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Foreign Languages > Chiba International Information Square > Chiba Nanohana News (March 2015)

Update:March 16, 2015

Chiba Nanohana News (March 2015)

 Index

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

 I. News              

 1) Kamogawa Seaworld Restaurant “Ocean” Wins Honorable Mention in the 2014 DSA Spatial Design Awards

        photo

  The restaurant “Ocean,” managed by Granvista Hotel & Resort and located within Kamogawa Seaworld, was recognized by the Japan Design Space Association (DSA). The Spatial Design Award is one of the largest spatial and environmental design awards in the world, and promotes excellence in design by hosting exhibitions, publishing books, and organizing events to introduce award-winning works. The honorable mention prizes are divided into categories based on the purpose of the design, and included in the commercial/service category is the restaurant “Ocean” at Kamogawa Seaworld.

 The restaurant, which reopened on March 1, 2014, was remodeled with the purpose of further improving customer experience and constructing a unique environment that can only be created at Kamogawa Seaworld. The interior was carefully designed by Fernando Vasquez at KFX Design, and is the only restaurant in Japan where visitors can eat while they watch orcas swim around. The restaurant is divided into three ocean-themed zones, from a food court to a full-service restaurant. By the entrance is “BEACH,” a relaxing café-style space; “UNDERWATER” mimics the deep ocean that orcas call home; “the CAVE” offers a calm, classy full-service dining experience. Of course the restaurant’s unique menu utilizes the best ingredients from the Boso to create a taste and atmosphere unmatched by any aquarium in the country.

 From delicious food to an award-winning interior design, the restaurant “Ocean” adds new elements to Kamogawa Seaworld.

 2) Ride the Isumi and Kominato Railways Through Fields of Yellow Flowers

             photoisumirailway

 The best way to enjoy March and April is to ride the Isumi and Kominato Railways through the yellow nanohana flowers that bloom along the tracks. The view of these trains running through fields of flowers attracts many tourists, photographers, and train enthusiasts, and the nanohana flower is the namesake of the Nanohana News.

 The Isumi Railway is a 26.8km railway that connects Ohara Station in Isumi City (which connects to the JR Sotobo Line) and Kazusa-Nakano Station in Otaki Town (which connects to the Kominato Railway). The yellow diesel train surrounded by yellow flowers has become emblematic of Chiba and the Isumi/Otaki area. Discounted tickets are available as well: for 1,000 yen for adults (500 yen for children), you can ride all you want for one day. 

 The Kominato Railway runs from Kazusa-Nakano Station in Otaki to Goi Station in Ichihara City (which connects to the JR Uchibo Line). 10 years ago, students, local residents, and members of various organizations gathered together to plant nanohana flowers in 10 places along the railway. Now, every year visitors get to enjoy the beautiful sight.

If you want to take a leisurely train ride across a yellow carpet of flowers, you can use the Boso Crossing ticket discount to ride one-way across the Boso Peninsula on both the Isumi and Kominato Railways. You can get on and off at any station to get a closer look and take pictures, but you cannot go back in the other direction.

<Isumi Railway>

  • Best time to go: early March—early April
  • Place: Isumi Railway (between Ohara Station on the JR Sotobo Line and Kazusa-Nakano Station on the Kominato Railway)
  • Inquiries: Isumi Railway (0470-82-2161)
  • URL: http://isumirail.co.jp/

<Kominato Railway>

  • Best time to go: mid-March—mid-April
  • Place: Kominato Railway (between Goi Station on the JR Uchibo Line and Kazusa-Nakano Station on the Isumi Railway)
  • Inquiries: Ichihara City Tourism Association (0436-22-8355)

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 II. Festivals and Events     

 1) Best Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots

   photosakura   photokyonancherry

 Cherry blossoms are more than just a flower in Japan. Every spring, people gather in parks across the country as the sakura trees burst into pink and white blossoms, then fade as quickly as they came. The sight has inspired poetry, songs, paintings, photography, and all kinds of art. Here are some of the best places in Chiba to hold a hanami, or flower-viewing party, beneath the beautiful blossoms.

<Aoba-no-Mori Park (Chiba City)>

Best spot: anywhere near the 80 types of cherry blossom trees!

  • When to go: Late March—late April
  • Number of trees: 1,500
  • Address: 977-1 Aobacho, Chuo-ku, Chiba City
  • Access: 10 min walk from Keisei Chibadera Station

<Manzai Nature Park (Asahi City)>

  • When to go: Early April—mid-April
  • Number of trees: 1,000
  • Address: 363-1 Sakurai, Asahi City
  • Access: 15 min by car from Asahi Station (JR Sobu Main Line)

<Mobara Park (Mobara City)>

Best spot: one of the top 100 sakura places in Japan; sakura festival is 3/25-4/12

  • When to go: Late March—early April
  • Number of trees: 2,850
  • Address: 1325-1 Takashi, Mobara City
  • Access: From Mobara Station (JR Sotobo Line), take the bus bound for Chonan and get off at “Sogenji Temple” and walk 5 min

<Hakkakuko Park (Togane City)>

Best spot: sakura festival from 3/27-4/8

  • When to go: Late March—early April
  • Number of trees: 1,000
  • Address: 1415-1 Togane, Togane City
  • Access: 5 min walk from Togane Station (JR Togane Line)

<Nagara Town Toshi Noson Koryu Center (Nagara Town)>

Best spot: the Nagara Dam (lit up at night)

  • When to go: Late March—early April
  • Number of trees: 3,200
  • Address: 70-15 Yamanogo, Nagara Town
  • Access: 15 min by car from Mobara-Chonan IC (Ken-O Expressway) or Soga IC (Keiyo Road)

     From Hamano Station (JR Uchibo Line) east exit, take the Kominato Bus bound for “Longwood Station” and get off at the last stop

     From Mobara Station south exit (JR Sotobo Line), take the Kominato Bus bound for “Waraku-no-sato/Longwood Station” bus station and get off at the last stop.

<Sakuma Dam Park (Kyonan Town)>

Best spot: the sakura festival event on 4/5

  • When to go: Late February—mid-April
  • Number of trees: 2,000
  • Address: 39 Okuzure, Kyonan Town
  • Access: From Hota Station or Awa-Katsuyama Station (JR Uchibo Line), take the town loop bus and get off at “Sakuma dam iriguchi.”

 2) Clam-Digging at Futtsu Beach (Futtsu City)

               photofuttu

 Cape Futtsu in southern Chiba juts out from the Boso Peninsula into Tokyo Bay. On the cape surrounded by the ocean is a prefectural park, Futtsu Clam-Digging Beach. The beach will open on Thursday, March 19 for visitors and their families to gather shellfish, and will be open until September 14. On opening day, there will be a welcome event by the clam-digging area, and the Futtsu City Tourism Association Futtsu Branch will pass out free clam miso soup. Also available are a room at a beachfront umi-no-ie house for visitors to rest in (for an additional fee), free parking, and salt water to clean the sand out of the clams. This is a great opportunity for shellfish-lovers to collect their food fresh from the ocean.

  • Dates: Thursday, March 19—Monday, September 14
  • Place: Futtsu Beach, Futtsu, Futtsu City
  • Fee: Clam-digging fee (includes net bag): 1,800 yen for junior high students and older (up to 2kg), 900 yen for elementary students (up to 1kg), 900 yen for each additional 1kg

                   Beach house fee: 300 yen for junior high students and over, 200 yen for elementary students and younger

                   Clam-digging tools are available to purchase.

  • Access: From Aohori Station (JR Uchibo Line), take the bus bound for Futtsu Park (“Futtsu-koen”) and get off at the park entrance (“Koen-iriguchi”)
  • Applications and inquiries: Futtsu Fishery Cooperative Association (0439-87-2121 ext. 5561), Futtsu Clam-Digging Beach Beach House (Umi-no-ie) (0439-87-2233)
  • URL: http://www.jf-futtsu.com/ 

 3) Sakae Town 60th Anniversary Event: the 20th Sakae Town Fureai Culture Festival/Fureai Plaza Sakae (Sakae Town)

  Sakae Town is located in Imba District in northern Chiba next to Inzai City and Narita City. The town was formed when Fukama Village and Ajiki Town merged in 1955 and gained its current borders in 1956 when it annexed part of neighboring Kawachi Village (now Kawachi Town) in Ibaraki Prefecture. This March, Sakae Town is celebrating its 60th anniversary and the 20th Sakae Town Fureai Culture Festival.

  Social circle/clubs that use the Fureai Plaza Sakae and other individuals and organizations of all kinds will display the results of their learning and practice from Saturday, March 7 to Sunday, March 8. There will also be handmade goods for sale, performances by a chorus and orchestra, and more! Whether you live nearby or you’ve never been before, this is a great opportunity to learn about Sakae Town and see what its residents are up to!

Fureai Center Venue

Calligraphy, haiku poetry, paintings, photography, Go (board game), ceramic art, goods for sale, and more.

Culture Hall Venue

Chorus concert, Japanese dances, classical ballet, aerobics, hula dancing, orchestra and chorus concert, and more.

  • Date: Saturday, March 7—Sunday, March 8 from 10:00-17:00 (until 16:00 on the 8th)
  • Place: Fureai Plaza Sakae, 938-1, Ajiki, Sakae Town
  • Access: 15 min walk from Ajiki Station on the JR Narita Line
  • Inquiries: Sakae Town Lifelong Learning Division (Fureai Plaza Sakae) (0476-95-1112)
  • URL: http://www.town.sakae.chiba.jp/kyouiku/furepura 

 4) 3rd Sakagura Sake Festival/Ohara main street (Isumi City)

  posterisumisakagura

Do you like alcohol? Are you looking for an excuse to visit Isumi? If so, you should check out the Sakagura Sake Festival on Sunday, March 8. Held on the main street near Ohara Station, the festival will feature a variety of events including a toast with 1,000 people using special sake cups, and live performances by professional taiko drummer Takeru. Visitors can also visit the Isumi food market, sample some cheese with last year’s sake, and get free amazake! Of course, the event is open to those 20 years old and over, and visitors are strongly encouraged to use public transportation.

<Toast of 1,000>

  • Time: 12:00
  • Place: Ohara main street

<Live Taiko Drum Performance by Takeru>

  • Times: 10:00, 12:00
  • Place: Kido-izumi Sake Brewery

・Date: Sunday, March 8, 10:00-15:00  *Festival will take place rain or shine.

・Place: Kido-izumi Sake Brewery (Kido-izumi Sakagura), Ohara main street (in front of Ohara Station)

・Access: near Ohara Station on the JR Sotobo Line or the Isumi Railway   *Please come by public transportation.

・Inquiries: Sotobo Isumi Sakagura-aki Executive Committee (in the Isumi City Commerce and Industry Association) (0470-62-1191)

 5) 4th Ichigo-no-Sato Sammu S1 Grand Prix (Sammu City)

               photosanmusi

 Sammu City is located along the Kujukuri coast just east of Chiba City. While it has great views of the Pacific Ocean, Sammu City also has a thriving agricultural industry, and is one of the major producers of strawberries in Chiba Prefecture. If you have a sweet tooth, you won’t want to miss this “once in a lifetime” (ichigo ichie) chance to try Sammu strawberries at the S1 Grand Prix. On Saturday, March 14, visitors can sample a variety of desserts made with strawberries specially grown in Sammu City, and vote to determine who will win the Grand Prix. There will also be booths selling specialty goods.

  • Date: Saturday, March 14 11:00-15:00
  • Place: Hasunuma Seaside Park parking lot #1, 368-1 Hasunuma-ho, Sanmu City
  • Access: 20 min by city bus or car from Matsuo Station on the JR Sobu Main Line
    30 min by airport shuttle bus from Narita Airport Terminal 2 Station
  • Inquiries: S1 Grand Prix Planning Committee Office, Sanmu City Agriculture, Commerce, Industry, and Tourism Department (0475-80-1202)

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 III. Exhibitions, Concerts, etc.           

 1) Jellyfish Exhibit at the Coastal Branch of the Natural History Museum and Institute, Chiba (Katsuura City)

 The Coastal Branch of Natural History Museum and Institute, Chiba (Umi no Hakubutsukan) in Katsuura is a nature museum that explores the sea and nature of the Boso Peninsula. The museum takes advantage of its location to hold exhibits, nature-watching events, and hands-on experiences that vary with the seasons.

 The Marine Science Gallery is all about jellyfish. From the growth and development of their bodies to the types of jellyfish that can be found near Chiba, visitors will leave with a new appreciation for these unusual sea creatures. In addition to Jellyfish Watching and Seaweed Watching, visitors to the museum can try out the Ocean Experience Corner to learn about the creatures of the ocean first-hand.

<Ocean Experience Corner>

 In the Display Room, an Experience Exchange Staff member will lead fun hands-on experiences and simple creations related to creatures of the ocean.

  • Date: Saturday, March 21 at 11:00-11:30, 13:30-14:00
  • Capacity: 6 people per session, first-come first-served (same-day sign up)
  • Fee: Free (museum admission is separate)

Date: Saturday, February 14—Wednesday (holiday), May 6

Place: Coastal Branch of the Natural History Museum and Institute, Chiba; 123 Yoshio, Katsuura City

Open 9:00-16:30 (last admission at 16:00)

Closed Mondays (or the next day if Monday is a holiday)

Admission: Adults 200 yen, high school and college students 100 yen, junior high school and younger/age 65 and older free

Access: 15 min on foot from Ubara Station (JR Sotobo Line)

Inquiries: Coastal Branch of the Natural History Museum and Institute, Chiba (0470-76-1133)

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

 2) Electric Cars, Balloon Slime, and more at the Chiba Museum of Science and Industry (Ichikawa City)

  Spring is a great time of year to see Chiba’s natural beauty, but you can also learn about modern science and technology. 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. 

 This March, the museum will host some hands-on exhibitions where visitors can experience scientific phenomenon close-up. Visitors of all ages can ride in an electric car, play a quiz game to win prizes, make a balloon slime creation, and make CHI-BA+KUN origami.

<Ride in a Talip Electric Car>

  • Date: Saturday, March 14 at 11:05 and 13:50
  • Capacity: 20 groups per session (3rd grade children and under must be accompanied by a guardian)
  • How to apply: check-in up to 20 minutes prior to the session start time. If over capacity, check-in will close 10 minutes prior to start time and participants will be chosen by lottery.
  • Fee: free

<Explore the Science Museum!>

Answer quiz questions as you explore the museum to win a badge with the museum’s mascot character on it.

  • Date: Saturday, March 14; Sunday, March 15; Saturday, March 21; Sunday, March 22 from 12:45-14:30
  • Capacity: 50 people, first-come first-served (preschool-age children must be accompanied by a guardian)
  • Fee: free (museum admission is separate)

<Make a balloon slime creation>

Blow up slime like a balloon and play with your new creation! You can even take the slime home.

  • Date: Saturday, March 21 at 13:30, 14:00, 14:30, 15:00, 15:30
  • Capacity: 20 people per session, first-come first-served (3rd grade children and under must be accompanied by a guardian)
  • Fee: 100 yen

<Make CHI-BA+KUN origami>

  • Date: Sunday, March 22 from 10:00-12:00, 13:30-15:00
  • Capacity: 50 people per session (3rd grade children and under must be accompanied by a guardian)
  • Fee: free (museum admission is separate)

Chiba Museum of Science and Industry

・Hours: 9:00-16:30

・Closed Mondays (or the next day if Monday is a holiday), New Year’s holidays, and for temporary maintenance

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

・Access: 15 min walk from Motoyawata Station (JR Sobu Main Line)

・General museum admission: 300 yen(150 yen for high school and college students; free for junior high school students and younger, age 65 and older)

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

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

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