 yen for elementary school students and older; 1,600 for children ages 4-6; 600 for ages 2-3; free for infants under 2
  • March 1 to April 10: 1,600 yen for elementary school students and older; 1,400 for children ages 4-6; 600 for ages 2-3; free for infants under 2 (prices decrease later in season; prices are for 30min all-you-can-eat)
  • Access: From Honda Station (JR Sotobo Line), take the Chiba Chuo Bus bound for Oami. Get off at “Okido Shinden” and walk north 10min.
  • Inquiries: Fruits Land Toke Tourism Strawberry Farm Erd Beere (Fruits Land Toke Kanko Ichigo-en E-ato Be-re) (043-294-0757)

Ebato Strawberry Farm (Asahi City)

  • Season: January to mid-May
  • Place: 76-I, Asahi City
  • Price: January to Feb: 1,500 yen for elementary students and older; 1,300 for preschool and younger (prices decrease in March and April)
  • Access: 5min by taxi from Asahi Station or Iioka Station (JR Sobu Main Line)

              By car from the Chiba-Togane Road, exit at Yokoshibahikari IC, turn left onto Rt. 126 for Asahi. Drive 35min and it’s on the right.

              By car from the Higashi-Kanto Expwy, exit at Taiei IC and take the Toso Toll Road towards Asahi. Exit at Otogari IC, turn right onto Rt. 56, bear left onto Rt. 70 (turns into Rt. 28), then turn left at Fukuronishi intersection onto Rt. 126. It’s 3km down on the right.

Honno Strawberry Production Association (Mobara City)

  The “Honno strawberry” is bred using honeybees to pollinate the plants. These strawberries are so good, you’ll understand the meaning of the Japanese phrase “so delicious your cheeks will fall off.” There are three strawberry-picking farms in the Honno district and direct-sale stores along Rt. 128. There is even a coupon for 100 yen off on the website.

  • Season: late January to early May
  • Price: late January to February: 1,650 yen for elementary students and older; 1,300 yen for children 3 and over, 500 yen for children under 3 (prices decrease later in season)
  • Place: Honno Strawberry Production Association (Honno Ichigo Seisan Kumiai), 767-2 Houme, Mobara City
  • Access: 15min walk from Honno Station (JR Sotobo Line)
  • Inquiries: Strawberry Direct-sale Store (Ichigo Chokubaijo) (0475-34-1515, 9:00-16:00)
  • URL: http://www.honnoh1515.com/

Takanashi Farm (Otaki Town)

  In addition to delicious strawberries that you can dip in condensed milk, there are also jam and dried strawberries for sale.

  • Season: mid-January to early May
  • Place: 1328 Ishigami, Otaki Town
  • Price: Varies
  • Access: 20 min walk from Higashi-Fusamoto Station (Isumi Railway)
  • Inquiries: Takanashi Farm Direct Sale Store (0470-82-2155); home number (0470-82-4368)

Shirakyu Farm (Futtsu City)

  This leisure farm located between Mother Farm and Futtsu Park is open all year round. The strawberries are grown at a height, making it accessible for wheelchairs and baby strollers. Visitors will receive 10 poppies for free, and can reserve a shuttle bus from Onuki Station.

  • Season: January to the end of May
  • Place: 978 Nishi-owada, Futtsu City
  • Price: Varies
  • Access: 10min walk from Onuki Station (JR Uchibo Line)
  • Inquiries: Shirakyu Farm (0439-65-0608)

 3)Best Spots to See the First Sunrise of the New Year

 photonokogiri     tokyowan

  One highlight of New Year’s festivities in Japan is seeing the first sunrise of the new year, hatsuhinode. Chiba Prefecture has some of the best places in the country to see the sunrise. Get a great start to 2016 at one of these spots!

Cape Inubo, Choshi City

  Cape Inubo boasts the earliest sunrise (6:45) in all of Japan, excluding mountain summits and outlying islands.

  • Place: Inubosaki, Choshi City
  • Access: 7 min walk from Inuboh Station on the Choshi Electric Railway Line
  • Inquiries: Choshi City Tourism Association (0479-22-1544)

Sannodai Park, Togane City

  Voted one of the top 100 views in Chiba Prefecture for its outlook over the Pacific Ocean from atop the Kujukuri Plain, Sannodai Park is the perfect spot to see the first sunrise of the year.

  • Place: Togane, Togane City
  • Access: 15 min walk from Togane Station
  • Inquiries: Togane City Tourism Association (0475-50-1142)

Katakai Central Beach (New Year’s Day Festival), Kujukuri Town

  On January 1st starting at 5:30AM, enjoy free amazake and iwashi-dango-jiru (sardine dango soup) and watch the first sun of 2016 rise from the Pacific Ocean.

  • Place: Katakai, Kujukuri Town, Sambu-gun
  • Access: From Togane Station (on the JR Togane Line), take the bus for Katakai or Motosuka and get off at Nishinoshita
  • Inquiries: Kujukuri Town Tourism Association (0475-76-9449)

*For inquiries related to the New Year’s Day Festival or Kujukuri Central Beach, contact the Kujukuri Commerce Association at 0475-76-4165.

Cape Taito Lighthouse, Isumi City

  See the second earliest sunrise in Japan (after Choshi’s Cape Inubo) over the Pacific Ocean from the lighthouse in Isumi City.

  • Place: 2650-2 Misakicho-izumi, Isumi City
  • Access: 5 min by car from Taito Station (JR Sotobo Line) (Parking is limited.)
  • Inquiries: Isumi City Commerce, Industry and Tourism Department (0470-62-1243)

Double Hatsuhinode Cruise on Tokyo Bay

  The Tokyo Bay Ferry leaves from the Port of Kurihama at 6:40, where guests can see the first sunrise from Tokyo Bay. As the ferry nears the Port of Kanaya, the sun will be hidden by Mt. Nokogiri, so guests can see the sun rise a second time over the mountain. Alternatively, guests can board at 6:20 at the Port of Kanaya and see one sunrise from Tokyo Bay. The first 300 people will also get free amazake.

  • Price: One way: 720 yen for adults, 360 yen for children; Round trip: 1,030 yen for adults, 510 yen for children
  • Access: Port of Kanaya is 8 min walk from Hamakanaya Station (JR Uchibo Line); Port of Kurihama is 10 min by Keikyu Bus from Keikyu Kurihama Station or by bus from JR Kurihama Station (Yokosuka Line)
  • Inquiries: Tokyo Bay Ferry Port of Kurihama (046-835-8855), Port of Kanaya (0439-69-2111)
  • URL: http://www.tokyowanferry.com/

Mt. Nokogiri, Futtsu City

  On January 1, the Mt. Nokogiri Ropeway will begin service at 5:30 (cars run every 5 min) specially for visitors to see the sunrise from atop the mountain. Free hot drinks will be served to the first 200 visitors to the observation area on the mountaintop.

  • Place: Mt. Nokogiri Ropeway, 4052-1 Kanaya, Futtsu City
  • Price: Round trip: 930 yen for adults, 450 yen for children
  • Access: 8 min walk from Hamakanaya Station (JR Uchibo Line) or 5 min by car from Futtsu-Kanaya IC on the Futtsu-Tateyama Expressway
  • Inquiries: Mt. Nokogiri Ropeway (0439-69-2314)
  • URL: http://www.mt-nokogiri.co.jp/

 4) Best Spots for the First Shrine Visit of the Year 

          photokatori  

  After seeing the first sunrise of 2016 and eating traditional New Year’s food, you’ll want to wrap up your Japanese oshogatsu experience with hatsumode, the first shrine visit of the New Year. Here are some famous places to enjoy the festivities, as well as some new spots to explore.

Naritasan Shinshoji Temple (Narita City)

  The Fudo statue at Naritasan Shinshoji Temple is known throughout Japan and attracts 3,000,000 visitors from January 1-3, the most of any temple in the country.

  • Place: 1 Narita, Narita City
  • Access: 15 min walk from Narita Station on JR Narita or Keisei lines
  • Inquiries: Naritasan Shinshoji (0476-22-2111)

Chiba Shrine (Chiba City)photochibashrine

  Chiba Shrine, dedicated to “Myoken-sama” (the Myoken Bodhisattva, the deification of the North Star), welcomes about 630,000 visitors during the first three days of the New Year. Visiting hours on New Year’s Day are 0:20 to 2:30AM, then 8:30 to 17:00 until January 3rd.

  • Place: 1-16-1 Innai, Chuo-ku, Chiba City
  • Access: 10 min walk from Chiba Station
  • Inquiries: Chiba Shrine (043-224-2211)

Tamasaki Shrine (Ichinomiya Town)

  At Tamasaki Shrine, you can see the earliest sunrise from a shrine in the entire Kanto area. There will also be amazake and Kazusa Kagura, ancient Shinto music and dancing designated as a Prefectural Designated Intangible Folk Culture Asset.

Katori Shrine (Katori City)

  Enshrined at Katori Shrine is Futsunushi-no-Okami, the kami of lightning and swords and a general of Amaterasu. Katori Shrine is famous for being the ichinomiya, or highest-ranking shrine, of the former Shimosa Province, and also for being a jingu, a shrine connected to the Imperial House of Japan.

  • Place: 1697 Katori, Katori City
  • Access: 10 min by taxi from Sawara Station on the JR Narita Line
  • Inquiries: Katori Shrine (0478-57-3211)
  • URL: http://www.katori-jingu.or.jp  (Japanese)

 

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

 III. Exhibitions, Concerts, etc.           

 1) January Events at the Natural History Museum and Institute, Chiba (Chiba City)

  The Natural History Museum and Institute has a series of special events this January focusing on the sounds of nature. Perk up your ears and see what you can hear this winter!

Seasonal Sound Walk

  • Venture into the Biological Garden and see what sounds you can discover!
  • Date: Saturday, January 23, 13:30-14:30
  • Place: Biological Garden
  • Capacity: none (elementary third-graders and younger must be accompanied by a guardian)
  • Fee: free

The Sounds of Nature: Winter Version

  This lecture will guide you through the sounds of the world, from recorded sounds from the biology collection to various live sounds.

  • Date: Saturday, January 23, 15:00-16:00
  • Place: Lecture Hall
  • Capacity: none (elementary third-graders and younger must be accompanied by a guardian)
  • Fee: free

Newly-Designated Prefectural Cultural Artifacts

  This exhibition introduces the items designated as cultural artifacts by the Chiba Prefectural Board of Education from 2010 to 2014. Learn about these newest additions to Chiba’s cultural history.

  • Date: Saturday, January 30—Sunday, February 28

・Place: Natural History Museum and Institute, Chiba, 955-2 Aoba-cho, Chuo-ku, Chiba City

・Admission: 300 yen; 150 yen for high school and university students; free for junior high school students and under and 65 and older

・Museum Hours: weekdays 9:00-16:30 (last admission is 16:00) (closed Mondays, or Tuesday if Monday is a holiday)

・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/ 

 2) Visit all Seven Lucky Gods for a Successful New Year 

  The shichifukujin, or seven lucky gods, are seven gods representing fortune in Japanese mythology and folklore. Brought to Japan from India and China, the seven lucky gods arrive on the New Year on their Treasure Ship (takarabune) and pass out gifts. The seven gods are: Fukurokuju (health, longevity), Ebisu (fishing, agriculture, good business), Hotei (peace and happiness), Jurojin (health, safety), Bishamonten (wealth, power), Daikokuten (food, wealth), and Benzaiten (music, knowledge and speech). It is said these gods come during New Year’s festivities, so by visiting all seven gods between January 1 and 15, you can obtain good luck and avoid any disasters this year.

Narashino City

  • Bishamonten: Saikoku-ji Temple, 1-2-15 Yatsu, Narashino City
  • Ebisu: Tofuku-ji Temple, 2-11-17 Yatsu, Narashino City
  • Fukurokuju: Tozen-ji Temple, 4-1-21 Tsudanuma, Narashino City
  • Daikokuten: Jigan-ji Temple, 3-6-30, Saginuma, Narashino City
  • Hotei: Chofuku-ji Temple, 2-11-9 Fujisaki, Narashino City
  • Benzaiten: Yakushi-ji Temple, 1-17-14, Okubo, Narashino City
  • Jurojin: Muryo-ji Temple, 2-13-1 Mimomi, Narashino City
  • Period: January 1-3, the 7th of every month
  • Time required: 4 hours on foot
  • Inquiries: Narashino City Commerce and Industry Promotion Division (047-451-1151)

Matsudo City

  • Daikokuten: Hozo-in Temple, 1197 Kamiyakiri, Matsudo City (047-362-4917)
  • Hotei: Zensho-ji Temple, 1857 Matsudo, Matsudo City (047-362-4823)
  • Ebisu: Kinzo-in Temple, 2-419 Asahi-cho, Matsudo City (047-341-9761)
  • Bishamonten: Io-ji Temple, 4-189 Nakakanasugi, Matsudo City (047-341-0728)
  • Benzaiten: Kegon-ji Temple, 1-129, Kode, Matsudo City (047-342-4028)
  • Fukurokuju: Enno-ji Temple, 735 Sendabori, Matsudo City (047-341-6679)
  • Jurojin: Tokuzo-in Temple, 5-270, Higurashi, Matsudo City (047-387-2989)
  • Time required: 3 hours by car or 5-6 hours by train/bus
  • Inquiries: Matsudo City Culture & Tourism Division (047-366-7327), Tokuzo-in Temple (047-387-2989)

Narita City

  • Hotei: Jogan-ji Temple, 234 Nagoya, Narita City (0476-96-2580)
  • Ebisu: Rakuman-ji Temple, 309 Nakazato, Narita City (0476-96-1944)
  • Jurojin: Shofuku-ji Temple, 1872 Nishiosuka, Narita City (0476-96-0067)
  • Daikokuten: Jofuku-ji Temple, 953 Nagi, Narita City (0476-96-3380)
  • Fukurokuju: Narita Dream Farm, 730 Nagi, Narita City (0476-96-1001)
  • Bishamonten: Ryusho-in, 1196 Namegawa, Narita City (0476-96-0217)
  • Benzaiten: Shinjo-in, 163 Takaoka, Narita City (0476-96-0176)
  • Time required: 1-2 hours by car
  • Inquiries: Shimosa Fureai Project Planning Committee (0476-96-2839 

Sammu City

  • Bishamonten: Kannon-do Temple, Niinomi, Sammu City (0475-82-4597)
  • Jurojin: Komyo-ji Temple, 1715 Tomida, Sammu City (0475-82-4597)
  • Daikokuten: Gatsuzo-ji Temple, 1417 Hayafune, Sammu City (0475-82-5299)
  • Fukurokuju: Hoshaku-ji Temple, 449 Matsuomachi-otsutsumi, Sammu City (0479-86-4080)
  • Hotei: Shinko-ji Temple, 1238-1 Matsuomachi-kashikehongo, Sammu City (0479-86-4386)
  • Benzaiten: Kaigen-ji Temple, 432 Kido, Sammu City (0475-84-1296)
  • Ebisu: Jiko-ji Temple, 726 Komatsu, Sammu City (0475-84-0071)
  • Time required: 1-2 hours by car
  • Inquiries: Sammu City Town Revitalization Division (0475-80-1201), Komyo-ji Temple (0475-82-4597)

Kazusa Area (Futtsu City, Kimitsu City, and Kisarazu City)

  • Ebisu: Enkyo-ji Temple, 358 Yawata, Futtsu City (0439-66-0755)
  • Daikokuten: Chosen-ji Temple, 39 Oi, Kimitsu City (0439-32-2112)
  • Benzaiten: Shinjuku-fudodo Temple, 12-15 Shinjuku, Kisarazu City (0439-23-4328)
  • Bishamonten: Kubara-ji Temple, 243 Nishiinohara, Kimitsu City (0439-37-2781)
  • Fukurokuju: Enmyo-ji Temple, 1535 Yamamoto, Kimitsu City (0439-35-2984)
  • Hotei: Fudo-in Temple, 364 Takeoka, Futtsu City (0439-67-8411)
  • Jurojin: Ennyo-ji Temple, 127 Koichibu, Kimitsu City (0439-27-2100)
  • Time required: 2.5 hours by car
  • Inquiries: Zobo-ji Temple (0439-66-0755)

 

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