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Tsurigasaki Beach in Ichinomiya

Chiba’s Six Unique Regions

Things to Do | Visit Chiba | Latest update:2022/01/04

Chiba Prefecture’s rich and diverse natural features and its proximity to Tokyo means that it offers visitors a wide variety of Japanese travel experiences. Each section of Chiba boasts its own unique atmosphere: from natural scenery that encompasses the ocean, mountains, and hills, to quaint and historic townscapes, to cities lined with modern architecture and shopping malls you can spend days in. Here, we’ll go through the six regions of Chiba, and introduce the delights to be found in each.

Bay Area

This is the most densely populated portion of Chiba Prefecture, just a straight shot from central Tokyo (most points here are within a one-hour train ride from Tokyo). Get both a great view of Tokyo Bay, and some picturesque Japanese scenery at sightseeing spots like Inage Seaside Park or Mihama-en Japanese Garden. You’ll also find Makuhari New City, with some of Japan’s most recognizable world-class facilities: Makuhari Messe International Convention Complex, one of Japan’s largest shopping malls, and numerous hotels and corporate headquarters.

Click here to learn about what do in Makuhari New City:

Hokuso Area

The Hokuso area is the northeastern part of Chiba, home to Narita International Airport. While Narita is known the world over as Japan’s international gateway, the area is also famous for its historic districts, shrines and temples. Sawara is a district that takes you back to Japan’s renaissance in the Edo Period, and many make the excursion from all over Japan to pray at Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple and enjoy the Monzenmachi temple town around the temple.

The annual fish catch that crosses through Choshi Fishing Port, located at the northeastern tip of the region’s Pacific coast, has ranked number-one in Japan for the last ten years in a row (2011-2020).

Learn about what do around Narita:

Learn about Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple:

Learn about Katori Shrine:

Enjoy Rental Bicycles in Choshi City:

Tokatsu Area

This area spans northwestern Chiba, sharing a border with Tokyo. Two mighty rivers, the Edogawa River and the Tone River, form these borders and facilitated easy water transport allowing this area to flourish as a hub for Japan’s historically major industries, such as soy sauce and mirin rice wine. Many of the townscapes of this area, like Nagareyama Honchō, have maintained their Edo Period aesthetic, making them great places for a jaunt through history.

Learn about what do in Matsudo City in this area:

Kazusa & Seaside Area

This region is located in west-central Chiba and is served by the charming local Kominato Railway, a train ride famous for its breathtaking autumn scenery of the Yoro Valley. Bringing you the best of both Chiba’s coastal and mountainous splendor, Mt. Nokogiri is a popular hiking spot to get a panoramic view of Tokyo Bay, and the sprawling Chiba wilderness to the east. While the east side of Chiba is more popular for surfing, the coastline here is ideal for shell-gathering, and light swimming in the sea.

Ride the Kominato Railway, the local train crossing through the area:

Learn about Mt. Nokogiri:

Kujukuri Area

On the opposite side of Chiba from Tokyo Bay is Kujukuri Beach, which stretches for a total of 66 kilometers along the Pacific Ocean. It’s known for its “California-esque” beach culture, and a coastline that’s popular with surfers. Tsurigasaki Beach has some of the best waves in Japan, and was the site of the first Olympic surfing event in the summer of 2021. The spot sees over 600,000 visitors looking to get some waves every year! Aside from sports, the convergence of warm and cold currents here results in Chiba’s well-known and bountiful fishing grounds. The local fresh seafood dishes, especially made from iwashi sardines and hamaguri clams, are naturally a must when visiting Kujukuri.

Learn more about Tsurigasaki Beach in Ichinomiya Town, the surfing venue for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020:

Enjoy Rental Bicycles along Kujukuri Beach:

Minamiboso Area

This area covers the southern part of Chiba, and is known for bringing together some of the most gorgeous scenery in the prefecture, as well as a bounty produce and foliage. In early spring, you can find a vivid variety of flowers in full bloom, starting with bright yellow nanohana flowers, and of course cherry blossoms. The pacific side is a bountiful fishing destination as well, home to the Katsuura Morning Market, selling fish from the morning catch, local produce, and souvenirs, and has been in operation since the 1600’s. It is known as one of Japan’s “Top Three Morning Markets” and draws countless tourists every year.

If you want to try biwa picking, the signature fruit of Minamiboso City: