Charms of Minamiboso (14) Maiwai Jacket


The Boso Peninsula is surrounded by the ocean, and fishing has been one of the main sources of income for the local people. From the Edo to the Showa periods, when there was a big catch, the boat owner made and distributed jackets called Maiwai to the crew. Typically, the fish that had been caught and other auspicious animals were depicted on a dyed indigo background. Today, Suzusen dyeing shop in Kamogawa still produces these celebratory jackets. Nice collections can be seen at the Tateyama City Museum Nagisa no Eki branch and the Kaiyo Museum in Shirahama.


館山市博物館分館(渚の駅)には、背中にアメリカと日本の国旗、そして、Monterey, U.S.A.と染め抜かれた、珍しい万祝が保存されています。明治時代から昭和の前半にかけて、南房総から多くの海士が太平洋を渡り、カリフォルニア州モントレー地区であわび事業に従事していました。その歴史を物語る、貴重な一枚です。鴨川の「鈴染」さんは、モントレー側からの依頼を受け、その複製を手がげました。現在その作品はモントレーの日系アメリカ人市民同盟の博物館に展示されています。

Charms of Minamiboso (13) Jiroemu


Inaba family, also known as the Jiroemu by locals, have been farmers for generations in Miyoshi, Minamiboso. Today, the family grows and produces organic rice, vegetables, and free-range fertilized eggs. In 1997, Yoshikazu Inaba, a 14th generation descendant, started a farmer’s restaurant at his house. Visitors are invited into their 300-year-old farmhouse, where they are served a variety of country style dishes, using ingredients sourced from their farm. Surrounded by the gentle forest, this is a perfect spot to experience the rustic simplicity of the Japanese countryside. Reservations required.


Charms of Minamiboso (12) Heisaura Beach


Heisaura is a 5-km-long sandy beach located on the southern tip of Boso Peninsula. High waves are not inviting to swimmers, but attracts surfers and fishing lovers. The view of Izu islands over the long stretched horizon is splendid. The driveway along the coast is called “Flower Line”, where flowers of the season are planted along the road. Rocky shores on the both edges of the beach make perfect tide pools for families with children. Along the driveway are some tourist facilities, a horseback riding club, a trailer cafe, and more, making the area an ideal spot to visit on a sunny day in May.


【こぼれ話】 かつて砂浜とフラワーラインの間には松林が広がり、まさしく白砂青松の光景でした。サビーネで毎年かざるクリスマスツリーのオーナメントに使用しているまつぼっくりは、25年前にこの松林で拾ったものです。ところが、その後、南房総の広範囲にわたって松食い虫が猛威をふるい、一時期そのほとんどが失われてしまいました。しかしながら、地元のボランティアのみなさんの熱心な植林活動により、また松林が戻りつつあります。

Charms of Minamiboso (11) Iyogatake


Located on the Kanto plain, Chiba Prefecture has the lowest altitude among all the prefectures in Japan, but among the gentle hills around Minamiboso City, Mount Iyogatake stands out with its rocky, abrupt summit. Actually, it is the only one in Chiba with the ending “take”, which means “peak”, and though it is only 338 meters high, you can experience the feeling of “mountain climbing”. The last part of the route to the top is a rocky steep slope with chains attached. You literary have to hold onto the chains to climb the rock! The reward is a great view of the villages below and of Tokyo Bay.


【こぼれ話】 地元に戻って来てまだ実家に居候していた1994年、母親にさそわれて登ってみました。軽い気持ちで出かけましたが、距離は短くとも、チェーンをにぎっての岩場のぼりには、ちょっとドキドキ。頂上からの眺めは確かにすばらしかったです。それ以来登っていませんが、また機会があったらぜひ登りたいなあと思います。かっこいい山姿はなかなか絵になるので、眺めるにもよい山です。

Charms of Minamiboso (10) Shiroyama Park


Shiroyama, literally translated as “castle hill”, is the place where Lord Satomi built a castle at the summit several hundred years ago.  Today the whole area is a municipal park and has been the locals’ favorite spot for an early morning walk or a family picnic on Sunday afternoon. Flower lovers enjoy observing various kinds of flowers all year round, but the cherry blossoms in early April and the azaleas in May are especially notable. The castle-like building you see today is a museum that was built in 1982.  Just below the top of the hill is a tea house with an exquisite Japanese garden, where tea ceremonies are occasionally held for visitors.