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Foreign Languages > Chiba International Information Square > Chiba Nanohana News (January 2018)

Update:September 10, 2018

Chiba Nanohana News (January 2018)

 Index

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

 I. News

 Accepting Applications for the 28th Minamiboso Flower March

     The 28th Minamiboso Flower March, scheduled for Saturday, February 17th and Sunday, February 18th, is a sports festival that seeks to promote a healthy mind and body through close contact with the spring breezes and the 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! Registration is open now until February 10th.

  • Date: Saturday, February 17 and Sunday, February 18
  • Place: Chikura Health Center, 2705-6 Chikuracho-seto, Minamiboso City
  • Routes:
    Day 1 (2/17): Shirahama/Nojimasaki Lighthouse course, Uchibo countryside course
    Day 2 (2/18): 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, 33km, 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 https://www.sportsentry.ne.jp/event/t/72039 by Saturday, February 10. (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 (0470-20-4230)

Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games Host Towns

     With the purpose of encouraging globalization, revitalizing local areas, promoting inbound tourism, and contributing to the goal of making Japan a "Sports Nation", the Prime Minister of Japan and his Cabinet are seeking to establish "Host Towns" all over Japan. Other nations may apply to be matched with a registered "Host Town" in Japan that is willing to host international athletes and training camps in preparation for the 2020 Games. It is expected that the partnerships these towns will form with other nations will spur on economic and cultural exchanges as Japan faces the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

     On December 11, the Cabinet Secretariat designated that the Netherlands will be partnered with Chiba Prefecture's Tateyama City. Athletes from the Netherlands will come to the prefecture in order to participate in pre-game training camps. The athletes, including both Olympians and Paralympians, will also visit schools and attend regional events in an effort to encourage sport exchanges in the region.

     Other "Host Towns" in Chiba prefecture include Ichikawa City (Bulgaria) and Asahi City (Germany).

For more information, please see Chiba Prefecture's website.

 

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 II. Festivals and Events

 1)  Early Spring in Chiba

spring

     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.

Some great spots to get out and see this spring:
Minamiboso Flower Fields
(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.
Season: January - March
URL: http://www.mboso-etoko.jp/top_hana.asp

Strawberry Picking
      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 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.
Season: January – early May
URL: https://japan-chiba-guide.com/en/topics/strawberry.html

Hot Springs
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

strawberry

     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!

Fruits Land Toke Tourism Strawberry Farm Erd Beere (Chiba City)
This strawberry farm has a 5,000sqm 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: 1,800 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 8: 1,600 yen for elementary school students and older; 1,500 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.
  • Inquiries: Ebato Strawberry Farm (Ebato Ichigo-en) (0479-63-2549)
  • URL: http://ebato.sweet.coocan.jp/

Honno Strawberry Production Association (Mobara City)
     The “Honno strawberry” is bred using honeybees to pollinate the plants. 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://www10.plala.or.jp/strawberry-honno/

 

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) 38th Tateyama Wakashio Marathon/Tateyama City Citizens’ Athletic Field (Tateyama City)

wakashio

     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 28
  • 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.
  • Inquiries: Tateyama Wakashio Marathon Office (0470-22-3696)
  • URL: http://www.tateyama-wakasio.jp/

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

photokatakai

Katakai Chuo Beach

choshi

Inubosaki

 

  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 3:00 and admission will begin at 5:45).

  • Address: 1 Chuoko, Chuo-ku, Chiba City
  • Access: 12 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)

Inubosaki

  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)

photochibashrine

 

 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) National Important Cultural Property O-naginata Exhibit at the Otaki Castle Museum (Otaki City)

naginata

     From now until February 12th, the Otaki Castle museum will have a special exhibit for O-naginata blades. Made during the Nanboku-cho period, spanning from 1336 to 1392, these blades were produced by renowned swordsmith Hojoji Kunimitsu and are regarded as a National Important Cultural Property.

     The naginata is a type of traditionally made Japanese blade in the form of a pole weapon. Originally used by the samurai class of feudal Japan, the naginata is the iconic weapon of female warriors belonging to Japanese nobility. Naginata for fighting men and warrior monks were called O-naginata, while the shorter lighter versions used by female warriors were called Ko-naginata.

  • Date: Until to 2018/02/12 (Monday)
  • 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, 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.
    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 (0470-82-4959)
  • URL: http://www.chiba-muse.or.jp/SONAN/

 2) New Year’s at Chiba’s Boso-no-Mura (Narita City)

murasho 

     Chiba Prefectural Boso-no-Mura will celebrate New Year’s on Junauary 2 (Tues) and 3 (Wed). There will be traditional Japanese New Year’s decorations, activities like lion dancing, and instrumental performances. It is a great chance to enjoy the atmosphere of a traditional New Year’s celebrations.

  • Date: 1/2 (Tues) – 1/3 (Wed)
  • Time: 9:30-16:00
  • Place: Chiba Prefectural Boso-no-Mura
  • Admission: General 300 yen, 150 for university and highschool students, seniors and children free, free entry for up to one aid of persons with disabilities
  • Access: By bus from the JR Narita Station on the JR Narita Line: about 20 minutes by "Ryukakuji-dai-shako". Get off at "Ryukakuji-dai-2-chome." Walk about 8 minutes. ※There are 1-2 buses going in either direction every hour.
  • Phone: 0476(95)3333
  • Online: http://www2.chiba-muse.or.jp/www/MURA/contents/1520316673745/index.html

 

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