Things to Do | Visit Chiba | Latest update:2023/08/25
ContentsAbout the Area: Katsuura & Chiba's Pacific CoastMeet the Splash Owner & Book a StaySplash SUP Tours & Surf SchoolSeafari Japan & Snorkeling Tours
You’ll find Splash Guest House along the sandy shores of Hebara Beach, located in Katsuura, a city along Chiba’s Pacific coast. The facility is run by British-expat, Dane Gillett, who has long called this area his home. In addition to the guest house, Dane also runs the Splash Surf School and the Seafari Japan tour company. For visitors to Splash, the appeal isn’t just its ideal location, it’s also the ideal local guide. Whether it’s cruising the beach or exploring this charming city, Dane knows the spot for you. As a seasoned water sport enthusiast, Dane is also more than happy to recommend his favorite surf breaks, or steer you to an ocean activity that best suits your needs and experience. Katsuura’s dramatic seaside cliffs, rocky coves, and sandy beaches offer breathtaking natural scenery, and for those looking to get out on the water and get an up-close look at this beautiful coastline, Splash and Seafari offer a variety of marine activities: from boat, fishing, and snorkeling tours, to surf and SUP lessons.
Spending time by the ocean is about as essential to a full Japan travel experience as any other part of your trip itinerary. After all, Japan is an island nation, so naturally the sea shapes much of the country’s character and charm. Luckily for visitors, it’s not too difficult to get off the beaten path, away from the crowded Tokyo tourist spots, and reach the wide expanse of the Pacific. Thanks to Japan’s world class rail system, parts of the coast are just a quick train ride away from the Tokyo metropolis. In fact, our destination of Katsuura can be reached from Tokyo via limited-express train in less than 90 minutes!
The Boso Peninsula, which is situated between Tokyo and the Pacific Ocean, comprises most of Chiba Prefecture. The beachside resorts of Katsuura, a city on Chiba’s Pacific coast, have long been seen as quiet seaside getaways for Tokyo’s city inhabitants. Katsuura also has a thriving fishing port, a morning market that’s operated since the 1600’s, and is home to the historic Tomisaki Shrine, the main site of the famous Big Hina Matsuri festival.
Learn more about Katsuura here:
Katsuura City: The Best of Chiba’s Coastal Culture in One Place | Visit Chiba
We spoke with Dane about the experience he strives to provide his guests here at Splash. He explained that many of his overseas visitors realize that their stay at his guest house is the first time they’ve stopped to really appreciate their holiday. It’s often when they see the sun emerge off the horizon and over the Pacific from the guest house’s beachside porch that they feel they’ve truly arrived in the land of the rising sun. After rushing around from one crowded tourist spot to the next, their respite here by the sea becomes a vacation within a vacation, a time when they finally get the peace of mind they were searching for when they embarked on their Japan journey.
Dane very humbly accepts the compliments of his guests, who often comment he’s living the dream life down by the sea. For him though, the biggest thrill is when he gets to witness his guests discover the wonders of the Katsuura coast for the first time themselves. To have this experience for yourself, please check out booking information for Splash by clicking the button above.
OUR SPLASH SUP EXPERIENCE
In the fall of 2021, we traveled down to Katsuura to participate in a Splash Surf School Stand Up Paddle Board Tour. Dane provided all the equipment, helped us get suited up, and taught us about the basics of SUP. Take a look at the video below to see our group of surfing amateurs and first timers out on the water bobbing in the waves and exploring the reef.
SPLASH SURF SCHOOL
We visited Dane on another occasion to get a quick demo surf lesson. He was kind enough to walk us through the steps he takes to help his guests get out on the water and start catching some waves. Should you be an experienced rider and just want to paddle out without a lesson, you’ll find his shed stocked with a number of boards ready to go for you to use!
In order to give visitors even more ways to enjoy the seas off Katsuura, Dane founded Seafari Japan boat tours in 2022. These rigid inflatable boats (RIB) make for the perfect way to jet up and down this stunning coastline. Upon receiving an invite from Dane, we participated in their “Coastal Explorer” tour and found it was a truly one-of-a-kind experience, even for us long-time Chiba locals. To see it for yourself, please check out the video below…
We had so much fun on the first Seafari tour that we decided to visit again the following summer in July 2023 for a snorkeling tour. This time, Dane took us out to a secret local spot near the Megane Iwa “Glasses Rock.”
For more info about the variety of tours on offer with Seafari, please visit:
1122-4, Hebara, Katsuura City
(8 minutes by car from JR Katsuura Station)
178, Hamakatsuura, Katsuura City
(A 25-minute walk from JR Katsuura Station)