Choshikou Koide-Shiki: Fishing Boats Launching Ceremony at Choshi Port



Japanese cuisine is gaining popularity around the world and sushi and sashimi are among the more well-known items. You have a lot of chance to eat them during your stay in Japan, but why don’t you more closely look at the seafood industry in the local town and enjoy watching at a specific ceremony?



About Choshikou Koide-Shiki

What do you associate with a fishing port in Japan? Most tourists around the world in Japan think it must be Tsukiji. Are you familiar with a fishing port ’Choshi’? It is about 2 hours from Tokyo by train as a good day trip. The location of Choshi is on a peninsula into the Pacific Ocean, in the northeast corner of Chiba Prefecture. It is one of the representing fishing ports, so it is number one in the catches of fishes for 7 years straight in Japan.


The fishing port is always animated to be performed with several types of the fishery like off-shore fisheries, gill net and small-scale fishery to catch a variety of fishes. As soon as sardines, mackerels, berycoids and others are caught, they are processed to be sold on the day close to the factories or transferred to fishing markets especially around the whole Kanto region.

The city is surrounded by the Tone river on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other two. Going back to a history, the area had got several floods every year. And the course of the river has not been fixed. In the Edo period, the project started building the barriers channeling river flow and was completed in 1654, as a fact until being built, the area was considered one of the most dangerous shipping areas in Japan. Many fishermen died in the area caused by a lot of disaster. Overseeing the estuary of the river, Kawaguchi Shrine (川口神社) is located on a hill and offered great view over the river mouth. The festival is well related with the disaster and the shrine. Now let’s see what’s going on the ceremony!

Things to Do and See

The ceremony calls `Koide-Shiki’ (漕出式) or ‘fishing boats launching ceremony’ being held in early January every year. This is the first annual New Year’s ceremony in this port. Dozens of ships or boats launch from the port to the sea to pray for the safety and great catch of fishes of the year. This is a traditional event working for the first time in the new year. Tairyo-bata, which are fishing boat flags that are used to signify a good catch, are attached with every boats or ships. Fishermen hold a ceremony with sacred sake offering to the sea, their boats and equipment. They turn around their ships over the sea just as they loudly whistle when they are near the shrine. The crew member of fishermen believe that the shrine protects them from any trouble.

This ceremony has been chosen as one of the select best sceneries of the city. It is worth visiting to see community-based ceremony and feel the sea breeze before eating fresh seafood.

Details and Access

The schedule of the ceremony changes every year according to the calendar. But it is basically held in the first Friday, Saturday or Sunday of January. When you plan to visit there, be sure to check with tourist association of Choshi in advance.

How to get to Choshi


From Tokyo to Choshi – about 2 hours by JR Sobu Honsen Line, Limited express ’Shiosai’.


From Tokyo to Choshi – about 2 hours and 15 minutes by Keisei Highway bus.

Other Things to Do in Choshi

After checking out the ceremony, there are a lot of things to do and places to go to in Choshi! It is famous for being a fishing port but there are a lot of attractive geographical features and historical spots. The region is blessed with warm weather through a year. To leave from Tokyo approximately 2 hours, you will come across a more nostalgic feeling by the local people, atmosphere and scenery. I’d like to introduce other things except for the fishing port. A few recommendations are:

Inubosaki Lighthouse (犬吠埼灯台)

– This is the first-rank Western style lighthouse which was constructed by Richard Henry Burton, an English architect, in 1874. The building has been regarded as a historic value so that this is designated as a registered tangible cultural property of Japan. You can experience a spectacular view.

Dolphin Whale watching

– You can watch dolphin and whale watching here all year around. If you ‘re lucky, you can encounter dozens of 5,000 wild dolphins. Choshi Ocean Institute provides us not only dolphin and whale watching tour, but also sunset or sunrise cruise. These experiences must be great memory for you.

Soy sauce factories

– There is no doubt that Japanese soy sauce has been an important cuisine for quite some time. In this city, there are two major soy sauce manufactures, Yamasa (ヤマサ醤油) and Higeta (ヒゲタ醤油) around JR Choshi station. The two of them have long histories of over 400 years old and been recognized for high quality since the were established. You can join factory tours at both companies and see each process.

Closing Remarks

Japan is one of the largest consumers of marine products and it is the largest fish-eating nation in the world. Wherever you can come across fresh seafood or unique processed seafood around the country. One reason eating will be the best part about traveling. Traveling somewhere new opens your eyes and your taste buds to a whole new range of authentic flavor profiles and foods that you would’ve otherwise been missing out on. While satisfied with the cuisine, we appreciate for the fishermen’s hard work and their prayers for the New Year celebration for good catches, good weather and safe passages at sea.

You can experience this ceremony as well with local friends! If you need any guides to take you around the festival and show you even more things to do in the area check below!

Discover Chiba Prefecture!

Chiba Prefecture is a great place to visit and can boast plenty of tourist attractions. Besides, it is very close to Tokyo, and you can easily visit it within a day. However, would you like to see rural Japan? Chiba Prefecture gives you a unique opportunity to visit a land of hot springs and admire authentic traditional Japan. The following article assembled the best festivals and activities to enjoy in Chiba Prefecture, which will make your trip to Japan even more rewarding!


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Most of the travelers who come to Japan enter the country through Tokyo. Even if it is not the main place of your destination, it would be a great idea to stay in the capital city for a few days. The biggest conglomerate in the world has much to offer to any kind of traveler. Whether you want to go sightseeing, shopping, eating out, or trying something special that you can experience only in Japan, Tokyo has it all. In the following article, you will find 100 things and many ideas on how to spend your time in Tokyo! Please, have a look!


Would You Like to Know How to Enjoy a Japanese Festival Even More?

A lot of people when they get to a Matsuri for the first time feel themselves a bit lost. They confuse about what is happening around. If you are new to Japanese Festivals or want to know an alternative way of how you can enjoy these events, the following article will provide you with a set of helpful tips on how to choose a proper festival and activities you should try there. Please don`t hesitate to take a look at it!


Did You Know That There is a Festival Every Day Somewhere in Japan?

Japan is a country of festivals indeed. Matsuri is an essential part of traditional Japanese culture. Thus, every day somewhere in Japan a festival takes place. There are traditional and modern festivals, on the sea and on the ground, in summer and winter. Japanese are hardworking people. However, when you attend at least one festival in Japan, you will understand how locals like to party. The article under the link below will introduce you to a celebration on any day of the year. I am sure you will find an event that suits your interests utmost!


Don`t Stay Hungry at the Festival!

For all foodies who enjoy Japanese Festivals would be nice to get acquainted with the rich choice offered by Yatai (Japanese festival food stalls). The food presented during Matsuri is pretty different from the one you get at the restaurants in Japan. Besides, there is a certain charm in grabbing some snack from a food stall and diving back into the festival crowd. I am sure that you will discover something new about Japanese festival food from the following article!



Hi,I'm Masae. I love traveling around the world and the country to see a lot of things and meet a lot of people. I want to share the experiences with you. I’m sure these will be tips for your next destinations!

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