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att. Travel - Summer Holidays in Chiba!
att. Travel - Summer Holidays in Chiba!
You are here: att.JAPAN > Travel Guide > Summer Holidays in Chiba!
att.JAPAN Issue 47, July 2009

Summer Holidays in Chiba!

Chiba Prefecture, located to the east of Tokyo, is a region blessed with mild weather, as well as beautiful nature featuring mountains and the sea. There are many places to enjoy in Chiba Prefecture, including amusement parks, museums and historical spots. Let's enjoy summer in Chiba this year!

 

Bay Area and Higashi Katsushika Area

 Abiko City Museum of Birds
Learn by seeing, touching, and making!

Located in the Tega Marsh, it is the only museum in Japan involved in the comprehensive research and exhibition of birds. Be sure to see the many wonderful exhibits on display, including a mounted Toki (Crested Ibis), an egg laid by the now extinct Aepyornis (elephant bird) - the world's largest bird, the replica of an Archaeopteryx fossil, and fossils of feathers from about 5 million years ago.
There are various types of birds to be found in the abundant nature of the Tega Marsh, and a life-like diorama is also exhibited at the museum, allowing you to learn about the birds that live in the Tega Marsh, as well as the relationship between people and nature.
If you make a request beforehand you can even receive a guided tour.
Craft classes are held on an irregular basis in the multipurpose hall, and you can participate without a reservation. In addition, there are many other things to do that even small children can enjoy, such as playing with puzzles and making crafts. You can have fun learning by seeing, touching, and making.

Abiko Ciry Museum of Birds
04-7185-2212
234-3 Khonoyama, Abiko City, Chiba
From Abiko Station on JR Joban or Narita lines, take a 10-minute ride on the bus for Abiko-shako via Abiko City Office or the bus for Kohoku Station South Exit, then a 10 minute walk from Shiyakusyo (City Office) bus stop.
Hours: 9:30-16:30
Closed: Mondays (if it is a holiday, the following day), New Year's Holiday Season (Dec. 29-31, Jan. 2-3), and for hall fumigation.
Fee: general 300 yen, high school and university students 200 yen, elementary and junior high school students 100 yen, no charge for persons 70 years of age or older or preschool kids, those with mental/physical disabilities (as stipulated in Article 2 of the Basic Act for Persons with Disabilities) and their care personnel
URL: http://www.bird-mus.abiko.chiba.jp

 

 Chiba Museum of Science and Industry
See, touch, and try. Let's study science!

Here you can learn science from various angles. At the "History of Modern Industry" exhibit there are displays about the electric power industry, oil industry and steel industry, the basic industries of modern Japan and Chiba Prefecture. At the "Invitation to High Technology" exhibit advanced technologies being applied to various fields, including electronics, new materials, and biotechnology, are introduced, and you can even play games against robots. At the "Plaza of Creation" you can learn through exhibits that let you participate in and experience beautiful and mysterious phenomenon, as well as the principles and mechanisms of science and technology. There are many activities to enjoy by using your body, such as making huge soap bubbles. It is a joy to receive easy to understand explanations of familiar scientific phenomenon at an experiment theater, experiment counter, and the "Science Stage" where marionettes exchange science experiments, as well as the "Electrical Discharge Laboratory" where you can see electrical discharge experiments that show the power of high voltage.

Chiba Museum of Science and Industry
047-379-2000
1-1-3 Onitaka, Ichikawa City, Chiba
A 15-minute walk from Motoyawata Station on JR Sobu Line or Shimosa-Nakayama Station on JR Sobu Line, or a 13-minute walk from Onigoe Station on Keisei Line.
Hours: 9:00-16:30 (enter by 16:00)
Closed: Mondays (if it is a holiday, the following day), New Year's Holiday Season, hall maintenance days (September 15, 2009, and March 16, 2010)
Fee: general 300 yen (500 yen during special displays), high school students 150 yen (250 yen), no charge for junior high school and younger, persons 65 years or older, and those who have identification booklets for the physically disabled and their care personnel (showing booklets required).
URL: http://www.chiba-muse.or.jp/SCIENCE/

 

Hokuso Area

 The cityscape of Sawara
Take a historic stroll through a historic cityscape!

Sawara developed greatly as a town for commerce during the Edo period. It is called the "Small Edo of Hokuso." Great importance was attached to area as a distribution center for goods transported along the Tone River and its tributary, the Ono River, opening up the city and attracting merchants. Along the Ono River there remain the homes of merchants featuring historic architecture dating back more than 100 years, mortar storehouses, and brick structures of western-style architecture, and there are also a number of families there that have continued to carry on the family business from the olden days. Inoh Tadataka, who produced a precise map of Japan, was born in the present-day Kujukuri-cho, and at the age of 18 he became the adopted son of the Inoh family, a family of brewers in Sawara. The Old Inoh Tadataka Residence features the main building and store where Inoh Tadataka spent some 30 years of his life. There are other structures as well, such as the Nakamuraya Shop, built in 1855, and a boiled food shop built in 1832. A ride on an Ono River tour boat is also an elegant way to view the cityscape from the river.
There are two large festivals held in Sawara, one in summer and the other in autumn. The summer festival features a parade of 10 floats, while the autumn festival includes a parade of 14 floats. At the Suigo Sawara Dashi-kaikan (float museum) you can see gorgeous floats decorated with large dolls.

Observe freely
A 5-minute walk from Sawara Station on JR Narita line.
Sightseeing spots: The Inoh Tadataka Museum, Suigo Sawara Dashi-kaikan (float museum), Katori Shinto Shrine, Kanpuku-ji Temple, Suigo Sawara Aquatic Plant Botanical Garden, etc.
Inquiries: Katori City Commerce and Industry Tourism Section: 0478-50-1212
Suigo Sawara Tourism Association: 0478-52-6675

 

 Chiba Prefectural Boso-no-Mura Museum
Let's experience life in the old days!

A museum that allows you to experience old streets of the Boso as it was from the 17th to the 19th century. Its motto is, "Learn by having direct contact with traditional lifestyle and technology, and living wisdom." You can enjoy learning about the old lifestyle by actually experiencing it. Enter the checking station-like Okido gate, and you will find the combination reception and rest area, which reproduces Onoya, an old inn in Narita. Walk through the streets, which recreates a cityscape featuring the homes of merchants those days, farm houses, and samurai warrior residences and you will feel as though you have gone back in Hours. Various shops have been recreated, including confectionary shops, tea shops, book shops, fancy goods shops, soba buckwheat noodle shops, and restaurants, and there is even a rice paddy.
Do not just view the exhibitions, please experience the various menu of things to do and see. At the pottery shop you can experience ceramic arts, and at the restaurant the rice is cooked in a kamodo (cooking pot). At the fish shop try balancing a tenbin-bo, a carrying pole used to carry fish, and at the samurai residences you can try on some armor. There are activities that require reservation in advance, as well as those that you can register for that day. Please be sure to confirm that day's menu because some activities are free while others charge a fee. In the garden of the farmhouse you can have fun with old forms of play, such as stilts and tops. (No application required.)
If you take a walk up to the Fudoki-no-oka Museum or the ancient burial mound, you can view haniwa (clay figures) and articles excavated at the ancient burial mound.

Chiba Prefectural Boso-no-Mura Museum
0476-95-3333
1028 Ryukakuji, Sakae-machi, Inba-gun, Chiba
Take the bus for the Ryukaji-dai-shako from Ajiki Station on JR Narita Line for about 8 minutes and get off at Boso-no-Mura stop, then a 3-minute walk.
Hours: 9:00-16:30
Closed: Mondays (if it is a holiday the hall is open, and closed the following day), New Year's Holiday Season, special closings
Fee: general 300 yen, high school and university students 150 yen, (additional fee during special displays, additional fee for experiences)
Memo: The experiences menu changes every day.
URL:http://www.chiba-muse.or.jp/MURA/

 

 Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple
A temple where you can feel 1000 years!

Narita, the home of Narita International Airport. Narita developed as a town in front of the gate to the Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple. Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple was founded in the year 940 as main temple of Chizan school of Shingon Sect of Buddhism. During the Edo period (1603-1867) the name Naritasan spread throughout Edo (former Tokyo), and Narita began to have numerous visitors. These days the temple welcomes 12 million visitors. There is an approach of about 800 meters from the Narita Station to the temple gate. The Niomon gate, Gakudo hall, Shakado hall, three-storied pagoda, and Komyodo hall are all structures that display the architecture of the Edo period, and they have been designated as national important cultural properties. In the Daihondo hall is enshrined the Fudo Myoo (a Buddhist divinity), and prayer services are held there. Why not participate in one of the prayer services during a temple visit, which include such prayers as those for traffic safety, welfare of the family, and business prosperity.
Moreover, there are also various types of good luck charms and prayer cards.
The Narita Gion Festival is held each year around the beginning of July, and includes the parading of portable shrines, floats, and the setting up of numerous stalls.
At the Narita-kankokan (tourist information office) in front of the Shinsho-ji Temple, each Thursday morning they hold a tea ceremony in English.

Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple
0476-22-2111
1 Narita, Narita City, Chiba
A 10-minute walk from JR Narita Station.
Free admission

 

Kujukuri Area
Kujukuri is a 66-kilometer-long coastline that stretches from Ichinomiya to Shirako and Kujukuri, and on to Asahi and Ioka. From long ago it has been loved by many as a beach area resort. Enjoy sea bathing and surfing, and a drive along the beach line as well is quite refreshing. From July through August you can enjoy beach seining for tourists at Kujikuri-cho and other areas.

 Byobu-ga-ura
A powerful cliff!

Byobu-ga-ura is an area where 40- to 50-meter-high cliffs rise up along about a 10-km-long area from Naarai to Gyobumisaki. You can also enjoy a distant view from the Chikyu no Marukumieru Oka Observation Hall and Inubosaki. The rough, ground rock surface is filled with plenty of power.
At Choshi you can enjoy a tour of a soy sauce factory, and eat fresh seafood.

Byobu-ga-ura
Observe freely
From Naarai-cho to Asahi City
Inquiries: Choshi City Industrial Promotion Section
0479-24-8181
A 10-minute ride by Chibakotsu bus from JR Choshi Station, get off at Choshi Marina stop, and then a 3-minute walk.

 

Southern Boso Area

 Kamogawa Sea World
Performances by the stars of the sea!

Kamogawa Sea World faces the Pacific Ocean. With the magnificent Pacific Ocean as a background, the performances by four different types of animals - killer whales that show off dynamic jumps, speedy dolphins, cute sea lions, and pure white belugas (white whales) - are extremely popular. At Tropical Island, from the white sandy beaches to a coral reef bay and on to the deep blue open seas, you can experience an underwater walk in the southern sea that will make you feel like a diver, and at the Rocky Stadium sea lions and sea otters can be observed both on land and in the sea. After the performance you can also experience a visit with the animals (there is a fee, limited capacity, and participation requirements), you can pose for commemorative photos with laughing sea lions and killer whales, and even touch a dolphin.

Kamogawa Sea World
04-7093-4803
1464-18 Higashi-cho, Kamogawa City, Chiba
A 5-minute ride by free shuttle bus from JR Awa-Kamogawa Station.
Hours: 9:00-17:00 (9:30-16:30 depending on the season, tickets must be purchased 1 hour before closing) Closed: irregular
Fee: High school students and above 2800 yen, age 4 years and older 1400 yen, age 65 years and older with certification 1960 yen, educational discount 2100 yen
Memo: Stroller rental available (300 yen)
URL:http://www.kamogawa-seawarod.jp

 

 Mother Farm
Nature, animals, and an amusement park can be enjoyed during any season!

An expansive ranch where a slow stroll around only takes about 1 hour. The piggy race, where small children run the piglets, is a popular event. The grand parade of the sheep is where sheep dogs deftly move a herd of sheep. At the sheep show you can watch sheep being sheared.
Milking, the duck parade, and other playing with small animals can be enjoyed everyday. Enjoy draft horses and a horseback ride experience, and at the Makiba Experience Atelier you can also paint designs on rakuyaki pottery.
Seasonal flowers beautifully bloom, such as rape blossoms in spring, orange cosmos in summer and salvia in autumn. At the tourism farm you can pick and eat fresh kiwi fruit, strawberries, tomatoes, and blueberries, and there are plenty of other events for families to enjoy throughout the year. There are accommodations as well.

Mother Farm
0439-37-3211
940-3 Tagura, Futtsu City, Chiba
By bus for Kanozan from Sanukimachi Station on JR Uchibo Line, get off at Mother Farm stop.
Hours: 9:30-16:30 (9:00-17:00 on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays)
Closed: Dec. 14-18, 2009, and Jan. 12-15, 2010
Fee: Junior high school and above 1500 yen, age 4 years and above 800 yen, 3 years and under free
Memo: Stroller rental available at Makiba Information Center and Yama-no-ue Information Center (200 yen/day)
URL:http://www.motherfarm.co.jp

 

 Nokogiri-yama (Mount Nokogiri)
Can be enjoyed either by hiking or by ropeway!

Moutn Nokogiri (meaning a saw mountain), 329 meters above sea level, has a steep ridge line that is famous for its scenic beauty. The mountain ridge has characteristic steep walls and rock surfaces that have been laid bare, and marks showing where stone, known as Boshu-ishi, was cut from the mountain remains. There is a hiking course, as well as a ropeway that offers easy access to the peak. The view from the peak observatory is superb. A look over precipitous cliff Jigoku Nozoki (peering into hell) is a thrill that will make your feet slip and knees weak.
Nihon-ji Temple, whose precincts cover the entire mountain, features an approach that is 4 km long and has some 2639 stone steps, and offers access to a huge stone Buddha and statues of the goddess of mercy. Here you will find the huge Daibutsu, which boasts of being the highest magaibutsu (Buddhist image carved into the surface of natural rock) in Japan, and numerous other images of Buddha, including 1553 stone images of Buddha carved into the rock. It is a good idea to enjoy the hot springs at the foot of the mountain as well.

Nokogiri-yama (Mount Nokogiri)
Motona, Kyonan-cho, Awa-gun, Chiba
A 10-minute walk from JR Hamakanaya Station to the ropeway terminal, and the cost of a one-way trip on the ropeway is 500 yen for adults (children 250 yen)
Observation Hours: 8:00-17:00
Observation Fee: adults 600 yen, children 400 yen
Inquiries: 0470-55-1103 (Nihon-ji Temple)
0439-69-2314 (Ropeway)

 

Food

Chiba is blessed with delicious products that come from the mountains and the sea. Bonito, Japanese lobster, abalone, turbo shell, clams, sardines, peanuts, loquats, strawberries, bamboo shoots are just some of the many delicious foods to savor. In summer, hunt for horse mackerel and shellfish, as well enjoy picking such fruits as blueberries (June through August), grapes (August through October), and pears (August through October).

 Maps
Japan Railway Map PDF 414 KB

 Links
Chiba Prefecture
Chiba Prefectural Tourist Association

 



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