The Best Things to Do Around Tokyo’s Neighboring Chiba Prefecture
Well connected by a short train ride from Tokyo, Chiba is perfect for those wanting a little more peace and quiet from visiting the cloying city. Life in Chiba is at a more relaxed pace than its mega-metropolis neighbor. Head to places along the coast of the Boso Pensinula for chilled-out beach spots and various water activities either in Tokyo Bay or across to the Pacific Ocean.
The Best Things to Do Around Tokyo’s Neighboring Chiba Prefecture:table of contents
Wander Around the Beautiful Flower Fields
With a slightly milder climate throughout the year than in Tokyo, Chiba's long stretches of land are perfect for growing produce. The area is one of the largest producers of flowers in Japan and you'll find a number of beautiful flower fields open to visitors most of the year. Head to Sakura Furusato Square to feel like you've been transported to the Netherlands with its authentic Dutch windmill and fields of tulips. Another similar spot worth heading to is the Country Farm Tokyo German Village.
Get Your Surf on at Onjuku Beach
Facing the Pacific Ocean along its east coast, Chiba is home to a few popular surfing spots such as the beautiful Onjuku Beach. Despite its location close to the capital, the beach is rarely busy even throughout the summer. If you've not so skilled at surfing yet, you can take lessons here with classes for beginners upwards.
Most people jet off straight from Narita Airport to Tokyo without even paying attention to the surrounding area. A stone's throw from the major transportation hub, Narita's Monzen-machi, a traditional Japanese temple town, is the perfect way to dip your toes into Japanese culture. Walk along the quaint streets of the old town while browsing through the traditional shops that line the streets here and make sure to check out the impressive Naritasan Shinshoji Temple. It's just as beautiful as Sensoji without the crowds.
Feast on Local Seafood
With most of the prefecture straddling the coast, next to both Tokyo Bay and the Pacific Ocean, eating some locally caught seafood while you're in the region is a must. If you're looking to make a day activity out of it, there are a number of places you can rent a rod and go fishing yourself, or join the locals digging for clams at Futtsu Beach.
The hidden gem of Chiba, Nokogiriyama is a jagged peak with some incredible views across the peninsula, Tokyo Bay and even a grand view of Mt Fuji if the weather is clear. It makes for a perfect day trip for those staying in Tokyo, with some great hiking trails. For those who aren't feel like as much of a challenge, there's also a cable car that takes visitors straight to the top.
Apart from the mountain itself and stunning views, there's also a huge Buddha statue carved into the rock at the Nihon-ji Temple that's well worth checking out, along with the hundreds of miniature Buddha statues found around the vicinity.
Another of Chiba's highly underrated natural spots, Nomizo Waterfall is the perfect spot for photographers looking to snap a photo of Japan's natural environment. Located in the wilderness towards the south of the Boso Peninsula, the waterfall is particularly beautiful in the early hours of the morning when the sun shines through the cave giving it an ethereal glow.
There are a number of different castles around Chiba but none more photogenic than Sekiyado, with the beautiful imposing silhouette of Mt Fuji looming in the background. Although the castle is reconstructed after being pulled down during the Meiji Restoration, the iconic view makes up for it. Just make sure to visit on a clear day if you want to see the mountain in the background.
Chiba usually flies low under the radar of tourism in Japan, with most travelers too busy spending their time in Tokyo to venture further out. Those who do make it out here however, will be fascinated with some beautiful scenery, ranging from the lazy coastal towns and beaches to the jagged peaks and green-covered hills inland.