Chiba Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit, eat, and stay in Chiba, Japan. Plus, learn about local customs, transportation options, and nearby excursions in this comprehensive travel guide.

Introduction to Chiba

Chiba, a prefecture located on the eastern coast of Japan’s main island, may not be as well-known as Tokyo or Kyoto, but it has its own unique charm and attractions that are worth a visit. The prefecture is home to historic sites, natural wonders, and mouth-watering food, making it an ideal destination for travelers looking for an authentic Japanese experience. In this guide, we’ll explore everything there is to see and do in Chiba, from cultural landmarks to outdoor adventures, along with helpful tips and recommendations for planning your trip.

List of Places to Visit in Chiba

Chiba offers a diverse range of attractions, from museums and temples to theme parks and beaches. Here are some of the must-visit destinations:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Chiba Castle: A reconstructed castle that showcases the history of Chiba.
  • Chiba City Museum of Art: Home to a vast collection of modern and contemporary artworks by Japanese and international artists.
  • Inage House: A traditional Japanese house that dates back to the Edo period, complete with beautiful gardens and teahouses.
  • Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple: One of the oldest and most important temples in Japan, famous for its colorful pagodas and beautiful gardens.
  • Sakura Castle Remains Museum: The site of the former Sakura Castle, now turned into a museum that displays the history and artifacts of the castle.

Natural Attractions of Chiba: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Boso no Mura: A traditional Japanese rural village that showcases the culture and lifestyle of the Edo period.
  • Kameiwa Cave: A fascinating limestone cave filled with stalactites and stalagmites, located in the Boso Peninsula.
  • Mount Nokogiri: A stunning mountain that offers panoramic views of Tokyo Bay and the surrounding area, with hiking trails and a giant Buddha statue.
  • Oyama Senmaida: A picturesque rice terrace that covers the side of a hill, offering stunning views of Mount Fuji and the Pacific Ocean.
  • Seaside Momochi Beach Park: A beautiful beach park that is a popular destination for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Chiba

Chiba has several scenic trails for both hiking and biking enthusiasts. Some of the most popular include:

  • Kujukuri Beach: A 60-kilometer long beach that is perfect for cycling or hiking, with beautiful scenery and plenty of rest stops.
  • Naritasan Park: A green oasis in the heart of Narita, with trails that wind through the park’s beautiful gardens and ponds.
  • Shiraiwa Trail: A moderate hiking trail that takes you through forested areas and along the coast, with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.
  • Tone River Cycling Path: A 70-kilometer cycling path that runs along the Tone River, passing through scenic countryside and charming towns.
  • Yakimono Sanpo: A pottery-themed walking trail in Kujukuri, where you can admire local ceramics and learn about the area’s pottery culture.

Best Things to Do in Chiba: Activities and Tours

Aside from the attractions mentioned above, Chiba offers plenty of exciting activities and tours for travelers. Here are some of our top picks:

  • Boso no Mura Hands-On Workshops: Try your hand at traditional Japanese crafts such as rice-paper making, indigo dyeing, and pottery.
  • Costume Rental in Narita: Dress up in traditional Japanese clothing and explore the historic town of Narita, taking memorable photos along the way.
  • Dolphin and Whale Watching Tours: Get up close and personal with these majestic creatures in the waters off the coast of Chiba.
  • Kamogawa Sea World: A popular theme park that features live performances by dolphins, orcas, and sea lions, along with aquarium exhibits showcasing a variety of marine life.
  • Nippon Seibukan Budo Kobudo Seminars: Learn the ancient art of traditional Japanese martial arts at this seminar held several times a year.

Week-Long Itinerary for Chiba

If you’re planning a week-long trip to Chiba, here’s a sample itinerary that covers the highlights of the prefecture:

Day Activity
Day 1 Visit Chiba Castle and the Chiba City Museum of Art.
Day 2 Explore Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple and the historic town of Narita.
Day 3 Take a hike on Mount Nokogiri and visit the Oyama Senmaida rice terrace.
Day 4 Spend the day at Kamogawa Sea World.
Day 5 Cycle the Tone River Cycling Path or take a pottery-themed walking trail.
Day 6 Go dolphin and whale watching off the coast of Chiba.
Day 7 Relax on the beach at Seaside Momochi Beach Park or take a day trip to Tokyo or Yokohama.

Food and Drink Scene of Chiba

Chiba is known for its fresh seafood, soy sauce, and sake. Here are some of the dishes and beverages you must try during your visit:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Chiba-style tempura: Made with locally caught fish and veggies, this tempura is known for its light and crispy batter.
  • Katsuura tuna: This tuna is caught off the coast of Katsuura, a town known for its tuna market and sushi.
  • Sodegaura Ramen: A famous ramen that uses locally produced soy sauce as a flavoring, topped with succulent pork belly.
  • Sawara no yakitori: Grilled skewers of Sawara fish, perfect as a snack or appetizer.
  • Noda Shoyu: A locally produced soy sauce that is used in many Chiba dishes, enhancing the flavor of everything from seafood to meat.

Local Beverages

  • Sake: Chiba is home to several sake breweries, producing a variety of sake types that range from light and fruity to bold and complex.
  • Umeshu: A sweet and potent liqueur made from Japanese plums that is popular in Chiba and throughout Japan.
  • Beer: Several microbreweries have popped up in Chiba in recent years, specializing in craft beers made with local ingredients.

Where to Stay in Chiba: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Chiba has plenty of accommodation options for all types of travelers. Here are some of our top picks:

  • Daiwa Roynet Hotel Chiba-Chuo: A centrally located hotel that offers comfortable and modern rooms at an affordable price.
  • Jidaiya Ryokan: A traditional Japanese inn in the historic town of Sawara, offering tatami-matted rooms and hot springs.
  • Kominato Hotel Mikazuki: A beachside hotel in the town of Kominato, offering stunning ocean views and a variety of amenities.
  • Narita Airport Rest House: A convenient hotel located within Tokyo Narita International Airport, perfect for travelers with early morning flights.
  • The Celecton Narita: A luxury hotel with sleek and modern rooms, located just minutes away from Narita Airport.

What to Buy in Chiba: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Looking for the perfect souvenir to bring home from your trip? Here are some of the best items to buy in Chiba:

  • Pottery: Chiba is famous for its pottery culture, so be sure to check out local ceramic shops for unique and beautifully crafted pieces.
  • Soy Sauce: Noda Shoyu, a locally produced soy sauce, makes a great condiment or cooking ingredient to bring home.
  • Sake: Pick up a bottle or two of Chiba’s finest sake to enjoy at home or give as a gift.
  • Tuna Products: From canned tuna to dried tuna flakes, there are plenty of tuna products to choose from in Chiba.
  • Handicrafts: Local artisans produce a variety of handmade crafts such as Japanese fans, lanterns, and calligraphy sets.

Local Culture and Customs of Chiba

Japan has a rich culture and history that is deeply rooted in its customs and traditions. Here are some of the local customs to keep in mind while visiting Chiba:

  • Bowing: Bowing is a common greeting in Japanese culture, with the depth of the bow indicating the level of respect.
  • Shoes: In many Japanese homes, temples, and restaurants, guests are expected to remove their shoes before entering.
  • Chopsticks: When eating with chopsticks, it is considered impolite to pass food from one set of chopsticks to another, as this is reminiscent of a funeral custom.
  • Respect: Show respect for Japanese culture and customs by following dress codes, observing local etiquette, and being mindful of public displays of affection.
  • Quietness: Avoid loud talking, singing or dancing, or any activities that may disturb the peace or tranquility of others.

Best Time to Visit Chiba

The best time to visit Chiba depends on your preferences and interests. If you’re looking to enjoy outdoor activities or visit the beach, the summer months of June to September are the best choice. Cherry blossom season in late March to early April is a great time to see the beautiful pink blooms in parks and temples. Spring and fall are comfortable seasons with mild temperatures and fewer crowds, making it easier to explore the attractions without feeling overwhelmed.

Do’s and Don’ts of Chiba

To ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip, here are some of the do’s and don’ts of Chiba:


  • Try the local cuisine and beverages, including fresh seafood and locally produced soy sauce and sake.
  • Observe local customs and etiquette, such as bowing, taking off your shoes, and being respectful of others.
  • Plan ahead for transportation and tours, especially during peak travel seasons.
  • Learn some basic Japanese phrases, such as hello and thank you, to show goodwill and build rapport with locals.


  • Eat or drink on public transportation, as this is considered rude and uncivilized.
  • Tip at restaurants, as tipping is not a common practice in Japan.
  • Smoke in public places, as this is strictly prohibited in many areas.
  • Forget to pack comfortable walking shoes, as exploring Chiba may require quite a bit of walking.

Safety and Health

While Chiba is generally a safe and healthy destination, here are some tips to stay safe and healthy:

Safety in Chiba

  • Carry your passport and other important documents with you at all times, as these may be required for identification purposes.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and avoid walking alone in dark, unfamiliar places.
  • Follow traffic rules and pedestrian signals when crossing streets, as Japanese drivers are known for their strict adherence to traffic laws.
  • In case of an emergency or natural disaster, dial 110 for police, 119 for fire or ambulance services.

Health in Chiba

  • Tap water in Japan is generally safe to drink, but bottled water is readily available for purchase.
  • Japan has a well-developed healthcare system, with many medical facilities and pharmacies available throughout Chiba.
  • It’s a good idea to pack some over-the-counter medications for headaches, stomach problems, and other common ailments.

Getting to Chiba: Transportation Options and Logistics

Chiba is easily accessible from Tokyo and other nearby cities. Here are some transportation options to get to Chiba:

Airports Near Chiba

  • Narita International Airport: Located in the city of Narita, this airport offers a range of domestic and international flights.
  • Haneda International Airport: Located in Tokyo, this airport is a hub for domestic flights and several international destinations.

Bus Stations Near Chiba

  • Tokyo Station: This is the main bus terminal in Tokyo, with buses running to Chiba and other destinations in Japan.
  • Chiba Station: The major train and bus station in the city of Chiba, with buses running to other parts of the prefecture.

Other Options

  • Train: Chiba is well-connected by trains, with several major train stations including Chiba Station, Narita Station, and Kisarazu Station.
  • Car rental: Car rental services are available in and around Chiba, with several major rental companies offering a variety of vehicles.

How to Get Around in Chiba

Chiba has a reliable and efficient transportation system that makes it easy to get around. Here are some options for getting around in Chiba:

  • Train: Chiba has several train lines that run through the prefecture, including the JR Chuo-Sobu Line and the Keiyo Line.
  • Bus: Local buses run to and from major attractions and towns throughout Chiba, with English signage and route maps available.
  • Taxi: Taxis are readily available in Chiba, with plenty of taxi stands located in urban and suburban areas.
  • Bicycle: Renting a bicycle is a great way to explore the coastal areas and countryside of Chiba, with several rental shops offering hourly or daily rates.

Where to Go Next from Chiba: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

If you have more time to explore Japan, here are some nearby destinations and excursions to consider:

  • Tokyo: Japan’s capital city is just a short train ride away from Chiba, with endless attractions and activities to discover.
  • Yokohama: Home to the famous Yokohama Chinatown and a variety of museums and parks, Yokohama is a great day trip from Chiba.
  • Nikko: A UNESCO World Heritage site that is famous for its shrines, temples, and stunning natural scenery.
  • Mount Fuji: An iconic symbol of Japan, Mount Fuji is located just a few hours away from Chiba and offers hiking trails and breathtaking views.
  • Okinawa: This subtropical island chain is a popular destination for beach lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, with its own unique culture and traditions.


Chiba may not be as well-known as other destinations in Japan, but it offers a wealth of attractions and experiences that are worth exploring. From historic sites and natural wonders to delicious local cuisine and unique activities, Chiba has something for every type of traveler. We hope this guide has helped you plan your trip to Chiba and discover the hidden gems of this beautiful prefecture.