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Chiba’s Mother Farm gives kids a shot at fun, life in the country

by Natalie Koch

Mother Farm, a large animal farm in Chiba Pref., has launched its Autumn Festa ’09.

Autumn Festa features events for the whole family and the main attraction of the season is a grand parade of sheep. Children can enjoy dogs herding the flock of sheep and watch them get sheared afterward.

Also on the schedule are a duck parade and a piggy race, where children can race piglets. In addition to the seasonal fare, milking cows, riding horses and playing with small animals give visitors a firsthand animal experience.

At an attached amusement park, a labyrinth, bungee jumping and go-karts promise more entertainment.

Hiking trails are available for nature lovers, as well as activities such as painting, pottery and picking fruits.

For longer stays, there are cottage houses for accommodation.

The Mother Farm Autumn Festa ’09 runs till Nov. 29 and is located at 940-3 Tagura, Futtsu City, Chiba Pref. Entry costs ¥1,500 for junior high school students and older, ¥800 for primary school students. Discounts are available for those with handicaps. The farm is open from 9:30 a.m. till 4:30 p.m., and from 9:30 a.m. till 5:00 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Access: Take the JR Uchibo Line to Sanukimachi Station, then the bus for Kanozan to Mother Farm Station; or take the Tokyo Wan Ferry or Aqua-Line Expressway to Chiba Pref. For more information, call (0439) 37-3211 or visit www.motherfarm.co.jp.