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

Update:May 13, 2016

 

Chiba Nanohana News (May 2016)

 Index

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

 I. News               

 1) Multilingual Guides for Shopping and Eating in Chiba City

          To make eating, shopping, and visiting Chiba City a smoother experience for tourists who don’t speak Japanese, the city has created a multilingual guide to food, shopping, and other services. Visitors can browse the list of stores or search for what they want, such as vegetarian and halal options. The guide is available in downtown Chiba City/Chiba-minato and Makuhari New City versions, each in 15 languages including English, Korean, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Thai, Indonesian, and more.

           For store owners, the city has also created a foreign language menu-maker, a point-and-speak guide, pictograms to illustrate various allergies and food restrictions, and an extensive manual on how to be accommodating to the varied needs of tourists from all over the world. With these resources in their repertoire, vendors can show tourists Chiba City hospitality despite language barriers.

 2) Four Cities in the Hokuso Region Designated “Japan Heritage” Sites

pnotosakura  pnotonarita  

           “Japan Heritage” sites are places rich in local history and character that help tell the story of Japanese culture and tradition.  The Agency for Cultural Affairs aims to recognize 100 of these sites by 2020 in order to revitalize local areas by actively promoting their tangible and intangible cultural assets domestically and internationally. Last year 18 stories were designated, and this year, the first story in Chiba has been recognized: “An Edo Travelogue through Four Hokuso Cities: Feel the Edo Period in Hokuso Townscapes.”

photonarita photochoshi

          This story, which encompasses the cities of Sakura, Narita, Sawara (in Katori), and Choshi, tells the history of the Hokuso region as a provider of goods and trade to Edo (now Tokyo) via the Tone River. This history remains in places like the samurai residence in Sakura City, the road to Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple in Narita City, the dashi float parades in the grand festivals of Sawara, and the Tokawa Fishing Port in Choshi City. The region’s proximity to Narita International Airport makes it “the closest Edo to the world.”

  • Inquiries: Chiba Prefectural Board of Education, Educational Promotion Department, Cultural Education and Properties Division, Designated Cultural Assets Section (043-223-4082)
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 II. Festivals and Events    

 1) Carrot Festival and Sausage Kick-Off Event (Narashino City)

         It’s time for the yearly carrot festival at the Okubo Community Center/Narashino Citizen Center on Saturday, May 28. Pick up some of Narashino’s famous carrots from local farmers and taste some carrot cake and jelly. Then head over to the Carrot Plaza, where the whole family can enjoy paper storytelling, reading books aloud, and even a carrot concert!

         Once you’ve had your vegetables, it’s time for the sausage festival! Head over to Tsudanuma Park for some Narashino Sausage and beer. Once you’ve had your fill, enjoy the events on stage and the flea market. The Narashino Sausage Kick-Off Event runs the whole weekend if you can’t get enough sausage!

<Carrot Festival>

  • Date: Saturday, May 28, 10:00-12:00
  • Place: Okubo Community Center/Narashino Citizen Center, 3-8-20 Moto-okubo, Narashino City
  • Access: 1min walk from Keisei-Okubo Station (Keisei Line)
  • Inquiries: Okubo Community Center (047-476-3213)

<Sausage Kick-Off Event>

  • Date: Saturday, May 28—Sunday, May 29, 10:00-17:00
  • Place: Tsudanuma Park in front of Morishia-Tsudanuma, 1-16 Yatsu, Narashino City
  • Access: 2min walk from JR Tsudanuma Station south exit
  • Inquiries: Narashino City Chamber of Commerce and Industry (047-452-6700)

 2) Café Terrace on the Sakai River 2016 (Urayasu City)

  photocurayasu       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 28—Sunday, May 29, 10:00-16:00 (cancelled in case of rain)
  • Place: Sakai River near City Hall, Urayasu City
  • Access: 20 min walk from Shin-Urayasu Station (JR Keiyo Line) or 15 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

 3) Suigo Sawara Iris Festival/Suigo Sawara Aquatic Botanical Gardens (Katori City)

  photosuigo

         The Suigo Sawara Aquatic Botanical Gardens is an attraction where you can enjoy the greenery and blue waters of the Suigo Tsukuba Quasi-National Park. 1.5 million hanashobu (Japanese irises) of 400 varieties in full bloom will color the entire park.

         The Iris Festival will be held from Saturday, May 28 to Sunday, June 26. Within the gardens, the irises are divided according to the different varieties, such as those with stylish names like Fujibakama and Dainagon, separating them into bunches of white, purple, and yellow. Edo, Ise, and Higo varieties of irises can also be found in abundance here. These botanical gardens are said to be largest cultivator of irises in the East.

         Also, visitors can cruise around the garden on small boats called sappa boats (for an additional fee). The irises from the boat are a must-see! A trademark vision of this season is the ferrywomen dressed in patterned kimono, red aprons, tabi shoes, and triangular amigasa hats, steering the boats using large poles called sao.

         As the different varieties of irises bloom one after another, visitors can enjoy the flowers until late June, when the late-blooming flowers blossom. Dates of the Iris Festival events are as follows:

Event dates

  • Bridal Boat: at 10:30 on June 5, 11, and 19 (cancelled in the case of inclement weather)
  • Performances of Sawara-bayashi music and Teodori (hand dance): at 10:30 and 13:00 on May 29, June 4, 12, and 18
  • Dutch Marching Band Performance: at 9:00 and 12:00 on May 28, June 11
  • Open Air Tea Ceremony: 10:00-15:00 on Saturdays and Sundays from June 4-June 19 (additional fee of 300 yen; cancelled in the case of inclement weather)

<Botanical Garden Boat Cruises>

  • Date: Saturday, May 28-Sunday, June 26, 8:30-18:00 (suspended in the case of inclement weather)
  • Cost: 500 yen for junior high school students and older, 200 yen for children over 3 years old

<Ferrywomen Sappa Boat Cruises>

           The garden’s most popular tourist attraction. During the festival, the cruises are packed with visitors. Experience the true beauty of a riverside district as you ride a sappa boat operated by a ferrywoman. Take the boat from Yodaura Bay, located next to the botanical gardens, and cruise under the 12 bridges of Sawara.

  • During the Iris Festival, sappa boat cruises are operated every day. (During June, cruises are an estimated 50 minutes long.)
  • Times: from 7:00 to sunset
  • Fare: 6,500 yen per boat (1,300 yen per person when there are 6 passengers or more)
  • Inquiries: Okusuigo Tourism Cooperative (0478-56-2280)

                        Nakazu Boat Association (0478-56-0968)

・Date: Saturday, May 28 – Sunday, June 26, 8:00-18:30

・Place: Suigo Sawara Aquatic Botanical Gardens, 1837-2 Ogishima, Katori City

・Admission fee (during the Iris Festival): 700 yen for adults, 350 yen for elementary and junior high school students

・Access: 25 minutes by shuttle bus from Sawara Station (JR Narita Line)

(Shuttle bus only operates during Iris Festival. Bus fare is 500 yen for junior high school students and older, 250 yen for elementary school students)

・Inquiries: Katori City Commerce, Industry and Tourism Division (0478-50-1212)

・Suigo Sawara Aquatic Botanical Gardens (0478-56-0411)

 4) View from the Garden at Tojo-tei House (Matsudo City)

 phototojo

             Tojo-tei House was built by Akitake Tokugawa, the younger brother of the last Tokugawa ruler. After his family’s rule ended, he built the house and garden as a place for entertaining friends and family. The house was built in the traditional Japanese upper-class style of the period, though much smaller in scale and minimally decorated. One special feature is the relationship between light and color that changes throughout the house.

The garden is arranged in a simple and harmonious style, taking advantage of its altitude to incorporate views of the Edo River and Mt Fuji. The lawn is the oldest existing example of the blending of Japanese and Western garden styles, building on Akitake’s experience as a diplomat in Europe.

Every month, dates on the tens (the 10th, 20th, and 30th) are “Tojo-tei Day,” playing on the pronunciation of “to” for ten in Japanese. To celebrate Tojo-tei Day, the garden, which is normally closed to visitors, will be open to the public. On these special days, visitors are invited to take pictures, draw sketches, and enjoy the nationally-recognized beauty and history of the garden.

  • Date: Tuesday, May 10; Friday, May 20; Tuesday, May 31 (in the case of inclement weather, the garden will be open the next day that Tojo-tei House is open)
  • Time: 9:30-17:00 (last admission at 16:30)
  • Place: Tojo-tei House, 714-1 Matsudo, Matsudo City
  • Fee: 240 yen for adults, 160 yen for high school and university students, free for junior high school students and younger (includes the garden and Tojo-tei House)
  • Access: 10 minutes on foot from Matsudo Station (JR Joban Line and Shin-Keisei Line)
  • Inquiries: Tojo Museum of History (047-362-2050)
  • URL: http://www.city.matsudo.chiba.jp/tojo

 5) 10th Sosa Garden Tree Festival/Sosa City Lifelong Learning Center (Sosa City)

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 10th 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: Tuesday, May 3 (13:00-16:00) and Wednesday, May 4 (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) See Diamond Fuji (Tateyama City)

    pnotofuji1       photofuji2

             Diamond Fuji is when the setting sun aligns with the tip of Mt. Fuji and shines bright like a diamond. If the weather conditions are just right, this phenomenon is visible just twice a year: in May and July. This May, take advantage of this rare chance to see a beautiful sight from Tateyama, a city known for its picturesque sunsets and exquisite views of Mt. Fuji from across the bay.

  • Date: mid-May, at sunset
  • Place: Hojo Beach, Hojo, Tateyama City (5min walk from Tateyama Station on the JR Uchibo Line)
  • Shiroyama Park, 362, Tateyama, Tateyama City (15 min walk from Tateyama Station on the JR Uchibo Line
  • Itodaibo Factory, 963-1 Ito, Tateyama City (about 30min by car from Tateyama Station on the JR Uchibo Line)
  • Inquiries: Tateyama City Commerce, Industry and Tourism Division, Promotion Group (0470-22-2544)
  • URL: http://www.city.tateyama.chiba.jp/shoukan/page100086.html 

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 III. Exhibitions, Concerts, etc.          

 1) Minamiboso Firefly Fantasia/Shirahama Flower Park (Minamiboso City)

      photohotarumi

       The Minamiboso City Hot Spring Association is comprised of 19 lodging-and-hot-spring facilities in Minamiboso City. This spring, the Association invites you to be dazzled by fireflies of land and sea. Walk through the large dome greenhouse in Shirahama Flower Park and see Genji fireflies, then visit the limited-time corner where sea-fireflies light up the night from the water. Surround yourself in a twinkling fantasy after a relaxing bath in the hot springs.

  • Date: Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from May 20 to June 19
  • Place: Shirahama Flower Park, 1454-37 Shirahamacho-nemoto, Minamiboso City
  • Admission: 500 yen for adults, free for children and guests staying at facilities belonging to the Minamiboso City Hot Spring Association
  • Access: From Tateyama Station (JR Uchibo Line), take the JR bus bound for Awa-shirahama and get off at “Flower Park.”
  • Inquiries: Minamiboso City Hot Spring Association (0470-28-5307)

 2) Try on Samurai Armor at the Otaki Castle Museum (Otaki Town)

  photootaki

              Otaki Castle was once home to Honda Tadakatsu (family name first), a samurai and general of the Warring States Period through the Edo Period who was famous for his fierce loyalty to Tokugawa Ieyasu. His helmet was adorned with deer antlers and his legacy as a samurai has inspired many legends. Now his castle is a museum with a variety of exhibits and displays on the history of the town, the Boso area, and the warriors who lived there. The museum often holds events to introduce the history of weapons, armor, clothes, and other items of everyday life.

 

              This Golden Week, Otaki Castle Museum offers visitors the opportunity to transform into a samurai. Try on medieval samurai armor or a beautiful kimono and feel like you’ve traveled back in time!

  • Date: Thursday, May 5 at 10:00 and 13:30
  • Place: Study Building
  • Capacity: 10 people per session; call and reserve in advance
  • Fee: free (admission is separate)
  • 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
  • General Admission: 200 yen; high school and university students: 100 yen; junior high school and younger, age 65 and older: free
  • 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.

 3) 99th New Philharmonic Orchestra Chiba Regular Concert/Narashino Cultural Hall (Narashino City)

          The New Phil Chiba is the only professional orchestra in Chiba Prefecture, and this April it celebrated the 31st year since its founding. This May, the orchestra will perform Tchaikovsky’s classic symphonies under the direction of conductor Kazufumi Yamashita. The program includes pieces from the opera Eugene Onegin, the Serenade for Strings, and Symphony No. 5. All are welcome to enjoy the talent and passion of the New Philharmonic Orchestra Chiba.

  • Date: Sunday, May 22 at 14:00
  • Place: Narashino Cultural Hall, 1 Chome-16-1 Yatsu, Narashino City
  • Access: 4 minutes on foot from JR Tsudanuma Station south exit (Morishia Tsudanuma 4F)  Accessible by elevator on both sides
  • Admission: S-seat 4,000 yen; A-seat 3,000 yen; B-seat 2,000 yen    All seats require a reservation.

                          \500 discount available for age 65 and older; New Phil Chiba membership holders can receive an additional 10% off.

                          Please refrain from bringing infants and preschool-age children.

  • Inquiries: New Philharmonic Orchestra Chiba Office (043-222-4231)
  • URL: http://npoc.info/   

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