Things to Do | Visit Chiba | Latest update:2023/10/31
A lesser-known destination, but a fun place for casual freshwater activities, views of seasonal colors, and excellent food and hot springs at the nearby inns; Lake Kameyama is a humble and authentic slice of central Chiba. See the vibrant reds and yellows along the banks of the winding shores as the fall season deepens, and the steaming mist rise with the sun on the colder mornings of winter. Like much of Japan, every season takes a unique form here, and whether you’re out on the lake fishing or enjoying a guided boat ride, or strolling around before heading back to a hot spring inn, Lake Kameyama is a quiet getaway that’s sure to satisfy and soothe.
After waking up and seeing the sunrise, we went back to our inn for a hearty breakfast to get energized for the day. The lake is complexly shaped, with winding inlets through canyons and mountains, but our goal was to walk at least the most famous section of it to take in the abundant nature.
Crossing the iconic red bridge into the day-camp area of the lake, we were greeted by another red-painted landmark, the torii gate standing just off the shore. This is very reminiscent of the famous Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima that seemingly “floats” in the sea, and many come here to take a picture of the similar site here in Chiba. It’s also one of the main spots on the lake people come to enjoy a guided boat ride or fishing, making for pleasant scenes of people enjoying their own days at the lake.
Continuing along, the densely forested road along the outer edge of the lake gave intermittent views from different angles, with the red torii gate always there as a waypoint. After passing by the Kameyama Tourist Information Center, which is a nice shopping and lunch spot, we continued east toward the Tsubakimoto Inn, where we would begin the next leg of our lake adventure.
One of the main attractions in autumn here is taking a seasonal boat cruise* along the lake’s edge, and that’s just what we did. The lake is set low in a ravine, and all around the edges are high cliffs, with vibrant fall colors cascading down to nearly the water’s edge. This part of the lake seems more like a river, winding up and down in snake-like sections.
*2023 Fall Boat Cruise Info:
November 18 – December 10
To make a reservation, please call ahead (Japanese language only)
のむらボートハウス (Tel. 0439-39-3020)
The boat moved leisurely along the water, with the driver stopping at the most picturesque areas. It was nice and casual, without the driver announcing everything in sight as if it were a tour; after all, it was all about admiring the natural scenery. After getting to nearly the end of the lake, we turned around to do the course in reverse back to the dock. The boat ride was a nice, manageable 30 minutes, completing our goal of exploring Lake Kameyama from both the lake’s shores and the water’s surface.
Overall, this lake is the perfect destination that lets you get your fill of the area in about half a day, and dedicate the rest of your time to relaxation if you’re staying over. When staying in Japanese lakeside or mountain inns, a lot of your time will be spent bathing, relaxing in your room, and eating the large spreads of dinner and breakfast provided, so having “too much” sightseeing on the agenda can make you feel like you’ve missed something. Come have a slow day on the lake here and see a lesser-known gem of Chiba’s nature.
8 Kyu-Kawamata, Kawamata, Kimitsu City (Kameyama Tourist Information Center)
(A 7-minute walk from Kazusa-Kameyama Station on the JR Kururi Line - Kameyama Tourist Information Center)
Handicap parking and toilets vary with each location/Inquire whether service dogs are permitted/Inquire about availability of written communication