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Shibayama (芝山町, Shibayama-machi) is a town located in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. As of April 2012, the town had an estimated population of 7,707 and a population density of 177 persons per km². The total area is 43.47 square kilometres (16.78 sq mi).[1]


Shibayama Town Office
Shibayama Town Office
Flag of Shibayama
Official seal of Shibayama
Location of Shibayama in Chiba Prefecture
Location of Shibayama in Chiba Prefecture
Shibayama is located in Japan
Coordinates: 35°42′N 140°25′E / 35.700°N 140.417°E / 35.700; 140.417Coordinates: 35°42′N 140°25′E / 35.700°N 140.417°E / 35.700; 140.417
PrefectureChiba Prefecture
 • Total43.47 km2 (16.78 sq mi)
 (April 2012)
 • Total7,707
 • Density177/km2 (460/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
- TreeYamazakura (Prunus jamasakura)
Phone number0479-77-3901


Shibayama is located in north-central Chiba Prefecture on the Shimōsa Plateau. Narita International Airport is located to the north of the town on the border between Shibayama and Narita. Most airport service facilities are located on the Narita side: however, Shibayama has developed a local industrial base due to the airport's presence, and hosts three major industrial areas. The remainder of the town is agricultural, and much of it is covered with rice paddies and areas of vegetable production.[2] As it lies directly beneath one of the main approach paths to the airport, noise pollution and eminent domain issues have caused it to be a center of anti-airport activism.[1]

Surrounding MunicipalitiesEdit


Shibayama Town was established on July 1, 1955 by the merger of the villages of Chiyoda and Nikawa.[1][2]


In 2007 Nippon Cargo Airlines signed an order with Taisei Corporation for the construction of a crew training center. Construction on the crew center, located in Shibayama, was to begin in September 2007. The company scheduled for the facility to become operational in September 2008.[3]



There are three elementary schools and one middle school in Shibayama: Shibayama Elementary School, Higashi Elementary School, Hishida Elementary School, and Shibayama Middle School.

Local attractionsEdit

Haniwa of ShibayamaEdit

Haniwa, terracotta funerary objects of the Kofun period (250 – 538 AD) are designated a cultural symbol for Shibayama. The main north-south road in Shibayama, Prefectural Route 62, is designated "Haniwa Avenue" in the town, and is lined with large-scale reproductions of haniwa statues. The Haniwa come from the many burial mounds located in Shibayama,[4] primarily from the Shibayam Kofungun.[5] Shibayama is home to the Shibayama Kofun Haniwa Museum, located in close proximity to the Shibayama Kofungun.

The Shibayama Haniwa Festival is held annually on the second Sunday of November. Created in 1982, the festival is a day-long which centers on a procession of adults dressed as local Kofun-period rulers, and elementary and middle school children dressed as kodaijin (古代人), a term that means "ancient people". The festival ends after dark with a bonfire at the Shibayama Kumano Shrine that symbolizes the funeral service of a local Kofun-period ruler.[6]

Shibayama Niōson TempleEdit

Kannonkyō-ji, a Buddhist temple of the Tendai sect, is popularly known in the town as the Shibayama Niōson Temple. It dates, by tradition, to 781 and contains a 3-tiered pagoda. The pagoda is designated a Chiba Prefectural Important Cultural Property. The temple also features a museum with displays of haniwa as well as Buddhist art and artifacts.[7]

Notable peopleEdit

  • Shirō Ishii - Imperial Japanese Army biological warfare specialist and war criminal


  1. ^ a b c "Shibayama-machi". Nihon Rekishi Chimei Taikei (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-09.
  2. ^ a b "Shibayama-machi". Nihon Daihyakka Zensho (Nipponika) (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-09.
  3. ^ "Accelerated progress toward independent operations "Order placed for construction of a crew training center and an engineering & maintenance hangar"." (Archive) Nippon Cargo Airlines. Retrieved on February 20, 2012.
  4. ^ "Shibayama Kofungun". Nihon Kokugo Daijiten (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-09.
  5. ^ "Shibayama Kofungun". Kokushi Daijiten (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-09.
  6. ^ "Haniwa-matsuri" [Haniwa Museum Festival] (in Japanese). Shibayama, Chiba Prefecture: Shibayama Chōritsu Shibayama Kofun Haniwa Hakubutsukan. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  7. ^ "Shibayama Niōson" (in Japanese). Shibayama, Chiba Prefecture: Shibayama Niōson Kannonkyō-ji. Retrieved May 9, 2012.

External linksEdit