Sunday, 3 February 2013

Shiramazu Flower Fields, Revisited After A Year

"Yes! Yes! I remember this young man!"

lady at the flower farm
upon seeing me again



The final tour for the Chiba Kun Ambassadors was held last week. This time, we were taken to visit Minamiboso City as well as Tateyama City, in the southern region of Chiba Prefecture. The first spot was the Chiramazu Flower Parking area. If you had read my blog regularly, you might recall that I had visited the same area during the first year as the Chiba Kun Ambassadors last year. 

The freezing temperature of the winter didn't stop us from anticipating to seeing the breathtaking flowers that spread along the the Minamiboso region. This part of the region faces the Kuroshio Sea, which is adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, and this makes it a non-frost area blessed with a mild climate. The flowers in Minamiboso starts to bloom as early as in December and ends in March.

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Palm trees welcomed us as we enter Tateyama City.

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The signboard that shows that we have arrived to our first destination of the day.

The early spring that this area enjoys makes it covered with carpets of flowers, which create beautiful photo spots. Visitors can enjoy not only flower viewing, but actually picking these flowers that grow healthy with the sea breeze. There are no less than eight flower beds scattered along the road in this region, but the most popular one is the Chikura Shiramazu flower fields located along Highway 410.

This spot is popular as visitors get to enjoy the breathtaking flower fields, and also the magnificent sea at the same time. It is also frequently featured on TV shows and magazines, making it one of the must-visit spots in Chiba prefecture.

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Part of the flower fields, which faces the Pacific Ocean.

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We had a staff from the Minamiboso City Office, who came over to explain to us about the place.

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According to him, some of the flowers are used in the menus of the nearby restaurants.

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The shops located opposite of the flower fields, that sells ready-cut flowers and other souvenirs as well.

In these open-field flower cultivation fields, visitors can pick the flowers according to their favourite colours and types on their own, or the ready-cut flowers from the direct-selling flower shops. The flowers grown in this area are known to be long-lasting and also for its cheap price. 

The farmers usually start to plant the flowers in August and it roughly take about five months until the plants mature and start to bloom. Among the main flowers grown in this area are stock, pot marigold (金盞花), snapdragon (金魚草), poppy (ポピー) and baby chrysanthemum (小菊).

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This is one of the many flower fields in Shiramazu.

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A close-up shot of purple stock.

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This is potmarigold or also known as kinsenka in Japanese.

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There is a wide variety of colours of stock to choose from.

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These are ready-cut potmarigold.

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Fresh and colourful chrysanthemum.

Taking the advantage of the variety of flowers available from this region, some restaurants here use the edible flowers in their menus. Flowers like potmarigold, snapdragon, stock, and rodgersia podophylla are used in tenpura and steamboat menus.

Although the location of the flower field in Shiramazu is not directly next to any JR train stations, there are buses which runs from JR Chikura station. Besides that, there are also express buses that runs from Tokyo station and Chiba station, which makes it easy for tourists who doesn't have their own transportation.

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Remember this?

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A reunion after one year. Everyone was in all smiles.

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The many kinds of flowers that "mak cik bunga" sells.

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She never fails to carve a sweet smile on her face whenever I ask for a photo with her.

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And this is her flower field, just behind her stall.

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Look at how beautiful the full-bloom stock were.

I made it a point to drop by the hut of the "mak cik bunga" whom I interviewed her last year. The moment she spotted me, the started waving to me. I asked her if she still remembers me and she nodded happily. Of the eleven Chiba Kun Ambassadors who were on the day's tour, only two of us were there last year. And I was quite happy that she still recognises me haha!

I spent some time chatting with her, and managed to asked her one of the questions I have always wanted to ask her - her famous signboard. Apparently, prior to putting up that interesting signboard, it was just a boring board bearing her stall's name and phone number. However, about five to six years back, one of her customers was kind enough to present her a gift - that is the new signboard which bears her face and fake silver teeth haha!

After getting to know about her silver teeth signboard story, I visited her flower farm just right behind her flower stall.

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We dropped by another flower farm. This is Kyle with me surrounded with colourful stock.

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This time, we had the chance to pick the flowers of our choice.

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Took a group photo with the flower field owner after we picked our flowers.

Back to the "mak cik bunga". Still remember her? Before we leave the place, she was so kind to present us with a huge bouquet of flowers to be taken back as souvenirs. And the flowers were divided to each of us and indeed, after more than a week, these flowers are still blooming on my dining table.

So, if you happen to visit Minamiboso City, make sure you do not miss out dropping by this flower fields!


|| INFORMATION ||
Opening hours: 8:30 a.m. to sunset (January to April)
Closed: May to December
Parking spaces: 31 (Large: 3, Standard: 27, Disabled: 1)
Toilet facilities:  
Gents: 6, Ladies: 6, Disabled: 1

Address: 1397, Shiramazu, Chikura-cho, Minamiboso City, Chiba Prefecture, 295-0027, Japan.
Tel: 0470-43-1811 (Shiokaze Okoku)
Website: http://www.shiokaze-oukoku.jp/index.html (Japanese only)
Access:

Car: 
(through Tateyama) Tateyama Futtsu Expressway (館山富津自動車道) → Tomiura IC (富浦) → Chikura (千倉); (through Kamogawa) Kamogawa Toll (鴨川有料道路) → Kamogawa Route 128 (鴨川 R128) → Chikura (千倉); (through Maruyama) Route 410 → Maruyama (丸山)  Chikura (千倉)
Direct bus: JR Tokyo station Yaesu South Exit (JR東京駅八重洲南口), board the Boso Nanohanago (房総なのはな号)
 → JR Tateyama station (JR館山駅) → Chikura (千倉) → Shiokaze Okoku (潮風王国); ¥2,500, approximately 2 hours 50 minutes one way.
Train: JR Chikura station (JR Bus for Shirahama) → Shiramazu Ohanabatake 
(白間津お花畑); 15 minutes.


2 comments:

eticket16 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
callacake said...

Thanks for the nice blog. awesome flower background pics.. Keep sharing such ideas in the future as well.Thanks for sharing the such information with us. online flower delivery in Hyderabad

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