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

Update:January 11, 2017

Chiba Nanohana News (January 2017)


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

 I. News  

1) Innovative Chiba Products





  Chiba Prefecture, home to many small and medium-sized businesses, seeks to utilize the creativity and innovation of its industries to develop exceptional products. The prefecture supports these businesses by designating outstanding products as “Chiba Prefecture Certified Monodzukuri Products,” and promotes new economic opportunities by introducing these products at a variety of exhibitions and other events. “Monodzukuri” refers to the high-quality craftsmanship and expertise required to create such products.

  During 2016, Chiba Prefecture certified 6 unique products, including a sports wheelchair for children, an posture support appliance developed for the needs of surgeons, and an automatic solar tracking light system for lighting dark areas with nature light. Since the Chiba Prefecture Certified Monodzukuri Products system was established in 2006, a total of 138 products have been certified.

 2) The 2020 Olympic Surfing Venue will be in Chiba!


  On December 8th, the International Olympic Committee officially announced that the town of Ichinomiya’s Tsurigasaki Beach, located in southern Kujukuri, will be the surfing venue for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Paralympic Games. This is in addition to the already three Olympic and four Paralympic games that will be held in Chiba Prefecture.

  The town of Ichinomiya hosts about 750,000 tourists each year, and an estimated 600,000 of which are believed to come specifically for the surf located along Chiba’s Pacific coastline. As Chiba Prefecture moves forward in preparation for the Games, expect to see an abundance of promotional events and activities to enjoy.

 3) Do you know what to do during a natural disaster?(Matsudo City)


  Matsudo City is running a special‘disaster-awareness’ session for foreign residents. Learn what to do, where to go, and who you can ask for help during a natural disaster. A special lunch will also be provided so you can give emergency food rations a try!

  The session is completely free and is open to any non-Japanese nationals. Bookings can be made in English or Japanese by calling the Culture, Tourism & International Division. All participants will also receive a special gift. Don’t miss out!

  • Date: Saturday 4th of February, 2017
  • Time: 12:15-17:00
  • Venue: Matsudo Shimin Kaikan, 2nd floor (7 minute walk from Matsudo Station East Exit)
  • Vacancies: 30  (Free of charge!)
  • Contents: Special lunch experience‐emergency food rations / Earthquake preparation seminar/Evacuation simulation/AED training
  • Bookings: Matsudo City (Culture, Tourism & International Division)


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 II. Festivals and Events

1) Chiba Photo Lottery

  Early spring is one of the best times of the year to enjoy Chiba Prefecture! While many other regions of Japan are still covered in ice and snow, you can already enjoy flowers, fresh fruits, and other spring delights here in Chiba.

  Chiba Prefecture, as part of an ongoing photo lottery until Tuesday, March 21st, is giving away Chiba-kun memorabilia and travel vouchers each month to users who upload seasonal pictures of Chiba Prefecture raised strawberries. For more information about this campaign and to upload photos for a chance to win, please see https://love-love-chiba.jp/.

Some great spots to get out and see this spring:

Minamiboso Flower Fields    

photoflowers(Chikura and Shirahama districts, Minamiboso City)

  The vibrant scent of stock, pot marigolds, poppies, and a variety of other flowers in full bloom signal in the beginnings of spring. You can also enjoy flower picking (fee-based), so please bring home a little bit of the early spring season with you.

Strawberry Picking 

photochibaberry  Each winter visitors to Chiba take pleasure in strawberry picking at locations all over the prefecture. This year is an especially great time to go picking because the new “CHI-BA+BERRY” is now being produced on 50 strawberry farms across Chiba Prefecture. Visitors are sure to enjoy the large, perfectly tangy, sweet, and juicy berry. Many facilities also have rare varieties of strawberry for picking, such as “Aiberry,” which is known as a high-grade variety, and the sweet, fragrant “Fusanoka,” which was cultivated in Chiba Prefecture. Enjoy freshly picked strawberries in Chiba.

Hot Springs

ohotoonsen  Take a refreshing soak in one of the hot springs located on Chiba’s Pacific Coast. The Senri-no-Kaze Hot Springs, in Tateyama, are located along the southern coastline of the Boso Peninsula. With scenic views and fresh sea food from local fisheries, it’s a great place to relax this spring.

  • Location: 1495-1 Fujiwara, Tateyama City
  • Access: 30 min by car from Tomiura IC on the Futtsu-Tateyama Road
  • Inquiries: Tateyama Hot Springs Senri-no-Kaze (0470-28-2211)

2) Strawberry Picking in Chiba 

  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. Here are just a few of the places from across Chiba where you can pick your own juicy and delicious strawberries!photostrawberry

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: 1,700 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 mid-May
  • Place: 978-1 Nishi-owada, Futtsu City
  • Price: Varies
  • Access: 10min walk from Onuki Station (JR Uchibo Line)
  • Inquiries: Shirakyu Farm (0439-65-0608)

3) Accepting Applications for the 27th Minamiboso Flower March 

  The 27th Minamiboso Flower March is a sports festival that seeks to promote a healthy mind and body through close contact with the spring breezes and fresh ocean air of Minamiboso. The march is officially recognized by the Japan Marching League (JML), the Internationaler Volkssportverband/Japan Volkssport Association (IVV/JVA), the Kanto-Koshin’etsu Marching League (KKML), and the All Japan Walking Cup (AJWC). Walkers, hikers, strollers, and outdoor enthusiast of all kinds will not want to miss this event!

  • Date: Saturday, March 4 and Sunday, March 5
  • Place: Chikura Health Center, 2705-6 Chikuracho-seto, Minamiboso City
  • Routes: 

         Day 1 (3/4): Shirahama/Nojimasaki Lighthouse course, Uchibo countryside course

         Day 2 (3/5): Maruyama/Wadaura Beach course

  • Distance: Each route begins and ends at the Chikura Health Center, with different length courses of 5km, 10km, 11km, 20km, 23km and 35km. 
  • Start time: varies by course length
  • Bring: lunch, drinking water, rain gear, hat, health insurance card, proof of payment, small plastic cup (tea will be passed out)
  • Participant qualifications: Walkers with good walking manners who can follow traffic rules and event rules. All nationalities, ages, genders, etc. are welcome. Junior high school students and younger must be accompanied by a guardian, and handicapped participants must be accompanied.
  • To apply: Fill out the application form and send it via mail, deliver it directly to City Hall, or submit it online at http://www.sportsentry.ne.jp/event/t/68017 by Tuesday, January 31. (Applications will be accepted after the deadline, but your name will not be recorded in the list of registered participants in the event magazine. You can also sign up on the day of the event, but participation prizes may run out.)
  • Access: 5min walk from Chikura Station (JR Uchibo Line)
  • Inquiries: Minamiboso Flower March Planning Committee Office

        TEL:(0470)33-1091   FAX:(0470)20-4230

 4) Recommended Spots for Hatsuhinode (First Sunrise of the Year)


Katakai Chuo Beach    




  In Japan, it is a popular tradition to go and see the hatsuhinode, or first sunrise of the year. Chiba has a variety of places to view the sunrise all over the prefecture, including spots with gorgeous mountain views or full views of the Pacific Ocean. There are excellent spots all around, so you can stick to somewhere around home or you can take a short ride out to the beach or mountains. Below are some great locations to see the hatsuhinode in Chiba:

Chiba Port Tower

  The first 200 visitors can view the first sunrise of the year from the observation deck of the 113m tall Port Tower (if necessary, numbered tickets will be distributed at 4:00 and admission will begin at 5:45).

  • Address: 1 Chuoko, Chuo-ku, Chiba City
  • Access: 15 min. by foot from Chiba Minato Station (JR Keiyo Line)

                       Free parking (250 spaces available)

  • Admission: 420 yen for high school students and older

                      200 yen for elementary and junior high school students

  • Inquiries: (043)241-0125 (Chiba Port Tower)


  With the exception of mountain and remote island locations, here you can see the earliest first sunrise in all of Japan (predicted to be at 6:45).

  • Address: Inubosaki, Choshi City
  • Access: 7 min. by foot from Inubosaki Station (Choshi Railway)
  • Inquiries: (0479)22-1544 (Choshi City Tourism Association)

Katakai Chuo Beach: “New Year’s Festival” 

  Observe the first sunrise climbing out from the Pacific Ocean at Katakai Beach.

  • Address: Katakai, Kujukuri-machi, Sanbu-gun
  • Access: Take the bus departing from Togane Station (JR Togane Line) bound for Katakai or Motosuka and get off at Nishinoshita.
  • Inquiries: (0475) 76-9449 (Kujukuri Town Tourism Association)

Umihotaru PA

  Umihotaru is located in the middle of the Tokyo Bay Aqualine, which connects Kisarazu and Kawasaki. Enjoy the first sunrise of the year while surrounded by the waters of Tokyo Bay.

  • Address: Nakajima-Chisaki, Kisarazu City
  • Access: Tokyo Bay Aqua Line
  • Inquiries: (0438) 41-7401 (Trans-Tokyo Bay Road)

Seichoji Temple’s Asahigamori

  Enjoy the view of the ocean and mountains from one of Japan’s top 100 most beautiful sunrise viewing spots. The location is also historical famous for its connection the Holy Priest Nichiren and Nichiren Buddhism.

  • Address: 322-1 Kiyosumi, Kamogawa City
  • Access: 15 min. by the Community Bus bound for Kiyosumi departing Awa-Amatsu Station (JR Sotobo Line)
  • Inquiries: (04) 7095-2218 (Kamogawa City Tourism Association Amatsu-Kominato Branch Office)

Shirahama Nojimazaki Lighthouse

  The silhouette created by the first sunrise of the year and the lighthouse makes for a picturesque start to the new year.

  • Address: 627-9 Shirahama, Shirahama-cho, Minamiboso City
  • Access: Take the Nitto bus bound for Shirahama from Tateyama Station (JR Uchibo Line) and get off at Nojimazaki Lighthouse.
  • Inquiries: (0470) 38-4412 (Minamiboso City Tourism Association Shirahama Branch Office)

 5) Recommended Hatsumode (New Year’s Shrine Visit) Spots in Chiba

  In addition to the going to see the first sunrise of the year, another popular tradition is the hatsumode, or one’s first visit to a shrine or temple of the New Year.

Chiba Shrine (Chiba City)


 The shrine will offer prayer services from 0:20-2:30 early New Year’s morning, and from 8:30-17:00 from January 1-3.

  • Address: 1-16-1 Innai, Chuo-ku, Chiba City
  • Access: 10 min. by foot from Chiba Station (JR Sobu Line or Keisei Line)
  • Inquiries: (043)224-2211 (Chiba Shrine)

Katsushika Hachiman Shrine (Ichikawa City)

  Right around midnight of New Year’s Eve, the shrine maidens will perform a dance at the kaguraden hall.

  • Address: 4-2-1 Hachiman, Ichikawa City
  • Access: 8 min. by foot from Motoyawata Station (JR Sobu Line) or 5 min. by foot from Yawata Station (Keisei Line)
  • Inquiries: (047)332-4488 (Katsushika Hachimangu Shrine Office)

Katori Shrine (Katori City)

photokatorishrine  Approximately 500,000 visitors come to Katori Shrine over the first three days of the New Year to pray for safe travels, safety for their family, success in business, and protection against bad luck.

Naritasan Shinshoji Temple (Narita City)

  Nationally renowned as Narita’s O-Fudo-sama, approximately 3,000,000 visitors come to worship here during the first three days of the New Year (the largest number of visitors in the nation for a temple).

  • Address: 1 Narita, Narita City
  • Access: 15 min. by foot from Narita Station (JR Narita Line or Keisei Line)
  • Inquiries: (0476)22-2111 (Naritasan Shinshoji Temple)

Tamasaki Shrine (Ichinomiya Town)

  Many visitors from the Tokyo Metropolitan area come here to pray for good luck. There will also be the Chiba Prefecture-designated Intangible Folk Asset “Kazusa Kagura” dance.

Awa Shrine (Tateyama City)

  This shrine’s history is said to date back to over 2670 years ago. Visitors come here to pray for safe travels, good luck, protection from bad luck, safety for one’s family, and success in business.

  • Address: 589 Daijingu, Tateyama City
  • Access: 5 min. by foot from the Awa Shrine bus stop on the JR bus bound for Awa-Shirahama via Awa-Kanbe departing from the east exit of Tateyama Station (JR Uchibo Line).
  • Inquiries: (0470)28-0034 (Awa Shrine)

Seichoji Temple (Kamogawa City)

  Beginning on midnight of New Year’s Day, special prayers for protection against bad luck, etc. will be held every day for one week (prayers will be held at starting at midnight (12:01) from January 1-7). 

  • Address: 322-1 Kiyosumi, Kamogawa City
  • Access: Take the Kamogawa Community Bus departing from Awa-Amatsu Station (JR Sotobo Line) to the Seichoji Temple bus stop.
  • Inquiries: (04)7094-0525 (Seichoji Temple)

Tokyo Bay Kannon (Futtsu City)

  The Thirteen Buddhas and Seven Gods of Fortune, said to bring happiness and prosperity, are located throughout the 20 floors of the Tokyo Bay Kannon. You can pray to each of these holy figures as you climb the statue and enjoy spectacular views.

 6) Visit all of the Seven Lucky Gods for a Prosperous New Year 

  The shichifukujin, or seven lucky gods, are the seven gods representing fortune in Japanese mythology and folklore. Brought to Japan from India and China, the seven lucky gods arrive by treasure ship (takarabune) on the New Year and passed 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 1st and the 15th, you can obtain good luck for the whole year. Below are some suggested tour routes, consult your regional tourism or cultural division for more locations near you.

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 in Kujukuri

  • 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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 III. Exhibitions, Concerts, etc.

1) Chiba Prefectural Museum of Art Winter Art Collection (Chiba City)

fujitaart1  Until March 20th, the Chiba Prefectural Museum of Art’s winter collection will display works of wooden sculpture by Tomoichi Fujita. This collaborative exhibit, titled “Tales born of wood,” will feature intricate pieces of wooden sculpture by Tomoichi Fujita as well as other Chiba Artists. 

Chiba Prefectural Museum of Art

  • Dates: Until 2017/03/20
  • Hours: 9:00-16:30 (Closed on Mondays, if Monday is a Holiday the museum will be Open but then will be closed on the following business Day)
  • Entrance: General 300 yen, Students 150 yen, Seniors and Children FREE
  • Access: 10 minute walk from Chiba Minato Sta. via JR Keiyo Line or Chiba Monorail
  • Phone: 043-242-8311
  • Website: http://www.chiba-muse.or.jp/ART/english/index.html 

 2) Special Warrior Sword Exhibit at the Otaki Castle Museum (Otaki City)




  The Nihonto, or Japanese sword, was greatly developed in the 10th century, around the time of the formation of the lordship system in Japan. From December 15th to February 12th of next year, the Otaki Castle Museum will have “Onaginata,” a sword forged by the master swordsmith Hojoji Kunimitsu. The sword was made Muromachi Era (1392-1573), and has been nationally designated as an Important Cultural Asset.

 The Castle Museum also has several other ongoing exhibits including:

The Castle and the Warrior

  An introduction of the warrior age, including a display of various battle armor.

The Castle and the Suburbs

  The theme of this exhibition is the culture and lifestyle of the people who lived in castle towns. At the outset of the 17th century, as many as 12,000 people were living in assigned residential areas in the newly formed town surrounding Otaki castle. There were warriors, farmers, craftsmen and merchants, and people with similar professions assembled together creating their own sub-towns (modern day Koya Machi, Kaji Machi, Saruine Machi, etc.).

  Articles made by craftsmen as well as craftsmen's tools, merchant's account books, cash boxes, various currencies used at the time, warriors attire, as well as crockery and house ware used at the time are on display together with artistic and cultural assets such as Chinese ink paintings, tea ceremony utensils, and more.

The Castle and the Town

  A diorama based on the Otaki Castle Town gives a clear picture of the original site. In addition to the model, some of the old castle's facilities that have been designated tangible cultural assets are shown on the photo-panels.

  • Date: 2016/12/15 (Thurs) to 2017/02/12 (Sun)
  • 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
  • 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. By train, take the Isumi Railway to Otaki Station and walk for 15 min.
  • General admission: 200 yen; high school and university students: 100 yen; junior high school and younger, age 65 and older: free)
  • Inquiries: Otaki Castle Museum (0470-82-3007)


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