Things to Do | Visit Chiba | Latest update:2023/03/17
Japan’s many regions have overlapping points of charm, but you can always count on finding something completely unique if you dig deep. Cuisine too can overlap at many points, so one area to dig into for something unique is snacks! Particularly, the omiyage souvenir snacks found in Japan, as they’re sort of a “one-bite” takeaway to embody the famous flavor of a region. We have a few here from Chiba we’d love for you to try!
Chiba is the number two producer of this unique fruit, and Minamiboso City is the focal point of cultivation. It’s a bit of an underdog fruit because it can bruise easily, so they’ve found many ways to turn it into lasting products that let people enjoy the flavor far and wide. Biwa gelatin is a famous example of this, and gives you a full punch of the juicy flavor without worrying about damage during transport. They come in handy, single-serving pouches, making for the perfect mouthful. Biwa Club is a shop on the forefront of using this fruit in unique ways: offering curry, cookies, hand creams, and more!
All along the Choshi Electric Railway train line, you’ll find small shops selling “Nure-senbei”. Senbei is the general word for rice cracker, and you’re sure to have already tried it if you’ve spent time in Japan. “Nure” literally means “wet”, and this is what gives these senbei their unique style. They’re coated with a blend of Choshi City’s signature soy sauce after being baked, making for a saucy first bite before the oncoming crunch, which tends to have more body than your typical senbei. Many journey to ride this local line and get this one-of-a-kind treat, and everyone who does keeps coming back for more.
Did you know Chiba is the number one producer of peanuts in all of Japan? While you can enjoy peanuts straight, or as peanut butter, Chiba has a very special treat that has consistently been a favorite across Japan: Peanuts Monaka! It’s in the shape of a peanut, and while it has a crispy outside with a wafer, it has a soft filling of rich sweet bean paste that’s made from sweet boiled peanuts and peanut paste. The original maker’s shop is located on the way to Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple, but its popularity has taken it nationwide, so you often see it in department and souvenir stores!
Katsuura is one of Chiba’s most famous fishing ports, and the need for hearty, spicy food to fill and warm fishermen up after their work gave rise to Katsuura Tantanmen, a type of spicy ramen easily spotted by its deep red color. Pinaatsuage, rice crackers mixed with peanuts, is a popular snack in Japan. The flavor of Katsuura Tantanmen is infused with pinaatsuage to make this snack, giving a spicy twist to the crisp rice crackers and full-bodied peanuts of Chiba. It’s spicy, but has a lingering sweetness and “umami” from the katsuo flavoring also used. It’s a harmony of Chiba flavors, perfect for munching!
123-1 Aoki, Tomiura, Minamiboso City
(A 3-minute drive from the Tomiura IC on the Tateyama Expressway. About 20 minutes on foot from JR Tomiura Station.)
Ogawa Building 1st Floor, Chuo 1-chome, Chuo Ward, Chiba City
(An 8-minute walk from the East Exit of JR Chiba Station.)