Choshi: A Railway Trip to a Seaside Town
Choshi in Chiba Prefecture is a town on a peninsula that juts out into the Pacific Ocean, known as "Toppazure," meaning "the end of the road." The Choshi Fishing Port boasts the largest catch in Japan for 10 consecutive years. The Choshi Electric Railway is a 6.4-kilometer-long local line traveling along the tip of the peninsula at a leisurely pace. Is this the end of the road? Or a land where something begins? All aboard! We are off on a train ride to see the seaside town of Choshi.

Trip to the Oldest Fishing Town in Choshi

10 stations and about a 20-minute ride from the starting station Choshi, is the line's final stop, Tokawa. Choshi's prosperity as a fishing town began a little over 300 years ago in Tokawa. It was fishermen from Wakayama Prefecture who came from the south, riding the northward Kuroshio Current chasing the fish. They found a good fishing ground off the coast of Choshi, where the warm and cold currents collide, and settled here to build a fishing port. The fatty alfonsino landed in Tokawa is of the highest quality.

A Soy Sauce Flavored Town

Choshi is one of the largest producers of soy sauce in Japan. Thanks to the Kuroshio Current, the difference in temperature in Choshi is mild, which stabilizes the agency of koji, or soy malt, making it ideal for making fermented foods. A signature product of a 390-year-old brewery, Hishio is a fermented food in a state before the koji is squeezed in soy sauce production. It was originally eaten with rice by the brewery workers. The unique umami created by fermentation is the root of soul food for the Japanese.

Shake it off with Hane-daiko!

Hane-daiko is a drumming performance unique to Choshi. In Japanese, the word means "a drum played while bouncing around." The drumming is done in pairs who push each other on to the ground. Some call it a "martial art of drums." However, for the past two years, the festival has been canceled due to COVID-19. In normal years, the drums are used to pray for a great catch of fish, but this year the group beats them to pray away the plague.