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

Update:May 19, 2015

Chiba Nanohana News (May 2015)

 Index

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

 I. News               

 1) Ken-O Expressway opens from Kozaki IC to Taiei JCT on June 7

  The Metropolitan Inter-City Expressway, also known as the Ken-O Expressway, is a toll highway that loops around the Tokyo Metropolitan Area connecting Chiba, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, and Kanagawa. The highway is about 40-60km from the center of Tokyo and measures 300 km around (currently 220 km have been completed and opened to traffic).  It is designed to ease traffic and strengthen connecting roads around Tokyo, and the latest segment has opened from Kozaki Interchange in Kozaki Town to Taiei Junction on the Higashi-Kanto Expressway (Wangan Ichikawa-Itako) in Narita City. Once it connects with Matsuo-Yokoshiba IC, which connects the Ken-O Expressway and Choshi Renraku Road, drivers can go from the Aqua-Line through Chiba up to Ibaraki Prefecture.

  Starting on June 7, drivers can use the new segment of the Ken-O Expressway. Take advantage of this expansion and go on a drive to somewhere new!

 2) Red Bull Air Race World Championship 2015

                 The poster of Red Bull Air Race World Championship 2015

 The Red Bull Air Race World Championship 2015, the fastest motorsport in the world, will be held for the first time in Japan. The championship is a series of races that take place at cities around the world, and the second of eight total stages will be held in Chiba City.  Chiba City is the birthplace of civil aviation in Japan, and the event venue, Makuhari Seaside Park, faces Tokyo Bay and is part of Japan’s longest artificial beach.

 Here in Chiba on May 16-17, the most skilled pilots in the world will race between inflated pylons, called Air Gates, on a track 5-6km long. The pilots race against the clock at low altitude at speeds of up to 370kph, pulling up to 10Gs. Those with the fastest time at each race win the championship. Representing Japan is Yoshihide Muroya, the first Asian pilot who first joined the race in 2009. Cheer on the pilots and experience the thrill of the air race right here in Chiba!

  • Date: Saturday, May 16—Sunday, May 17
  • Place: Makuhari Seaside Park, 2-116 Hibino, Mihama-ku, Chiba City
  • Access: about 20 min walk from Kaihim-Makuhari Station (JR Keiyo Line)

                     By bus from Kaihim-Makuhari Station, take the Shintoshin-Makuhari-sen #01 bus bound for QVC Marine Field and get off at QVC Marine Field (about 10 min)

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 II. Festivals and Events    

 1) Café Terrace on the Sakai River 2015 (Urayasu City)

        photourayasu

 For only two days in May, a café will float down the Sakai River to the center of Urayasu City. The town will be bustling with people riding in boats, stalls with hotel gourmet food, and performances on stages right on the water. The main event is the “wedding boat,” in which the newlyweds ride down the river accompanied by hayashi festival music and give their blessing to all the visitors. Come enjoy the delicious local food and exciting atmosphere!

  • Date: Saturday, May 30—Sunday, May 31, 10:00-16:00 (cancelled in case of rain)
  • Place: Sakai River near City Hall, Urayasu City
  • Access: 15 min walk from Shin-Urayasu Station (JR Keiyo Line) or 20 min walk from Urayasu Station (Tokyo Metro Tozai Line)
  • By bus from Urayasu Station or Maihama Station, take the City Hall Line (“Shiyakusho-sen”) to City Hall (“Shiyakusho-mae”), or take the Tomioka Line, the Tomioka S Line, or the Maihama Resort Line to City Hall/Post Office (“Shiyakusho-iriguchi/Yubinkyoku-mae”).
  • Inquiries: Urayasu City Tourism Promotion Committee Office (within the Urayasu Tourism Convention Association) (047-350-7555)
  • URL: http://www.urayasu-kankou.jp 

 2) Niwanowa Art & Craft Fair/Sakura Castle Ruins Park (Sakura City)

 On May 30 and 31, come check out arts and crafts made by people who were born in Chiba, who have lived in Chiba at some point, or who make crafts in Chiba, and have an affinity for the land of Chiba. At Sakura Castle Ruins Park, there will be outdoor tents displaying and selling products, and cafes from all over Chiba will have booths with all kinds of food and drinks. 

  • Date: Saturday, May 30-Sunday, May 31 10:00-16:00
  • Place: Sakura Castle Ruins Park, Jonaicho, Sakura City
  • Admission: 300 yen; free for elementary school students and younger
  • Access: 20 min walk from Sakura Station (JR Sobu Main Line) or Keisei-Sakura Station (Keisei Line)

                   *There is no designated parking lot for the event, so please come by public transportation.

 3) Firefly Viewing in Isumi City and Minamiboso City

 photohotaru

  Late May to June is the perfect time of year to see fireflies. There are many places in Chiba where the environment is just right to enjoy a magical night in nature.

For fireflies in Isumi City, check out Genjibotaru-no-Sato. This spot in the Yamada district of Isumi City along the Yamada River is home to many Genjibotaru, the common Japanese name for the Luciola cruciata and Luciola vitticollis species of firefly. For this reason, the area has been designated as a protected area in order to preserve the environment for the fireflies. Every year in late May and early June from around 19:00 to 21:00, the dreamlike dance of the fireflies attracts visitors from all over.

  In Minamiboso City, fireflies light up the night at the Minamiboso Firefly Fantasia at Shirahama Flower Park from late May to late June. See both “land” and “sea” fireflies and turn your night into a twinkling fantasy.

Genjibotaru-no-Sato (Isumi City)

  • Date: late May, 19:00-21:00
  • Place: Genjibotaru-no-Sato, Yamada District, Isumi City
  • Access: 30 min walk from Kazusa-azuma Station (Isumi Railway)

               *The Isumi Railway does not run at night. Make sure to check your last train time.

                     By car from Rt. 465, turn onto Rt. 176 by the Yamada Post Office and it’s about 3 min by car on the left.

  • Inquiries: Isumi City Commerce, Industry, and Tourism Division (0470-62-1243)

Firefly Fantasia (Minamiboso City)

  • Date: Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from Friday, May 29—Sunday, June 21, 20:00-21:00
  • Place: Large Dome Greenhouse at Shirahama Flower Park, 1454-37 Shirahamacho-nemoto, Minamiboso City
  • Fee: Free for guests staying at participating accommodations in the Minamiboso Hot Spring Association, 500 yen for all other visitors junior high school age and older. Elementary school students and younger get in free but must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Access: From Tateyama Station (JR Uchibo Line) east exit, take the JR bus bound for Awa-Shirahama via Awa-Kambe and get off at Shirahama Flower Park (bus takes about 25 min).

                  By car from Tomiura IC on the Futtsu-Tateyama Road, take Rt. 127 (Tateyama By-pass) south and continue onto Rt. 410. It’s about 30 min drive from the IC on the right.

 4) Kokusai Festa Chiba & Makuhari Charity Flea Market/Kanda University of International Studies (Chiba City)

 On Sunday, May 24, international exchange and cooperation organizations from around Chiba Prefecture will gather in Makuhari to participate in this year’s Kokusai (International) Festa Chiba!  Learn about the diverse international activities being conducted by these organizations, and also stop by the food and fair trade product market, folk instrument performances, and stamp rally.

 Additionally, the Makuhari Charity Flea Market, which is organized primarily by Kanda University students, will be held on both Saturday and Sunday. Both events will be held rain or shine, so come out and enjoy a weekend of fun!

  • Date: Kokusai Festa Chiba: Sunday, May 24, 10:00-15:00

           Makuhari Charity Flea Market: Saturday, May 23—Sunday, May 24, 10:00-15:00

  • Place: Kanda University of International Studies, 1-4-1 Wakaba, Mihama-ku, Chiba City
  • Access: 15 min walk from Kaihin-Makuhari Station (JR Keiyo Line)
  • Admission: Free
  • Inquiries: Chiba International Center (043-297-0245)

 5) 9th Sosa Garden Tree Festival/Sosa City Lifelong Learning Center (Sosa City)

               Sosa Garden Tree Festival

  Chiba Prefecture, and in particular Sosa City, is famous for ueki, also known as garden trees or “macro bonsai.” The prefecture has designated growers with exceptional skills and knowledge as “Certified Traditional Arborists.” Over half of these certified growers are located in Sosa City. In addition, more than half of the trees designated as the top 100 precious wood garden plants in Chiba Prefecture are located in Sosa City.

 This Golden Week, the “bonsai city” welcomes visitors to the 9th Sosa Garden Tree Festival. Garden trees, flowers, decorative plants, potted garden trees, saplings, and more will be available for purchase for cheap at the market. This event is a great opportunity to brighten up your home this spring and see one of the highlights of Chiba Prefecture.

  • Date: Sunday, May 3 (13:00-16:00) and Monday, May 4—Tuesday, May 5 (holiday, 9:00-16:00)
  • Place: Sosa City Lifelong Learning Center, 6489-1 Imaizumi, Sosa City
  • Access: 15min by taxi from Yokaichiba Station (JR Sobu Main Line)

                     15min by car from Yokoshiba-hikari IC (Choshi Renraku Road)

  • Inquiries: Sosa City Industry Promotion Department (0479-73-0089)

 6) Shirako Hot Spring Festival/Shirako Beach Lawson (Shirako Town)

        Shirako Onion Festival    The venue of Shirako Hot Spring Festival

  Shirako Onsen, located on Kujukuri Beach, is a hot spring that utilizes the water and natural gas that comes up from 2,000m underground. It is said that underground seaweed has dissolved and become highly concentrated in the water, giving it a lower magnesium level and higher quantities of iodine than normal sea water. The hot spring water’s slight yellow color has given it the nickname “The Golden Bath,” and has a beautifying and moisturizing effect on the skin. The natural gas-infused sand bath has a history of almost 40 years and is second only to Ibusuki, Kagoshima Prefecture.

Visitors to the Shirako Hot Spring Festival will have a chance to test the waters of the famous hot spring for themselves with a foot bath, then sample marine and agricultural products from the local area. In addition to enjoying a day-trip to the hot springs for bargain prices, visitors can also bring all kinds of souvenirs to take home. During the festival, get 200 yen off a one-day bath at hotels in Shirako Town, and sample onion fries and other goods. Hot spring fans won’t want to miss this event!

  • Date: Sunday, May 3—Sunday, May 10
  • Place: Shirako Beach Lawson, 4482-27 Nakazato, Shirako Town, Chosei District
  • Admission: Free
  • Access: From Mobara Station (JR Sotobo Line), take the Kominato Bus bound for Shirako Bus Depot (“Shirako-shako”) and get off at “Nakazato-kaigan” and walk 5 min
  • Inquiries: Shirako Town Commerce and Industry Association (0475-33-2517)
  • URL: http://www.shirako.or.jp

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 III. Exhibitions, Concerts, etc.           

 1) Learn about wheelchairs developed in Chiba used in the Olympic and Paralympic Games/ Chiba Museum of Science and Industry (Ichikawa City)

               photomuseum2

 Chiba Prefecture is home to companies using world-class technology to support the Olympic and Paralympic Games. These companies support many medalists in not only next year’s Games in Rio de Janeiro, but also in the 2020 Tokyo Games. The dream of Chiba-developed technology helping to win many gold medals may soon become a reality.

 This technology stars in an exhibit at the Chiba Museum of Science and Industry in Ichikawa called “The Skilled Crafts of Chiba used in the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games: Wheelchair Edition.” The exhibit features companies in Wakaba-ku, Chiba City that have achieved a total of 106 medals across 7 Paralympic Games. This is a great opportunity to learn about the technology behind different kinds of wheelchairs and see the latest models on display.

  • Date: Saturday, May 2—Sunday, May 24
  • Place: Entrance Hall and Special Exhibit Corner, Chiba Museum of Science and Industry, 1-1-3 Onitaka, Ichikawa City
  • Museum Hours: 9:00-16:30 (last admission at 16:00); closed Mondays (or the next day if Monday is a holiday)
  • Admission: 300 yen; 150 for high school and college students; free for junior high students and younger, age 65 and older
  • Access: 15 min on foot from Motoyawata Station on the JR Sobu Line, 5 min from Ichikawa IC on the Keiyo Road

                  *Parking is free for up to 1 hour 30 min; each additional 30 min is 100 yen for regular cars and 300 yen for medium and large vehicles

 2) Star Camp at Uchiurayama Prefectural Forest (Kamogawa City)

        Star Camp

  Uchiurayama was the first Prefectural Forest to be established in Chiba Prefecture. The evergreen broadleaf forest is mainly comprised of trees in the chinkapin and evergreen oak families, and flourishes thanks to the subtropic climate of the region. Originally, the forest was shared land in the Uchiura District used for a charcoal production, but due to the growing need for environmental conservation and leisure use of the forest, and because of strong appeals from the local town of Amatsu Kominato, the area was opened as a Prefectural Forest on November 21, 1970.

Uchiurayama Prefectural Forest has 294 hectares of beautiful woods and is furnished with a main building, log cabins, camping grounds, a gymnasium, and walking paths through the best parts of the forest.  Visitors of all ages enjoy walking, hiking, and other recreational activities in nature.

 This May, the Uchiurayama Prefectural Forest (kenmin no mori) is holding events to take advantage of the natural beauty of the forest. On Saturday, May 9 is an event called the Star Camp Kamogawa: Starry Spring Skygazing held in cooperation with the Kimitsu Astronomy Club. Visitors can see all the stars in the spring night sky, and even see Saturn. There will also be chances for children to try out an astronomy telescope (held rain or shine), and participants are welcome to bring their own telescopes as well.

On Sunday, May 10, visitors can explore the seasonal nature of the forest at the New Green Forest Nature Observation Event. Here is a great chance to see summer birds like the blue-and-white flycatcher and the eastern crowned warbler, as well as wild birds and seasonal flowers. Visitors can observe these using the latest spotting scopes and binoculars on this 4km hike along the forest path.

<Star Camp Kamogawa: Starry Spring Skygazing>

  • Date: Saturday, May 9; telescope testing 16:00-17:00, stargazing 19:00-20:30
  • Capacity: 20 people (junior high school students and under must be accompanied by an adult)
  • Fee: 100 yen
  • Bring: health insurance card, clothes that are easy to move in (optional: binoculars)

<New Green Forest Nature Observation Event>

  • Date: Sunday, May 10, 9:30-12:00 (meet at General Center at 9:20, canceled in case of rain)
  • Capacity: 10 people (junior high school students and under must be accompanied by an adult)
  • Fee: 500 yen (guests camping at the forest get half off)
  • Bring: drink, health insurance card, clothes that are easy to walk in (optional: walking stick, gloves, hat, walking shoes, etc.)
  • Place: Uchiurayama Prefectural Forest, 3228 Uchiura, Kamogawa City
  • Access: 4.5km north of Awa-kominato Station (JR Sotobo Line)
  • Inquiries: Uchiurayama Prefectural Forest (04-7095-3185)
  • URL: http://www.chiba-forest.jp/uchiurayama/

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