Matsudo Explorations with CIR Erin, Summer 2016 Edition



Hello! And welcome to the Summer 2016 edition of Matsudo Explorations.

As many of you are already aware, summer in Matsudo is HOT. The humid, suffocating kind that makes you glean with sweat and want to take a nap after every meal. However(!), if you can resist that urge to strip down to your undies and lounge infront of the air con, there is a LOT on the local calendar. So grab a hat and a bottle of cold tea and get amongst the festivities!

As Matsudo City's Coordinator of International Relations ('CIR'), it is my goal to explore and experience the local area, and to then share local information in English with as many people as possible. So for those of you yet to make it to this great city in person, I will periodically update this page with reviews and photos of my summer explorations. May it provide you with that final push you need to cross the Edogawa River and join us in Matsudo this summer!

Keep cool,


Erin, Coordinator of International Relations
4th August, 2016

There are more adventures! Click here for Autumn 2016's installment

September 9th, PARADISE AIR special concert - Sui Zhen

I am a big supporter of local artist-in-residence PARADISE AIR. They put on an array of free events to enable local and international artists to share their works with the Matsudo community (further information on the Global Encounters page). One such event was Australian musician and video maker Sui Zhen’s live performance at local performance space FAN CLUB.

Sui Zhen and her band had spent two weeks songwriting and jamming at PARADISE AIR as a part of the Short Stay Program. Their Fan Club performance was intimate and fun, with smoke and laser lights emphasizing Sui Zhen’s unique brand of electro pop. After the show DJ Rowan kept the vibe alive while the band, staff and attendees danced the night away!

August 27th, "Feel the rhythm", outdoor live music @ Forest & Park for the 21st Century

I'm not going to lie. I almost gave "Feel the rhythm" a miss. The weather was grey, I was weary after a day of housework, and the couch looked oh-so-inviting. Nonetheless, guilt is a powerful force! And I had told waaay too many people in advance that I was looking forward to it (ha). Turns out that was an excellent game plan.

"Feel the rhythm" was an Anywhere Theatre* production, combining live music with Matsudo's premier green space, the Forest & Park for the 21st Century. The stage and seating were set up underneath the bridge overpass, protecting both the band and the audience from the elements. The night sky gave the space a fairy tale-esque feel.

The six-piece band played a mixture of background music and crowd-pleasing tracks, and their smooth vibe was complemented by the gourmet take-away food and drink offerings available on site. I treated myself to a red-wine sangria that I promise tasted exactly like a European Christmas. And after an hour or so of music my stresses had all but melted away!

*The Anywhere Theatre series is a free outdoor entertainment series coordinated in collaboration with the City Hall and designed to bring music and theatre to the people. Keep an eye on the Local Event Calendar page for information about future productions.

"Feel the rhythm", an 'Anywhere Theatre' production

August 20th, MIEA English Speech Contest for high school students

English was in the air on Saturday the 20th! This year's English Speech Contest attracted nineteen contestants from high schools all across Matsudo, an impressive seven students more than the year before. I was fortunate enough to be on the judging panel with a front row seat to all of the action.

I was impressed not only by the considerable effort that that each student put into their preparations, but also by the depth of each of their speeches. Common topics included self-confidence, the importance of family, and dreams for the future - what an optimistic and proactive bunch Matsudo's youth are! Let's also keep in mind that many people would rate public speaking as more frightening than the possibility of an untimely death. Add a second language into the mix and it is all the more deserving of recognition and praise.

This year's grand prize went to 1st year student Miss Chinatsu Kobayashi, who overcame fierce competition with her speech entitled "Never, ever, give up." She and 4 runners up have been awarded the coveted prize of a trip to AUSTRALIA(!) to visit Matsudo's sister city, The City of Whitehorse. Talk about a great reward!

The English Speech Contest is an annual event and is open for public viewing. For more information about how to enter in the future, please contact the Matsudo International Exchange Association directly (047-366-7310, English available).

Contestants, judges, officials and MCs

August 9th-10th, Sakagawa Lantern Festival

The Sakagawa Lantern Festival is possibly my favourite festival on the Matsudo calendar. Not only was it walking distance from the office (and on a weekday no less!), the atmosphere was friendly and the music was great. The backdrop wasn't so bad either, with hundreds of handmade lanterns reflecting their orangey hue in the water as they quietly floated down the river. Within 5 minutes of arriving I had crossed paths with friends from the Paradise Air Artist in Residence program, the Armour Enthusiasts Society and the Matsudo Tourism Association, not to mention half of my City Hall colleagues! It was definitely the place to be.

The ambience would have almost been romantic had I not been distracted by the promise of grilled corn! The Sakagawa Lantern Festival is famous for its grilled corn-on-the-cob offerings, so much so that you have to queue to get your hands on some. Many locals even buy them to take home to the family. I had neither the patience (nor the elegance!) to wait that long and instead had unwrapped mine and devoured it within 10 meters of the stall.

The Sakagawa Lantern Festival is an annual event - I hope to see you there next year!

Handmade lanterns on the Sakagawa River

August 6th, Matsudo Fireworks Festival

I hail from a country where fireworks are reserved for New Years Eve, and where the concept of letting them off anywhere near any scrubland in the middle of summer is...well, not even a concept (ha). As such, entire festivals dedicated to fireworks are a real treat! And this year's 'Matsudo Dream Fireworks' was no exception.

It was one of the hottest days of the season, but that didn't keep the community away. Over 200,000 locals and visitors converged on the Edogawa River in anticipation of the annual event, a considerable increase on last year's spectator numbers. And despite the crowds, the evening ran smoothly with minimal incidents. I spent it manning the central administration tent, just in case any foreign spectators required assistance. Fortunately, my services were not required!

The fireworks display itself was divided into four segments, totaling over an hour. My favourite was the third segment - "Dream fireworks dancing above the city", which was synchronised to music and completely hypnotizing. For those of you who couldn't make it this year, get out the calendar and mark off the first Saturday in August 2017. Don't go missing out twice!

August 3rd-4th, Yagiri Beer Festival

"I love a cold beer at the end of a stinking hot day!" ...said every.single.person in Matsudo this August! The annual Yagiri Beer Festival beckoned people from all across the city.

Yagiri's station plaza was transformed into a bustling hot spot of on-tap beer and 'yakitori' chicken skewers, with an aroma to match. Local dance groups and enka singers performed from the stage infront of countless families, workers and school children. The weather was warm, as was the atmosphere.

Whilst I'm not much of a beer drinker myself, I did indulge in an enormous snow cone and countless chicken skewers. Definitely worth the visit!

Return to the Matsudo Explorations catalogue 「CIRの松戸はっけん」の一覧へ戻る








9月9日、PARADISE AIRライブ・コンサート:Sui Zhen

私は、松戸市に拠点を置くアーティスト・イン・レジデンス* PARADISE AIRの大ファンです。PARADISE AIRは、国内外のアーティストを松戸市に招き、市民が多様なアートに出会う機会を次々と作り出しています(詳しくは「国際窓口」のページをご覧ください)。その一つとして、9月9日に『FAN CLUB』というイベントスペースで、オーストラリア出身の音楽家でビデオ・アーティストであるSui Zhenのライブが行われました。

Sui Zhenとバンドメンバー3人は、PARADISE AIRのショートステイ・プログラムで松戸に滞在し、練習と作詞作曲をしながら2週間を過ごしました。FAN CLUBでのライブは楽しくくつろいだ雰囲気で、Sui Zhenの独特なエレクトロ・ポップが、演奏中に使用したスモークマシンとレーザーライトの効果でさらに強調されました。ライブ後、賑やかな雰囲気はDJ Rowanに引き継がれ、Sui Zhenとバンド、スタッフ、お客さんみんなで何時間も楽しく踊りました。

*アーティスト・イン・レジデンス(Artist In Residence)とは:芸術家に一定期間、滞在場所と制作場所を提供し、旅費と制作活動を支援するプログラム。










今年の優勝者は一年生の小林 千夏さんです。激しい競争を乗り越え、「Never, ever, give up.」というスピーチで優勝しました。小林さんと上位入賞者4人は、松戸市のオーストラリアにある姉妹都市「ホワイトホース市」を訪問する機会が授与されました。誰もが欲しい賞ですね!

松戸市高校生英語スピーチコンテストは毎年行うイベントで、一般の観客さんに公開されています。より詳しい情報、また将来のコンテストに出場する方法に関しては、直接MIEAにご連絡ください(電話: 047-366-7310)。
















Return to the Matsudo Explorations catalogue 「CIRの松戸はっけん」の一覧へ戻る


文化スポーツ部 国際推進課

千葉県松戸市小根本7番地の8 京葉ガスF松戸第2ビル5階
電話番号:047-710-2725 FAX:047-363-2653