Learn more about Chiba Prefecture
|Image:Japan Chiba large.png|
|Area||5,156.15 km² (27th)|
|- % water||0.8%|
|- Population||6,006,185 (6th)|
|- Density||1,165 /km²|
|- Flower||Rape blossom (Brassica rapa var. amplexicaulis)|
|- Tree||Kusamaki (Podocarpus macrophyllus)|
|- Bird||Hoojiro (Meadow Bunting, Emberiza cioides)|
Symbol of Chiba Prefecture
Chiba borders Ibaraki Prefecture to the north at the Tone River, Tokyo and Saitama Prefecture to the west at the Edo River, the Pacific Ocean to the east and Tokyo Bay around its southern boundary. Most of Chiba lies on the hilly Boso Peninsula, a rice farming region: the east coast, known as the Ninety-Nine League Plain, is an especially productive area. The most populous zone, in the northwest of the prefecture, is part of the Kantō region that extends into the urban agglomeration of Tokyo and Saitama. The Kuroshio Current flows near Chiba, which keep it relatively warm in winter and cooler in summer than neighbouring Tokyo.
Thirty-six cities are located in Chiba Prefecture:
ǂ Scheduled to be dissolved after mergers.
 Towns and villages
These are the towns and villages in each district:
 Mergers during the 2000s
- June 6, 2003 - The city of Noda absorbed the town of Sekiyado. (Merger information page)
- February 11, 2005 - the old city of Kamogawa merged with the town of Amatsukominato to form the city of Kamogawa.
- March 28, 2005 - The city of Kashiwa absorbed the town of Shonan. (Merger information page)
- July 1, 2005 - The old city of Asahi and the towns of Hikata, Iioka, and Unakami merged to form the city of Asahi. (Merger information page)
- December 5, 2005 - The towns of Isumi, Misaki and Ohara merged to form the new city of Isumi.
- January 23, 2006, the city of Yokaichiba and the town of Nosaka merged, forming the city of Sosa.
- March 20, 2006 - The municipalities of Tomiura, Tomiyama, Miyoshi, Shirahama, Chikura, Maruyama and Wada merged, forming the city of Minamiboso.
- March 27, 2006 - The city of Narita absorbed the towns of Shimofusa and Taiei.
- The city of Sawara and the towns of Omigawa, Yamada and Kurimoto merged, forming the city of Katori.
- The towns of Sanbu, Naruto, Hasunuma and Matsuo merged to form the city of Sanmu.
- The towns of Hikari and Yokoshiba from Sanbu District merged, forming the town of Yokoshibahikari.
Chiba is one of Japan's largest industrial areas, thanks to its long coastline on Tokyo Bay. After Chiba was chosen as the site for a major Kawasaki Steel factory in 1950, the prefectural government embarked on a large-scale land reclamation program that dredged up large plots of waterfront property for factories, warehouses, and docks. Chemical production, petrochemical refining, and machine production are the three main industries in Chiba today: together, they account for forty-five percent of the prefecture's exports. In recent years, the government has funded more than eighty industrial parks to bring development further inland as well.
The prefecture also boasts Japan's second-highest agricultural output: among all the prefectures, only Hokkaido produces more agricultural products, and Chiba leads Hokkaido in vegetable production. Chiba's fisheries are also productive, catching many of Japan's flatfish, halibut, and lobster. Seaweed is harvested in large quantities from Tokyo Bay.
Chiba's population is one of the wealthiest in Japan due to the prefecture's strong commercial and industrial sectors. Per capita GDP is ¥3.1 million (US$28,600), the fifth-highest in the country. 70% of the population is employed in the service sector, with 25% in industry and 5% in agriculture.
Most Tokyo-bound visitors land in Narita International Airport, which is situated in Narita in the north of the prefecture, and connected to Tokyo by the JR Narita Express and the private Keisei Electric Railway.
Chiba is linked to Tokyo by several railway lines: the main trunk lines are the Keiyo Line and Sobu Line. The Musashino Line connects Chiba to Saitama and northern Tokyo. Southern Chiba is connected to Kanagawa Prefecture by the Tokyo Wan Aqua-Line bridge-tunnel.
 Prefectural symbols
Chiba's Meibutsu (名物 lit: famous thing) is peanuts. Most of Japan's peanuts are harvested here and are also processed into peanut oils.
 External links
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|Abiko | Asahi | Chiba (capital) | Choshi | Funabashi | Futtsu | Ichihara | Ichikawa | Inzai | Isumi | Kamagaya | Kamogawa | Kashiwa | Katori | Katsuura | Kimitsu | Kisarazu | Matsudo | Minamiboso | Mobara | Nagareyama | Narashino | Narita | Noda | Sakura | Sanmu | Shiroi | Sodegaura | Sosa | Tateyama | Tomisato | Togane | Urayasu | Yachimata | Yachiyo | Yotsukaido|
|Awa | Chosei | Inba | Isumi | Katori | Sanbu|