HOME Tokyo and Surroundings Chiba Chiba Suburbs 19 Fun Things to do in Chiba: Recommendations for First-Time Visitors
19 Fun Things to do in Chiba: Recommendations for First-Time Visitors

19 Fun Things to do in Chiba: Recommendations for First-Time Visitors

Date published: 23 October 2022

Chiba is Tokyo’s neighbor to the east, and it includes the popular resort area of Boso Peninsula, which is one of its largest areas within the prefecture.

While many may associate Chiba Prefecture with Narita Airport, Japan’s largest airport, and it being home to Tokyo Disney Resort, the prefecture offers so much more.

The beaches are popular for surfing, which brings a lot of surfers from neighboring areas for day trips or weekends. The mountains are ideal for hiking, and the mild climate and seas allow the production of many foods. Chiba produces many vegetables and fruits distributed all around the Kanto region and beyond; it also boasts of peanut production and soy sauce, as well as marine products such as sardines, among other products.

Here are some of the best things to do in Chiba!

Main image: PIXTA

1. Kamogawa Sea World

Image: KLOOK
Image: KLOOK

Located about two hours from Tokyo in Kamogawa, Chiba, Kamogawa Sea World is the largest and most popular aquarium in Chiba. Kamogawa Sea World is home to many unique marine animals, such as the beluga whale and majestic orcas. In total, there are 11,000 sea creatures from 800 different species. You can see many of the creatures perform in a variety of shows offered throughout the week. Additionally, this aquarium is home to Restaurant Ocean, the only restaurant in Japan where you can dine while watching orcas.

2. Tokyo Disney Resort

Photo: KLOOK
Photo: KLOOK

Just a hop and a skip away from Tokyo, Chiba is home to Tokyo Disney Resort, which consists of Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, among other attractions within the resort. Spend anywhere from half a day to a whole weekend here, and you still won’t get tired of it. DisneySea is unique to Japan and includes rides and attractions that don’t exist at other Disney Resorts.

3. Nomizu no Taki waterfall

Photo: PIXTA
Photo: PIXTA

A waterfall that garnered worldwide attention a few years back, Nomizu no Taki is known for its dreamy landscape that often mirrors scenes depicted in Japanese cartoons. Though an artificial waterfall, its mystic look is one that cannot be copied in real life. Visit at the right time, and you’ll capture the sun shining through the opening, creating a glistening glow over the water.

4. Hiking Mt. Tomi and Minamiboso

Image: Rakuten Travel Experiences
Image: Rakuten Travel Experiences

This hike captures panoramic views of Tokyo Bay and Mt Fuji on a clear day from the southern part of Chiba. There are two peaks on Mt Tomi; Konpira Peak at 349.5 meters high, and Kannon Peak at 342 meters. It is part of the Boso Hill Range. You can enjoy a hike here with a local guide who will welcome you with rural hospitality.

5. Enjoy a Forest Therapy Tour & Rotenburo Bath in Minamiboso

Image: Rakuten Travel Experiences
Image: Rakuten Travel Experiences

Forest therapy - also known as “forest bathing” - is a Japanese practice of immersing oneself in nature to re-energize the body and mind. Visit the evergreen forests in Minamiboso on your own or with a guide. The tour also includes a visit to Hotel & Resorts Minamiboso, where you can enjoy the outdoor rotenburo onsen.

6. Surf or SUP at Onjuku beach

Photo: PIXTA
Photo: PIXTA

Onjuku beach, on the east coast of Chiba, is known as a surfer’s paradise - and especially kind to beginners. It is also known as “Tsuki no Sabaku” (Desert of the Moon) and has an elegant camel statue along the coastline. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or someone who is eager to learn, this is a welcoming community to learn in. For more of a laid-back experience, standup paddle boarding (SUP) is also available at Onjuku and can be enjoyed year-round.

7. Diving in Tateyama

Photo: PIXTA
Photo: PIXTA

Various diving companies operate trips out to Tateyama for anyone from beginners to seasoned folks. As the story goes, fishermen used to have problems with sharks ending up in their fishing nets, so diving companies helped lure the banded hound sharks and red stingrays away from the fishing areas into their own feeding areas, where divers can now enjoy diving surrounded by sharks and stingrays.

Take the Sobu Line from Tokyo to Chiba, then onto Tateyama for a day of diving with sharks in Chiba. This can be enjoyed year round, though water temperatures vary (wetsuit rentals are available).

8. Spend a day in Katsuura

8. Spend a day in Katsuura

For a more slow-paced activity underwater, Katsuura is the perfect place to go snorkeling or fishing. Katsuura Bay is great for a day trip or even overnight, with blue seas and sandy beaches. For those who aren’t interested in underwater activities, you can visit the Katsuura Morning Market or the Minami Boso Quasi-National Park (also known as the Katsuura Marine Park). The Natural History Museum is another spot to visit if you have kids, and you can end the day stargazing at Hachiman Cape Park.

9. Rewild Music Fes Camp in Katsuura

Image: KLOOK
Image: KLOOK

Enjoy a no-fuss camping experience at the Rewild Music Fes Camp. The friendly staff will help set up your tent when you arrive, and you can relax to enjoy your time in nature without any worries. Bond with your family and friends with various nature-filled activities, and end the day barbecuing under the starry sky.

10. Visit Mother Farm

Image: KLOOK
Image: KLOOK

This 250-hectare farm combines a farm, amusement park, and a zoo, which makes for fun for the whole family or group of friends. There’s even a zipline available for those who are seeking a bit more thrill. The zoo includes a petting zoo, a popular “pig race”, a “sheep parade” and chances to ride horses, feed alpacas and sheep. The amusement park includes a ferris wheel, roller coasters, and a variety of other rides and attractions. As it is a farm, there are also freshly harvested fruits and flowers which you can purchase to take home, and delicious fresh meals at the restaurants and cafes on site.

11. Hochoshiki Heian Era Knife ceremony

Image: Rakuten Travel Experiences
Image: Rakuten Travel Experiences

For the history buffs, check out a very unique ceremony in Minamiboso called the Hochoshiki Heian Era Knife Ceremony. “Hocho” means knife, and as the name suggests, it is essentially a cooking show using traditional Japanese knives. Participate in the ancient ritual and enjoy a meal at the end of the show.

12. Roman no Mori Kyowakoku in Kimitsu

Image: KLOOK
Image: KLOOK

This is perfect for a nice day out in nature with the whole family. Explore forest trails, play some mini golf or get lost in the mini maze through the forest. There are also bouldering challenges, archery, a Tarzan rope swing, among many other activities and events. There is also a campsite and villas for rent if you want to spend the night nearby.

13. Narita Dream Dairy Farm

Image: KLOOK
Image: KLOOK

There’s more to Narita than just the airport! Narita Dream Dairy Farm, also known as Narita Yume Bokujo, is located in Narita City. The farm is on 30 hectares of land and has been operating for over 130 years. The farm produces its own ice cream, yogurt, and other dairy products; visitors can experience their passion firsthand. The farm also operates exciting events such as duck racing, cow milking experience, pony rides, and more. There is also a restaurant onsite as well as an auto campground next door.

14. Bosokart experience

Image: Rakuten Travel Experiences
Image: Rakuten Travel Experiences

For a bit of thrill on land, try driving a Bosokart surrounded by the beauty of Minami Boso. Like the famed go-kart experiences in Tokyo, this experience takes you on a go-karting trip to see some scenic routes in the region. Visit the second oldest western-style lighthouse in Japan with a possible glimpse of Mt Fuji, go strawberry picking, and ride through the incredible southern Boso Peninsula.

15. Little Planet (Matsudo)

Image: KLOOK
Image: KLOOK

If you’ve enjoyed the likes of digital art productions around Japan, you’re sure to enjoy Little Planet with your family. This is an educational digital theme park that trains children’s creativity based on the concept of “play turns into learning”. There are fun, colorful, and awe-inspiring hands-on experiences and attractions throughout the site that anyone from children to adults can really enjoy.

16. Enjoy buffet dining with a Tokyo Bay view

Image: KLOOK
Image: KLOOK

Some of the best views of Tokyo are from outside the city. And Maihama, Chiba has a superb view of Tokyo Bay. Visit Tokyo Bay Maihama Hotel Club Resort for a popular and delicious buffet dinner with a stunning view of the bay. There are many local delicacies, including seafood, Western, and Japanese-style dishes included.

17. Cycle, visit a shrine, and make some sushi

Image: Rakuten Travel Experiences
Image: Rakuten Travel Experiences

Yet another exciting full-day trip to Minamiboso, you can enjoy a sushi-making class using fresh seafood from the region and explore the breathtaking scenery surrounding The southern Boso Peninsula. Visit Takabe Shrine, the only place in Japan dedicated to the god of cooking; it may help you perfect the sushi you make!

18. Check out the quaint areas of Narita Omotesando and Sawara

Photo: PIXTA
Photo: PIXTA

Just a 7-minute train ride away from Narita Airport, you can enjoy a genuine Japanese experience at Narita Omotesando! Narita city itself has over 1,000 years of history in the area, with Narita Shinsho-ji Temple being a major landmark in Chiba Prefecture. Narita Omotesando - the road leading to the temple itself - also has a long history with a variety of shops dating to the Edo period and further back. It's a pretty area to wander around and a great place to enjoy some time during a layover.

Photo: PIXTA
Photo: PIXTA

The small town of Sawara is highly recommended when visiting the area. The town is centered around its canal, and the shops and residences that line it are either original or restored buildings from the Edo period (1603-1868).

Visitors who are lucky enough to come in July or October can experience the Sawara Grand Festival. This festival has been registered as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. Numerous dolls representing Japanese legends are paraded through the streets in a breathtaking cultural display. Some of these dolls can still be viewed even if the festival is missed, by visiting the Suigo-Sawara Dashi Kaikan Museum.

19. Ride the cable car and hike around Mt. Nokogiriyama

Photo: PIXTA
Photo: PIXTA

Nokogiriyama translates to “sawtooth mountain” in English, and its name is derived from how the mountain’s rock formations actually look like a saw. This is a perfect hike full of grand scenery no matter what the season; enjoy the fall foliage or the spring flowers, and everything in between. There are multiple big buddhas (both carved into the side of the mountain) along the trail, and an extraordinary lookout point over the hills that surround the mountain. The cable car is also a leisurely way to get to the top. You can hop over to Kanagawa Prefecture by taking the ferry at the end of the day, or head back to Tokyo via train.

Written by:

Nina Cataldo

Nina Cataldo

Nina is a globe trotter and storyteller, constantly seeking adventures in her motherland of Japan. She's a collector of travel brochures, a lover of cats, and a half-daring foodie. She also likes to escape Tokyo city life from time to time to discover new trails in rural Japan, where she enjoys connecting with locals and wanderers alike. By profession, Nina is the co-author and editor of DUO Elements, a conversational English book series. Follow her on Instagram @nextstop_nina or Facebook @ninamcataldo.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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