Nakazeki is a reservoir used for agricultural purposes located in the Naka area in Minamiboso City. It looks like an unremarkable pond at first sight, but is actually a very visitor friendly waterfront park. The trail that goes around the pond is the perfect length for a family with small children, making it an ideal spot for a nature walk. It’s also a great place for fishing. Please note that parking spaces are available, but the driveway can be narrow in places for large SUVs.
The waterfront park in Kyonan-town consists of the Sakuma Dam and its surrounding area. The scenery can be appreciated anytime of the year, but a special highlight is the spring season, enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. Narcissus bloom in December, and Yoritomo-Zakura in the middle of February. In early April, Somei-yoshino cherries cover the whole area in a breathtaking display of pale pink. The park is probably vast enough for us to practice social distancing!
Mano-ji Temple in Minamiboso-city was founded about 1300 years ago, and houses a unique mask-wearing Goddess of Mercy, not found anywhere else in Japan. But the temple is more well known for Daikoku-sama, the deity who is associated with wealth and prosperity. At the Daikokuten Festival, held annually on February 6, the Buddhist sermon starts at midnight, and the precinct becomes busy with visitors, who also enjoy the food stalls that line the approach to the temple.
Amatsu Shinmei-gu shrine, which has an association with the Ise Shrine, has more than 800 years of history. In the precinct, you will find rare trees called Marubachisha. Kamogawa City is said to be the northern limit of their habitat, so they are designated as a protected species by Chiba Prefecture. This visitor friendly shrine, equipped with bike stands, large parking space and clean bathrooms, could be a great spot for your “hatsumode” or New Year’s visit. Have a happy New Year!
This tiny bridge is the only suspension bridge in Minamiboso and lies amidst the quiet countryside of the Masuma area. Follow the narrow paved road along the little stream and you will find a small temple called Sawayama Fudo, with the charming bridge situated in front. Going down to the river, the presence of Shimenawa or sacred straw rope indicates that practitioners used to train here under the waterfall. In a month’s time, this will be a spot to see the autumn foliage.