Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Shirahama Marine Museum

"The charm of fishing is that 
it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, 
a perpetual series of occasions for hope."

John Buchan
Scottish novelist and historian


The sign board, showing the direction to Shirahama Marine Museum.


The small wooden structure that houses hundreds of collections from the Edo period.

The geographical location of Tateyama makes it cannot be separated from the sea. Our next stop took us to Shirahama Marine Museum, to learn more about the life of fisherman and also to see an unique kind of folk costume, worn by the fisherman during the Edo period, called maiwai (万祝). Maiwai, (literally translates "ten thousand of celebration") refers to a celebration of a huge catch, and is believed to be originated from the Bōsō Peninsula, which later spread to the Pacific Ocean coast of Japan.

Initially, maiwai was more commonly known as maiwai-hanten (万祝半纏) or short coat, and is made whenever there was a big catch. This Japanese traditional garment is later worn during the celebration of the big catch. The main characteristic of maiwai is the beautiful motif, each individually hand-drawn at the back of the costume. A good quality maiwai could fetch up to 200,000 yen (approximately RM6,000), which maiwai-hanten costs about one-third of that.


Did not wanna miss out trying out this piece of maiwai (photo credit: Tooru Ishikawa).


All kinds of seashells on display in the museum (photo credit: Ayako Uchiyama).

Shirahama Marine Museum has a huge collection of beautiful maiwai on display. Besides that, this unique museum also exhibits marine-related collections which are more than 400 to 100 years ago. Visitors to this museum will be warmly greeted by the ever-friendly owner, who is willing to explain in detail the history and stories behind each collection in the museum. 

There is a gallery corner in this museum that features various of art collections, and also small souvenir shop here. Visitors can take a short coffee break in a small garden outside this museum after the visit, making this a place you would not want to miss out when you drop by Shirahama.


Chiba Kun Ambassadors listening attentively to the explaination by the owner (photo credit: Masataka Ishizaki).


They even have a parking space for pets lol! See how great the hospitality this museum provides.

Shirahama Marine MuseumOperating hours: 09:00 - 17:00 (closed every Thursday)
Admission Fees: Adult: 500yen; Student: 400yen; Children (below 15): 200yen
(10% discount for group admission, senior, disabled individuals)

Parking spaces: Available (no charge, no reservations required)

Address: 628-1, Shirahama, Shirahama-cho, Minamiboso-shi, Chiba Prefecture, 295-0102, Japan.
0470-38-4551        Fax:
Website: (Japanese only)
Train: Tateyama station (館山駅) on JR Uchibō Line (JR内房線), then take local bus to Shirahama.
Car: Route 127
and Route 86, approximately 30 minutes from Tateyama.