Charms of Minamiboso (17) Cliff Temple


Though its official name is Daifuku-ji temple, locals call it Gake Kannon or Cliff Temple, as this striking vermillion building is poised on a cliff. Peering inside, you can see that the building was built to protect the Goddess of Mercy (Kannon) who is carved directly into the cliff face. Also, don’t forget to look up the ceiling, where brightly colored flowers and birds are painted against a lapis lazuli blue. Above all, the breathtaking view of Tateyama Bay at sunset is something that you don’t want to miss.


Charms of Minamiboso (16) Takabe Shrine


Takabe Shrine, located in the Chikura area, is the only Shinto Shrine in Japan that enshrines the god of culinary arts. Steep stone steps take you to the main building with a thatched roof, and stands on a sunny hill looking down to the Pacific Ocean. Chefs and people involved in the food industry from all over the nation come to visit. On October 17, you will have the opportunity to see the Hochoshiki, or “Knife Ceremony”, a unique shinto ritual offered to the god by preparing fish with just a knife and a pair of chopsticks.


Charms of Minamiboso (15) Floats and Portable Shrines


Summer has come, and you’ll see clusters of Shinto shrine festivals scattered around the Minamiboso peninsula. The next time you come across some portable shrines or floats, take a closer look. Very often, the carvings are original works by skilled artisans from the Edo period, such as Nami no Ihachi and Yoshimitsu Goto. The locals have taken care of them for generations, and these festivals present a wonderful opportunity to showcase these treasured artifacts.


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.