Things to Do | Visit Chiba | Latest update:2022/11/24
Fishing ports small and large dot the coastlines of Japan, all working hard each morning to deliver catches to the hungry populace. The Pacific coast especially sees massive hauls from boats both domestic and international, and Chiba’s long section of the Pacific is very important for Japan’s fishing industry. The warm Kuroshio Current meets the cooler Oyashio current just off the coastline here, making it an especially fertile fishing ground.
Choshi is famous for mackerel and sardines, as well as larger fish like tuna and kinmedai (splendid alfonsino). Long known for its well-equipped ice and packaging facilities, Choshi sees a massive amount of fish offloaded at its port every year (one of the highest yields in Japan), and is nationally known for having some of the freshest and most diverse deliveries.
So, naturally, the first thing on everyone’s mind when visiting Choshi is sampling some of Chiba’s best seafood dishes, prepared locally of course. One place to get your fill is “Shichibe” on the Choshi Electric Railway train line, easily spotted by its wooden exterior a short walk from Kannon Station. Well known for its incredibly fresh dishes using mackerel and sardines, you can also get a number of sashimi and rice bowl options at this homely designed, local restaurant.
We sampled their famous mackerel spread, as Choshi was in the middle of its annual “mackerel festival” that sees many visitors flocking here to get a piece of the bounty. If you’re a sushi fan, but tend to stick to salmon and tuna when eating out, the mackerel nigiri here is an absolute must to broaden your sushi horizons. While mackerel isn’t exactly the most popular fish in the West, it’s a delicacy here. The freshest catches are of course enjoyed raw, but also braised, grilled, and also in a unique soup that accompanies other seafood dishes at the restaurant.
You’ll get a small bowl of soup with any meal you order here, and it generally uses tsumire, which is a meatball that uses the excess mackerel meat after the sashimi parts have been filleted. It’s an efficient and delicious way to use up the rest of the fish, making for both tasty morsels, and a flavorful stock.
Another interesting thing you can try here is a local dish called “namero”, which involves dicing up the horse mackerel along with ginger and onions to make a mash that can be easily eaten straight or over rice. The texture and appearance are somewhat similar to negitoro, minced tuna, which is a popular item at any sushi restaurant you might visit.
Of course, even outside of the mackerel festival, there’s always something good on the menu, like sashimi bowls with the best seasonal catches, and simmered mackerel with miso that’s a favorite all over the coast of Chiba.
Choshi is the most eastern point in the entire Kanto region, so you’ll feel like you’re getting closer to the source of Japan’s amazing seafood gourmet.
Looking out over the mighty and bountiful Pacific Ocean, Inubosaki Hotel sits on the very tip of the Choshi peninsula on Cape Inubo. Stunning views of the pacific sunrise and a rich natural hot spring are two big reasons people come here, but the crown jewel is, without question, the seafood you’ll be indulging in from the ocean just outside your window.
Takemachi, Choshi City
(An 11-minute walk from Kannon Station on the Choshi Electric Railway train line)