Chiba, Chiba

Designated city

Top: Coastal industrial area, Chiba Folk Museum
Middle: Makuhari Messe, Chiba Port Tower, Chiba Marine Stadium
Bottom: Skyscrapers of Makuhari on the coast.



Location of Chiba in Chiba Prefecture


Coordinates: 35°36′26.2″N 140°06′22.9″E / 35.607278°N 140.106361°E / 35.607278; 140.106361Coordinates: 35°36′26.2″N 140°06′22.9″E / 35.607278°N 140.106361°E / 35.607278; 140.106361
Country Japan
Region Kantō
Prefecture Chiba Prefecture
  -Mayor Toshihito Kumagai
  Total 271.76 km2 (104.93 sq mi)
Population (February 1, 2016)
  Total 972,861
  Density 3,580/km2 (9,300/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
-Tree Zelkova serrata
– Flower Nelumbo nucifera
– Bird Little tern
Phone number 043-245-5111
Address 1-1 Chiba-minato, Chūō-ku, Chiba-shi 260-8722

Chiba (千葉市 Chiba-shi) is the capital city of Chiba Prefecture, Japan. It sits about 40 kilometres (25 mi) southeast of the center of Tokyo on Tokyo Bay.[1] Chiba City became a government-designated city in 1992. In February 2016, its population was 972,861, with a population density of 3,580 people per square kilometer. The city had an area of 271.76 square kilometres (104.93 sq mi).

Chiba City is one of the Kantō region's primary seaports, and is home to Chiba Port, which handles one of the highest volumes of cargo in the nation. Much of the city is residential, although there are many factories and warehouses along the coast. There are several major urban centers in the city, including Makuhari, a prime waterfront business district in which Makuhari Messe is located, and Central Chiba, in which the prefectural government office and the city hall are located.

Chiba is famous for the Chiba Urban Monorail, the longest suspended monorail in the world. Some popular destinations in the city include: Kasori Shell Midden, the largest shellmound in the world at 134,000 m2 (160,000 sq yd), Inage Beach, the first artificial beach in the nation which forms part of the longest artificial beach in Japan, and the Chiba City Zoological Park, popular on account of the standing red panda Futa.


The name of Chiba in the Japanese language is formed from two kanji characters. The first, , means "thousand" and the second, means "leaves". The name first appears as an ancient kuni no miyatsuko, or regional command office, as the Chiba Kuni no Miyatsuko (千葉国造).[2] The name was adopted by a branch of the Taira clan, which moved to the area in present-day Chiba City in the late Heian period. The branch of the Taira adopted the name and became the Chiba clan, which held strong influence over the area of the prefecture until the Azuchi–Momoyama period. The name "Chiba" was chosen for Chiba Prefecture at the time its creation in 1873 by the Assembly of Prefectural Governors (地方官会議 Chihō Kankai Kaigi), an early Meiji-period body of prefectural governors that met to decide the structure of local and regional administration in Japan.[3]


Early history

The first records related to the city of Chiba record the emigration of Taira Tsuneshige (1083?1088), a powerful bushi warlord of the late Heian period, to Shimōsa Province, which historically occupied the north of Chiba Prefecture. Tsuneshige was appointed as gunji administrator of Sōma District, but was transferred to the same position in Chiba District two years later. Here he proclaimed himself Chiba Tsuneshige (千葉常重), became a kokushi governor of the province, and used the area around present-day Chiba City as a power base to rule over Shimōsa Province, Kazusa Province, as well as establish himself as a military force in the Kantō region.[4] Tsuneshige's son, Chiba Tsunetane (千葉常胤) (11181201) was instrumental in aiding Minamoto Yoritomo (11471199) with the establishment of the Kamakura shogunate. Tsuneshige built a spacious residence and numerous temples in present-day Chiba City, and in the same period he transferred his power base from Ōji Castle to Inohana Castle on Mount Inohana.[5] The area of present-day Chiba City became jōkamachi (城下町), or castle town, and prospered under the Chiba clan.[6] The clan's power extended in the region until the Muromachi period.[7][8]

Medieval period

The Chiba clan's power and influence declined because of wars around the Kantō region during the Nanboku-cho and Muromachi periods. In the 16th century, instead of the Chiba clan, the Hara clan, which was one of the servants of Chiba clan, wielded power in this region. In the Sengoku period, the Hara clan was forcibly removed by Ashikaga Yoshiaki (足利義明, not to be confused with 足利義昭). Then, Ashikaga Yoshiaki was also removed by the Sakai (酒井 not to be confused with the Sakai clan in Mikawa) clan, which was one of the servants of the Satomi (里見) clan. Finally both the Chiba and Sakai clans were annihilated by Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

Later history

In the Edo period, the Oyumi (生実氏), Morikawa (森川氏) clan, and the Sakura (佐倉氏) clans governed the area now occupied by the city. A part of the area was also governed directly by the Tokugawa Bakufu. The Oyumi clan governed their territory stably. On the other hand, according to the Sakura clan, from the beginning of the Edo period, changed governors frequently, including Takeda Nobuyoshi, Matsudaira Tadateru, Ogasawara Yoshitsugu (小笠原吉次), and Doi Toshikatsu. Finally the Hotta clan stabilized the governance of their territory. Chiba prospered in this period as a shukuba (宿場) post-town of the Tokugawa shogunate.[6]

Modern history

After the Meiji Restoration in 1868 and the advent of the railroad in Japan Chiba became the political, economic, and cultural capital of the Chiba Prefecture. Chiba City founded on January 1, 1921.[6] Numerous small villages and towns were merged into the previous town of Chiba (千葉町), a process that continued until 1944. Large-scale land reclamation added to the area of the city throughout the 20th century. The city was a major center of military production leading up to World War II, and as such, was a target of aerial bombing by the United States. The city was almost completely destroyed by the end of the war. Post-war industrialization led to the city becoming a major part of the Keiyō Industrial Zone.[6] Chiba became a Designated City of Japan on April 1, 1992.[1]


Chiba has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with very hot summers and cool to mild winters. Precipitation is significant throughout the year, but is somewhat lower in winter.

Climate data for Chiba, Chiba
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 9.8
Daily mean °C (°F) 5.7
Average low °C (°F) 1.9
Average precipitation mm (inches) 59.6
Average snowfall cm (inches) 3
Average relative humidity (%) 55 57 63 68 72 79 80 78 78 73 67 59 69.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours 185.1 162.3 160.3 174.1 172.3 125.2 153.0 190.0 127.7 135.6 142.0 176.1 1,903.7
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency


As of February 2016, the city had an estimated population of 972,861 and a population density of 3,580 persons per km². The total area of the city is 271.76 km2 (104.93 sq mi). There were 19,135 registered foreign residents in the city as of March 31, 2007, making up for about 2% of the total population. It is the 14th most populated city in Japan.

Politics and government

Building of Chiba Prefectural government and Chiba Urban Monorail

Chiba was governed by Keiichi Tsuruoka, an independent (elected with support of LDP and Kōmeitō), until May 1, 2009. He was arrested in April 2009 during a corruption investigation by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police. He was succeeded by Toshihito Kumagai of the DPJ, who won election in June 2009.[9]

The city assembly has 54 elected members.


Wards of Chiba
Chiba has six wards (ku):


Chiba Prefecture is famous for peanuts, or rakkasei. One of the many points of interest is the Experimental Station for Landscape Plants.



Home Stadium of the Chiba Marines

Chiba plays host to the annual International Chiba Ekiden and the Chiba International Cross Country takes place just outside the city. Chiba Velodrome is located within the city. It also hosts the Bridgestone Open golf tournament.

Chiba is home to several professional sports teams, most notably:

Club Sport League Venue Established
Chiba Lotte Marines Baseball Pacific League Chiba Marine Stadium 1950
JEF United Ichihara Chiba Football J. League Division 2 Fukuda Denshi Arena 1946


Further information: Transportation in Greater Tokyo


There is no commercial airport within city limits. Narita International Airport and Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) are the closest major airports.


The Chiba Urban Monorail runs through Chiba City. The major intercity railway stations are Chiba Station, (Sobu Line, Sotobō Line, Uchibo Line, Sōbu Main Line, Narita Line, transfer for Chiba Urban Monorail), Keisei Chiba Station (Keisei Chiba Line), and Soga Station, (Keiyō Line, Sotobō Line, Uchibo Line) all in Chūō-ku.



Colleges and universities

High schools

Chiba has 20 public high schools operated by the Chiba Prefectural Board of Education and two public high schools operated by the Chiba City Board of Education, including Inage Senior High School. There are also nine private high schools, including the Makuhari Junior and Senior High School.

Elementary and Middle schools

Chiba has 114 public and one private elementary school and 59 public and one private middle school.

International schools

Hospitals and clinics

Twin towns – Sister cities

Chiba is twinned with:

Notable people

See also


  1. 1 2 "Chiba-shi (千葉市)". Nihon Rekishi Chimei Taikei (日本歴史地名大系 (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  2. 千葉国造(下総)(Japanese)
  3. "千葉県の成立と行政的変遷". Nihon Rekishi Chimei Taikei (日本歴史地名大系) (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2012-04-01.
  4. "Chiba Tsuneshige (千葉常重)". Nihon Jinmei Daijiten (日本人名大辞典) (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  5. "Chiba Tsunetane (千葉常胤)". Nihon Jinmei Daijiten (日本人名大辞典) (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  6. 1 2 3 4 "Chiba". Encyclopedia of Japan. Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  7. "Chiba". Encyclopedia of Japan. Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2012-02-27.
  8. "Chiba-shi (千葉氏)". Kokushi Daijiten (国史大辞典) (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  9. DPJ-backed Kumagai takes Chiba mayoral election, Japan Times Online, June 15, 2009
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "International Exchange". List of Affiliation Partners within Prefectures. Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR). Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  11. "The City of Houston, Houston Office of Protocol and International Affairs".
  12. the Nihon Ki-in
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