Chiba (prefecture)

Chiba Prefecture (千葉県 Chiba-Ken) is located directly east of Tokyo, and bordered by Ibaraki Prefecture to the north. A large part of the prefecture is made up of the Bōsō Peninsula (房総半島 Bōsō-hantō), which shields Tokyo bay from the Pacific Ocean.

Much of the western/northwestern part of Chiba is relatively uninspired urbanity and bedtowns for Tokyo, but once you get past the city and watch the sharp descent into rural countryside of sprawling rice fields, rolling hills, and striking coastlines, you will realize why Chiba has been variously called "Edo's Breadbasket", "Japan's Golf Mecca", and "Tokyo's Secret Backyard".

The area is relatively poorly known, even among Japanese people, but is nonetheless a great place to get away from Tokyo and explore a Japan a bit off the beaten track.

Cities

Other destinations

Understand

Many parts of Chiba can be visited on a day trip from Tokyo. The Pacific coast is dotted with many traditional fishing villages, and young surfers from Tokyo are attracted by the waves. The inner coast is less picturesque, but the cliffs of Nokogiriyama are a popular tourist attraction.

Get in

While JR trains run the entire coast of Chiba, the inner coast is just a 30-minute ferry ride from Kurihama, south of Yokohama. 1997 saw the completion of the Tokyo Wan Aqua Line bridge and tunnel, which burrows under and rises across Tokyo Bay between Kisarazu (Chiba prefecture) and Kawasaki (on the Tokyo side). The tunnel is not economical at ¥4000 for a passenger car, unless you have an ETC card which brings the price down to 1500 yen. You can take highway buses through the tunnel and over the bridge from Tokyo Station, Shinagawa, Haneda Airport, Kawasaki and Yokohama stations for up to ¥1500 one way to Kisarazu.

By train

JR East train routes in Chiba Prefecture

The center of the JR network in Chiba is, unsurprisingly, JR Chiba Station. But be careful when taking trains to the Boso Peninsula, as there are two different ways trains can get to Awa-Kamogawa, the final stop. The Uchibō Line (内房線), or "Inner Boso Line", follows the western coast (Tokyo Bay side) through Kisarazu, while the Sotobō or "Outer Boso" Line (外房線) cuts across the peninsula and then goes down the east coast (Pacific Ocean side) via Katsuura. Additionally, trains to Choshi can turn north at Sakura to go via Narita (the Narita Line), or go south via Naruto along the Sobu Main Line.

To summarize all that, here are the platforms to take at Chiba station:

Destination Line Platform
Ichikawa (Shinjuku) Sobu Chuo 1, 2
Kisarazu, Tateyama Uchibo Line 3, 4
Mobara, Katsuura Sotobo Line 5, 6
Togane Togane Line 5, 6
Choshi Sobu Main Line 7, 8
Narita Narita Line, N'EX 9, 10

See

Nokogiriyama jigoku-nozoki
Kujukurihama Beach in winter

The lower Boso peninsula has several artificial attractions that are popular for family excursions but probably of limited appeal to other travelers:

Also, don't miss:

Do

Eat

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, March 05, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.