Charms of Minamiboso (8) Nojimazaki Lighthouse


Nojimazaki point is located on the southernmost tip of the Boso peninsula, and has been an important marine traffic waypoint for ships coming into Tokyo Bay. Nojimazaki lighthouse is one of the eight western style lighthouses built by the Meiji Government in 1870s. The original lighthouse was destroyed by The Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923, and was replaced by the lighthouse you see today. With a small admission fee, you can go up the stairs for a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean.


Charms of Minamiboso (7) Awa Shrine


The legendary origin of Awa Shrine goes back 2,670 years, when the Imbe family from Shikoku landed in the area. It has been the highest ranked shrine in the Awa area for a long time. The stout shrine building with the blue bronze roof and the forest in the backdrop creates a silent but dignified presence. Locals visit here for special shinto occasions, but the place becomes especially busy with visitors during the New Year holidays. In the crisp, fresh air of New Year’s eve, you are sure to feel a bracing atmosphere to see in the New Year.


Charms of Minamiboso (6) Komatsu-ji Temple


People in Japan love autumn leaves as well as cherry blossoms. Komatsu-ji temple in Chikura-cho, Minamiboso City, is known as the “maple temple” in Minamiboso. Established in the 8th century, it once flourished as a training facility for Buddhist monks. Today’s building is said to be built in around 1855. In late November, this usually quiet temple in the secluded country side becomes busy with visitors, who come to enjoy the autumn colors of maples, gingkos, and other trees in the precinct. Let’s hope that the damage by this year’s typhoons wasn’t too serious at Komatsu-ji.



Charms of Minamiboso (5) Oyama Terraced Rice Paddies


Since olden times, Japanese farmers have cultivated any available land for rice. Terraced rice paddies are the result of their continued effort. The ones at Oyama are the closest to Tokyo, and the local residents employed a unique way to conserve the beautiful scenery. Every year, members of the “Tanada Club”, who have fallen in love with the natural beauty, come from the cities to experience rice cultivation. Don’t forget your camera : the fields are breathtakingly beautiful at any time of the year.


【こぼれ話】 以前、カリフォルニアからのお客様をお連れしました。とても喜んでいただき、次回もぜひあの棚田に行きたい、と、リクエストをいただきました。何度、いつ訪れても、本当に心癒される、日本にいてよかった、と思える場所です。大山のみならず、気がつくと、南房総には、まだあちこちに棚田が見られます。そんな風景が、今後、労働力不足やメガソーラーの開発で、消えていきませんように!

Charms of Minamiboso (4) Yawata Shinto Festival


Yawata Shrine in Tateyama City has a 1,000 years of history, and its annual festival is the one locals look forward to the most. In the middle of September, food stands line up along the street, crowded with visitors. Ten portable shrines pay a once-a-year visit to this main shrine of the area, and the revelers roll and lift their mikoshi with shouts, showing off how sturdy they can be. Neighboring communities also participate with their gorgeous floats. This is when the usually modest Japanese go wild!