Kaihinmakuhari is my neighbourhood and there is no where in Chiba that we know more intimately. My Japanese friend from Osaka had been very surprised when she visited, and could hardly believe that this too was Japan. Tall skyscrapers and apartments buildings surround the station. Wide boulevards intersect at right angle, with a spacious park close by. The coast is just a 15minutes stroll from the station, and the town has a relaxing seaside vibe.
Talk to most Japanese and most people would have heard about Kaihinmakuhari as it is the site of the Makuhari Messe, an event hall that plays host to numerous trade shows like the Autoshow and concerts by Japanese and foreign artistes alike.
However, just 20 years ago, Kaihinmakuhari did not even exist. Reclaimed from the sea, the area had the opportunity to undergo strict urban planning, instead of the haphazard recovery that was seen in other parts of Japan after the war. The result is a well designed city which is a delight to live in.
Near the train station, the Kaihinmakuhari park with leafy pathways interspersed with wide grassland is a great spot for picnics, BBQ or just the appreciation of nature. In my very humble opinion, it surpasses even the Hamarikyu Gardens. Within the Kaihinmakuhari Park, there is also a Japanese Garden and a Japanese tea house within. The Japanese Garden has been artfully landscaped and provides a relaxing stroll amidst swimming ducks and wooden curved bridges.
The western part of the park is connected to the Kaihinmakuhari seaside park where the Zozo Marines stadium is based. As the home ground of Chiba Lotte Marines, baseball matches are held several times a week during summer. The seaside park itself is the host of several events including the summer display of firework, the annual Redbull Air Race and the Summer Sonic, a 3-day event featuring innumerable celebrities from all around the world.
The seaside park connects to the Inage Seaside park, so one could cycle the 6km while enjoying spectacular views of the Tokyo bay. During April and May, many families will gather at the beach to dig for clams or just to relax by the coast. Windsurfers are also a common sight at park.
Just outside the train station, the Mitsui Outlet fulfils every shopper’s inner fashionista. A short bus ride will take visitors to the Aeon Makuhari Shintoshi, a large complex comprising of 4 malls: Grand mall, Family mall, Pets mall and Lifestyle mall. For people who are fans of bulk grocery shopping, a Costco is also located in the vicinity.
In essence, Kaihinmakuhari has everything: sea, gardens, shopping and events. With the right balance of relaxing and excitement, we are proud to call it our home.