Chiba: A promenade from the gateway to Japan Find new things on a small detour! Encounter abundant nature, fresh delicacies and thrilling experiences in Chiba. 2013.07.

Some of Japan’s most popular and famous tourist spots are in Chiba Prefecture, including Narita Airport, where 72 airlines from 98 cities worldwide land, and "The Kingdom of Dreams and Magic", Tokyo Disneyland. However, there is so much more to see in Chiba! The more you know about Chiba, the deeper its appeal becomes, such as a rich variety of abundant nature, fresh seafood, a number of theme parks, historic towns where traditional culture lives on, and hot springs and shopping spots. A small detour from famous tourist areas such as Tokyo or Yokohama to Chiba, full of unknown appeals, will make your trip to Japan even more fun!

Praying for happiness at a temple for common people with over 1000 years of history

The first recommended place to visit is Naritasan Shinshoji Temple. Shinshoji Temple has a history spanning over 1,000 years, and has gained popularity and many believers as a temple that opened for common people. When you enter the grandiose main gate after walking on the approaching road alongside which stores that sell eels, a Narita specialty, and souvenirs stand side by side, temples of various sizes stand amongst the greenery. The Great Main Hall, which is the symbol of Shinshoji Temple, is the place where monks offer prayers for world peace and the happiness of people.
 
Naritasan Shinshoji Temple
Address:1 Narita, Narita-shi, Chiba
Telephone:0476-22-2111
Access:Approx. 10 minutes from Narita Station on the JR and Keisei Lines


 

Full of nature sightseeing spots that are beautiful year-round

One appeal of Chiba is that you can enjoy views of both mountains and the sea. Kujukuri-hama, facing the Pacific Ocean, is a beautiful beach that extends a distance of about 66 km. Mt. Nokogiri in Southern Chiba is a first-rate location, where you can see Mt. Fuji on a sunny day. You can also experience the thrill of “Jigoku-nozoki (peering into hell)” by looking down from the verge of a steep cliff or observe the largest stone Buddha statue in Japan.
 
For those who enjoy mountain nature, Yoro-keikoku Valley is recommended. You can not only experience outdoor activities such as fishing or hiking, but can encounter nature that has a different expression with each season. In particular, the autumn colors are spectacular. If you are traveling in spring, flower picking in Shiramazu Flower Fields is recommended. In the warm climate of Chiba, spring flowers including poppies and stocks start blooming from January through March, and you can enjoy picking them.
 
Mt. Nokogiri
Address:Kyonan-machi, Awa-gun/Futtsu City, Chiba
Telephone:0439-69-2314
Open hours:9:00 - 17:00, 9:00 - 16:00 during the winter season.
Access:Nokogiriyama Ropeway is approx. 8 minutes on foot from Hamakanaya Station on the JR Uchibo Line


 
Yoro-keikoku Valley
A valley by the Yoro River that runs near the boundary between Ichihara and Otaki in Chiba
Access:To the nearest entrance, approx. 1.5 km from Yoro-keikoku Station on the Kominato Line


 
Shiramazu Flower Fields
Address:Shiramazu, Minamiboso-shi, Chiba
Telephone:0470-44-3581 (Chikura Tourism Information Desk)
Access:Approx. 15 minutes by local bus from JR Chikura Station


 

Many theme parks that make children happy

There are also many theme parks where you and your children can have an exciting time. Mother Farm, located in Mt. Kano, which commands grand views of Tokyo Bay and Mt. Fuji, is a tourism farm where you can interact with cows, sheep, alpacas and other animals. You can also enjoy experience-based events, such as milking cows or picking strawberries. Kamogawa Seaworld is a seaside theme park, where you can meet 11,000 sea creatures from 800 species. Dynamic performances by killer whales, dolphins, sea lions and belugas are very popular with children.
 
Mother Farm
Address:940-3 Tagura, Futtsu-shi, Chiba
Telephone:0439-37-3211
Access:Approx. 20 minutes by local bus from JR Uchibo Line Sanukimachi Station. A free shuttle bus is available from JR line Kimitsu Station (reservation required)
Open hours:February – November: Saturday, Sunday, holidays 9:00 - 17:00, weekdays 9:30 - 16:30
December – January: Saturday, Sunday, holidays 9:30 - 16:00, weekdays: 10:00 -16:00
Holidays:December 9 – 13, 2013 (illuminated at night), January 14 – 17, 2014
Admission:Adults (junior high school students or older): 1,500 yen, children (4 years old to elementary school students): 800 yen


 
Kamogawa Seaworld
Address:1464-18, Higashi-cho, Kamogawa-shi, Chiba
Telephone:04-7093-4803
Access:Approx. 5 min. by courtesy bus from JR Sotobo Line Awakamogawa Station
Open hours:9:00 - 17:00 (depends on season)
Holidays:December 10 – 12, 2013, January 15 – 16, 2014
Admission:Adult (high school students or older): 2,800 yen, children (4 years old to junior high school students): 1,400 yen, 65 or older: 1,960 yen


 

Vigorously eat all the delicacies of Chiba, from seafood to fruits!

Surrounded by the sea on three sides and blessed with a warm climate, Chiba Prefecture abounds with delicacies. Fresh seafood from the Pacific Ocean facing the Sotobo area is particularly popular. Although such seafood is delicious by itself, “Hasshoku-don (eight dishes over rice)” or “Aburi kaisen don (seared seafood over rice)”, which allow you to enjoy seasonal ingredients such as lobster, turban shells and horse mackerel altogether, or sushi that has been famed for its freshness since the Edo Era are delicacies that even seafood aficionados will approve of. The deliciousness of the fruits from Chiba is particularly notable, including large, fleshy, juicy loquats. You can enjoy strawberry picking from January to May and pear picking from August to October. No complicated manners are necessary for Chiba gourmet food, just eat vigorously without pretense.
 

Take a small trip back in time in a town that retains vestiges of history

The appeal of Chiba does not stop with its abundant nature; you can also enjoy townscapes that retain vestiges of an era in which samurai were active, in an area close to Narita Airport. As a town that surrounded Sakura Castle, Sakura City flourished during the Edo Era (17th to 19th centuries). From Bukeyashiki-dori (samurai residential avenue) or many other historic buildings, you can catch a glimpse of the lives of samurai in the past.
 
On the other hand, Sawara was a town of merchants that flourished due to water transportation along the Tonegawa River. A kimono shop, a household goods store, a grocer and other buildings from the Edo or Meiji Eras still remain in their original form alongside the Onogawa River or in the surrounding areas, some of which are still open for business. In addition, in the town of Sawara, “the Machi-gurumi Museum at-home”, in which each home exhibits old tools, traditional art or collections for visitors to enjoy, is currently underway.
 
Boso-no-Mura
Address:1028 Ryukakuji, Sakae-machi, Imba-gun, Chiba
Telephone:047-695-3333
Access:By bus from the JR Narita Station on the JR Narita Line: about 20 minutes by "Ryukakuji-dai-shako". Get off at "Ryukakuji-dai-2-chome." Walk about 8 minutes.
*There are 1-2 buses going in either direction every hour.
Open hours:9:00 - 16:30
Holidays:Mondays (Tuesday if Monday falls on a holiday), beginning and end of the year, other extra holidays
*From April to December 1st, on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, there are buses that go directly to Boso-no-Mura at 8:50 and 9:45

Learn all about traditional cuisine and crafts at this museum where you can get hands-on experience. If you make a booking in advance, a volunteer interpreter can be arranged.


 
Bukeyashiki (Old Samurai Houses: the Kawahara House, the Tajima House, and the Takei House)
Address:57 Miyakojimachi, Sakura-shi, Chiba
Telephone:043-486-2947
Access:Approx. 10 minutes on foot from JR Line Sakura Station
Open hours:9:00 - 17:00 (Admission by 16:30)
Holidays:Mondays (if Monday is a public holiday, closed on the following day), December 28 – January 4
Admission fee:Adult: 210 yen, student/child: 100 yen (elementary and junior high school students are admitted free of charge on Saturdays)


 
Townscapes of Sawara
Address:Sawara-ku, Katori-shi, Chiba
Access:Approx. 15 minutes on foot from JR Narita Line Sawara Station


 

You might become more beautiful if you relax in them? Hot springs in Chiba are popular among local people

There are many famous hot springs in Chiba. If you would like to enjoy an atmosphere peculiar to Chiba, hot springs facing the open sea with magnificent views are recommended; for example, at the Inubosaki hot springs located at the east end of the prefecture, you can enjoy “Hadabijin no yu (a bath for beautiful skin)” in an open-air bath facing the ocean. Katsuura Hot Springs, Tateyama Hot Springs, Kamogawa Hot Springs and Shirahama Hot Springs, located along the ocean on the southern Boso Peninsula, are also popular as hot springs where you can feel close to the ocean. Fresh sashimi after relaxing in a hot spring is especially delicious. In addition, Yoro-keikoku Valley Hot Springs or Onjuku Hot Springs, where natural hot springs form with a water that exhibits a dark brown color known as black hot water, have a reputation for making the skin smooth.
 

As a final detour, get good shopping deals in Chiba, a shopping heaven

Chiba is one of the best shopping heavens in the Greater Tokyo Area. Many people come to Chiba from the Tokyo metropolitan area to visit its outlet malls. One of them is MITSUI OUTLET PARK KISARAZU, which consists of 171 shops including domestic and overseas name-brand and select shops. The secret of its popularity is high-quality products sold at outlet prices. In addition, SHISUI PREMIUM OUTLETS® [NARITA], which opened in April 2013, offers a lineup of many brands and is convenient. Located just 15 minutes by shuttle bus from Narita Airport, it is a convenient spot to visit right before you leave Japan. It is equipped with a foreign exchange counter, the first in any outlet mall in Japan. Additionally, you can check the flight statuses in the food court designed in the image of aviation.
 
MITSUI OUTLET PARK KISARAZU
Address:398 Nakajima, Kisarazu-shi, Chiba
Telephone: 81-3-5446-5143 (English)
Access:Approx. 10 minutes by a local bus from JR Uchibo Line Sodegaura Station or approx. 20 minutes by local bus from Kisarazu Station
Open hours:10:00 - 20:00 (shops)

 
SHISUI PREMIUM OUTLETS® [NARITA]
Address:689 Iizumi Shisui-machi, Inba-gun, Chiba
Telephone:043-481-6160
Access:Approx. 15 minutes by shuttle bus from Narita Airport. Shuttle buses are available every 30 minutes
Open hours:10:00 - 20:00
Holidays:Once a year (third Thursday in February)


 
All you need to know about Chiba sightseeing!
“Welcome to Chiba” is the official Chiba Prefecture website. It is loaded with useful information, including event information or recommended sightseeing spots. Check it out!


 

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