Things to Do | Visit Chiba | Latest update:2021/06/28
In the minds of many, Makuhari Messe often conjures up images of stadium acts; having played host to performances to many of the world’s top musical acts. Japanese business professionals, however, would think of it foremost as a first-rate convention center, and the site of world-class MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) events. In 2021, it proudly prepares to play host to the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. Thirty minutes from Narita Airport, forty minutes from Haneda Airport, and thirty minutes from Tokyo Station, by its location alone, Makuhari Messe stands out as the ideal venue for all manner of large-scale gatherings, especially for events hosting guests from overseas.
Starting in 1983, the “New Industrial Triangle Initiative” was established in Chiba Prefecture as a coalition between the areas of Narita, Kazusa, and Makuhari – the three areas when connected together form a geographic triangle – to stimulate sustainable economic growth in the region. In October 1989, Makuhari Messe was launched and, as a result, Makuhari New City was born as an international convention city, both in name and in reality.
Among the many selling points making Makuhari Messe a well-known venue for international MICE events, is the incomparable convenience of its immediate vicinity and surrounding region. Six hotels stand within walking distance of its premises, two of which are directly connected to Makuhari Messe itself; and another two even have their own conference halls. The Makuhari area also allows you to enjoy many uniquely Japanese experiences, all within a tight geographical area. Within walking distance of this facility, you may: observe Diamond Mt. Fuji, a view of the sun setting on this famous mountain; savor the flavors of a local izakaya (traditional Japanese pub); and stroll through Mihama-en, a quintessential Japanese garden. Those wanting to shop for souvenirs also need not venture far; AEON MALL Makuhari New City – one of Japan’s largest shopping malls – sits a mere nine-minute walk from Makuhari Messe. The Makuhari area also offers visitors an array of high-quality dining options. Chiba Prefecture is known for its farming and fishing industries, allowing the restaurants in Makuhari to offer cuisine at a level of freshness that is often hard to come by in other urban centers.
The prefecture of Chiba has plenty to offer for all types of travelers, including those who seek out deeper, more authentic tourist experiences. The Chiba Urban Monorail holds the Guinness World Record for “The World’s Longest Suspension Railway,” and monorail cars may even be booked to host a welcome reception for MICE events. Additional party favors like shamisen (Japanese “lute”) players, and local catering, may also be arranged by the Chiba Convention Bureau. Another unique facility in Chiba is Boso no Mura, an experience-based museum near Narita International Airport which reproduces a typical local village of the Edo Period (1603 – 1867). Chiba is also home to Hiyodorizaka, where visitors can stroll through an idyllic Japanese bamboo forest, a scene that feels like it’s straight out of a postcard.
The attention paid to ensuring the safety of attendees also makes the MICE venues in Chiba – including Makuhari Messe – stand out as clear choices, even in pandemic times. These facilities drafted strict regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and all events – or exhibitions – held on their premises must adhere to these guidelines. Holding a MICE event in Chiba also gives your attendees more options for avoiding close contact with others when compared to the more densely populated Tokyo. In addition, for those who desire the familiar comfort of the well-known international hotel chains, hotels such as the Sheraton or the Hilton can be found in the nearby city of Urayasu. On top of all that, the cost of accommodation in Chiba is much lower than in the metropolis of Tokyo, even if the former offers the same services and standards as the latter. And of course, only in Chiba can you be treated with the local hospitality of the Boso Peninsula.
2-1 Nakase, Mihama Ward, Chiba City
(A 5-minute walk from JR Keiyo Line, Kaihin Makuhari Station / 17 minutes by bus from JR Sobu Line or Keisei Line, Makuhari Hongo Station / 40 minutes by Highway Bus from Narita Airport)