All Seasons

The Best 20 Things to Do in Chiba Prefecture: from Festivals to Beach Hopping

Hikkey

Writer

Narita airport is an international airport, which many tourists from abroad use to come to Japan. I am not sure how many of you are aware of where Narita airport is. It locates not in Tokyo but Chiba prefecture. Chiba prefecture offers many festivals and places to explore. In this article, I would like to tell you about the ten best festivals to attend and things you can do in Chiba prefecture. You will be amazed at how many things you can do in Chiba after reading this article!

Contents

★About Chiba Prefecture

★10 Best Festivals to Attend in Chiba by Season

★Things You Can Do in Chiba Prefecture

– Tokyo Disney Resort and Makuhari Messe for the True Entertainment Lovers

– Sapporo Beer Chiba Brewery and Iinuma Honke for Drinking Buffs

– Tojo Museum of History, National Museum of History and Boso Village for History Buffs

– Choshi City Dolphin and Wheal Watching, Kujyu Kurihama, Yourou Keikoku for Nature Lovers

★Closing Remarks

About Chiba Prefecture

Chiba Prefecture locates east of Tokyo. The name of the prefecture “Chiba” comes from fertility because of its nature. 33% of Chiba prefecture is covered with forests, and it also has a seaside area. Chiba is a satellite prefecture of Tokyo. About 6.3 million people are living in the prefecture. And among its population, about 102000 are foreign residents. Chiba is one of the international prefectures of Japan. Chiba prefecture can be divided by five areas, and those are Bay area, Hokuso Area, Kujikuri Area, Minami Boso Area and Kazusa area. Each area presents its unique landscape and culture.

10 Best Festivals to Attend in Chiba by Season

There are many festivals to attend through the year in Chiba prefecture. Each festival in Chiba prefecture reflects the uniqueness of the local community.  Joining local festivals is an excellent opportunity to learn Japanese history and culture. Here are ten best festivals to go to Chiba by season from FestivalGo. I’m sure you can find the one that suite you the best.

 Narita Japanese Drums Festival (Spring)

Narita Japanese Drums Festival is one of Japan’s leading Taiko (drum) festivals. All Taiko drummers, Japanese traditional musicians, and dancers gather mostly from the Kanto area of Japan for this once a year festival. This festival is entirely new as it started 30 years ago. More than two hundred thousand people come and join this festival each year.  Judging by the number of people visiting this festival, you can tell there must be something you cannot miss about it right?

Details and Access

This festival takes place for two days, usually in the middle week of April each year. Narita Japanese Drum Festival starts with 千願華太鼓 (Sengan Hana Daiko). In this performance, about 800 drummers play drums at one place. You can feel the vibration of the ground that comes from the sound of many drums at the venue.  Following performance is 千願華太鼓(Sengan Hana Daiko), when you can enjoy drum performances on the stages around Naritasan Temple. The highlight on the first day of this festival is 成田山千年夜舞台(Naritasan Sennen Yobutai) performance. You will feel hypnotized by the drum performance with Japanese traditional music in the light from the fire. You can imagine how the atmosphere would be subtle and profound during the performance. On the second day, there will be a drum parade around the temple.

The main venue of this festival is Naritasan Temple. You can access it within 10 minutes walk from Narita station.

You can check more information about this festival here, URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/2784/

Suigosawara Ayame Matsuri or Suigosawara Iris Festival  (Spring)

Suigosawara Ayame Matsuri or Iris Festival is a 2-month festival in Chiba. The celebration is usually held from April to June.  There will be about 1.5 million Iris flowers blooming all over the Suigosawara park – the venue of this festival. All you can see is a carpet of Iris flowers that flourish in the park. The park looks super purple during this season. The view is mysterious and fantastic.

 Details and Access

While you admire the beautifully blooming Irises, you can also enjoy some events at this festival. If you are among the first 100 lucky people who came to the festival, you will get freshly picked Iris as a present. There also will be a Japanese traditional music performance going on at the stage of the park. If you are lucky, you may come across a traditional Japanese wedding ceremony called Sappa wedding, which is very original in Sugasawara area.

You can access the Suigohara Ayame Park by taking a bus from JR Sahara station. It will be a 25 minutes bus ride from the station.  You can check more information about this festival here, URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/1722/

Funabashi Citizen Summer Festival (Summer)

Funabashi Citizen Summer Festival is a three-day event. The festival is usually held on the last weekend of July every year. There will be four separated venues around the city, and you will be able to enjoy parades, local performing arts, and local food during this community-oriented festival! Ah, do not forget to see the fireworks that bring an hour of entertainment to the Funabashi sky on the last day at Funabashi harbor Water Park.

Details and Access

Funabashi venue is the main site of the festival. There are performances and parades with floats with the rhythm of Japanese drums – Taiko. The highlight of the festival isばか面踊り (baka men odori). Dancers wear silly face masks and walk down the street with traditional Japanese musical instruments. The way they dance is unique and funny. It will put a smile on your face.

The venue is in front of Funabashi station on the right side. You will enjoy the local and friendly atmosphere at this festival. If you want to know more about this festival, please refer to this link, URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/2491/

Gion Festival in Tako (Summer)

The name of this festival is somehow misleading. I bet when you hear the world “Gion,” what comes into your mind is probably Kyoto. Well, this Gion Festival belongs to Tako city in Chiba. This summer event in Tako city is very traditional as it has been going on since the Edo period. This festival could make you feel as if you were in Kyoto so don’t be surprised if you are confused.

Details and Access

This festival is usually held on the last week of July for two days. At this festival not only you will see a float that was made in 1839 parading through the city with the rhythm of Japanese flutes and drums, but also enjoy traditional Japanese dance performance and fireworks.  You can also enjoy conventional Japanese festival food during this festival.

Please take a public bus to get the venue either from Narita station, Yokoshiba station, or Sahara station. For more information about this festival, please click here, URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/3062/

Kisarazu Minato Matsuri with Fireworks (Summer)

The Kisarazu Minato Matsuri with Fireworks takes place in a small city on the West Coast of Chiba. The fireworks display at Minato Matsuri Festival is one of the most popular fireworks displays in the Kanto area in Japan. There is no reason for you to miss this big fireworks event.

Details and Access

This festival is a two-day event, which starts with Japanese traditional dance called Yassai Mosai Dance and finishes with fireworks in the middle week of August.

Kisarazu port area is the main venue of this festival. You can access it by foot from Kisarazu station. Please check more information about this festival here, URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/1324/

Togane YASSA Festival (Summer)

If you are a Japanese Festival buff, you know there are a bunch of things you can try during at the festival. The YASSA Festival is not an exception. Name it! You can do it all by dancing, singing, eating, drinking and in conclusion, seeing fireworks at YASSA Festival. Amazing! Isn’t it? I hope you won’t get drained after joining this intensive one-day festival.

Details and Access

YASSA Festival takes place on Saturday of the middle week of August every year. This festival is a big event for Togane residents. They come together and celebrate the summer at its best. The main event of this festival is Yassa Dance. Over 1000 people join this dance with the lively attitude. You can tell how much Togane people look forward to this festival through their energy.

The venue is within 5 minutes from JR Togo station. For more information, please click here, URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/2287/

Katsuura Large Catch Festival  (Autumn)

Katsuura Large Catch Festival is one of the significant fall events in Chiba.  What is unique about this festival is the presence of large fish boats. Katsuura has been famous as a fishermen town. This festival is associated with the culture of Japanese fishers. It will be fascinating to see the fishermen culture through this festival.

Details and Access

This festival is a four days event in September each year. You will see the different event going on each day of the celebration. The highlight of this festival happens on the last day. You will see floats passing between fishing boats to boats in the ocean. Thus, you will probably wonder how they pass around that big floats in the sea without losing balance.

You can access the venue from Katsuura station. For more information, please click here, URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/2201/

Oyama Senmaida Night Rice Terrace Festival (Autumn)

Have you seen huge rice filed with full of lights? Oyama Senmaida Night Rice is an excellent opportunity for you to view such scenery. This festival would remind you of Halloween in the Western countries. What you see at Oyama Senmaida Night Rice Terrace Festival is magical and fanatic.  You will enjoy its warm and pleasant atmosphere at the venue.

Details and Access

This festival usually takes place in October for three days. The illuminated rice field is something great to see, but there are some events, such as ballet and music performance at the venue during the festival.

You can take a bus from JR Akamogawa station to the venue. For more information about this festival, please check this link, URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/1736/

Choshikou Koide-Shiki (Winter)

Choshikou Koide is a traditional fishermen ceremony that takes place in Choshi city in Chiba prefecture.  This festival’s purpose is to pray for the safety and big catch for the coming year. You will see various fishing ships sailing in line with colorful flags. Although it can be cold, the warmness and the energy of the people in the city will warm your body and heart during this festival.

Details and Access

This festival is held in the very beginning of the year, January 5th and 6th. The venue is Choshi Port, which is a 15 minutes’ walk from Choshi Dentetsu Kannnon station. For more info on this festival, please check this link, URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/4683/

Naritasan Shinshoji Temple Setsubun Festival (Winter)

Have you heard about “Setsubun,” a traditional Japanese holiday that celebrates the coming of spring? On setsubun holiday, people throw dried soybeans to get rid of bad luck and welcome good luck instead. Naritasan Shinshoji Temple Setsubun Festival is one of the significant Setsubun events in Japan. You will see the shower of dry soybeans flying in the air. Interesting huh?

Details and Access

This Festival is a one-day event, which takes place on February 3rd every year. You can join the Setsubun event three times in the same day.  It is 10 minutes walk from Narita station to the venue. You can check more information about this festival by clicking here, URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/2881/

 Things You Can Do in Chiba Prefecture

Other than those festivals mentioned above, there are so many things you can do in Chiba regardless of your interests. If you like entertainment, you can visit Tokyo Disney Resort, Makuhari Messe or Beer Brewery would be the place for you to go.  If you are a history buff, there are museums where you can learn Japanese history from scratch. It also would be good to stroll around some historical sites. If you are tired of bustling of the big cities, you can take a rest at one of the exceptional nature spots in Chiba with dolphin watching, camping by the ocean or the river, whichever you prefer.  Here come some hints about the places to go and what to do in Chiba. Check them out!

For the True Entertainment Lovers

The best part of the trip abroad is in the experience of extraordinary things. You see and experience something different from your ordinary life while you are traveling. Some people like to be in nature or visit historical sites. But these two places that I introduce here are for the people who are looking for more energy and excitements.  These places are Tokyo Disney Resort and Makuhari Messe. There are always lots of different things going on every single day in both places. You will be filled with excitement and energy while you are visiting those spots.

Tokyo Disney Resort

Image courtesy of Wing1990hk

There are only five countries which have Disney theme parks in the world: the United States, China, France, Hong Kong, and Japan. The one in Japan is called Tokyo Disney Land. It has Tokyo in its name, but it locates in Urayasu city in Chiba. How strange! There are two main sites: Disney Land and Disney Sea. The theme park is about 100 ha large, and different performances and events are going on every day. As you can imagine there are a bunch of rides in this theme park that makes you scream the whole day. Visiting Tokyo Disney Resort will satisfy your desire to be away from the reality and bring you back your childhood memories.

You can access this magical world within 5 minutes’ walk from JR Maihama Station. If you want to know more about this place, please visit their official site, URL: https://www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en/index.html

Makuhari Messe

Makuhari Messe is one of the largest international convention complexes in Japan. It offers various and unique events relating to culture, music, art, automobile, intellectual activities and many more every month. You will soon find it hard to choose which event to attend at Makuhari Messe.

Not only you can enjoy events and performances, but also shopping and dining out in Makuhari Messe. There are also a few artificial parks around it. If the season is right, you can feel Japanese season at Hanashima Park or walk down Sunahama promenade with the feeling of a sea breeze on your cheeks. Without doubts, Makuhari Messe will satisfy your intellectual curiosity.

You can access to Makuhari Messe from Keihin Makuhari station within 5 minutes by foot. For more information about Makuhari Messe, please check their website, URL: https://www.m-messe.co.jp/en/

For Drinking Buffs

It is common for people all over the world to enjoy drinking. Drinking is a social activity that gives us an opportunity to mingle with others. We cannot talk about our history without drinking. Since the ancient times, drinking culture has been there for us. What I am saying here is getting to know popular alcohol in one’s country is educational. Sapporo beer and Sake are one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in Japan.  Joining a tour in Sapporo Beer Chiba Brewery and Iinuma Honke will open your eyes and provide you with a good chance to know Japan from a different perspective.

Sapporo Beer Chiba Brewery

Image courtesy of Mayuno

Sapporo Beer is one of the famous Japanese beers. If you ask what is the best beer to taste in Japan to locals, Sapporo beer is the first answer you will get. This place is for anyone who loves beer and curious about the history of one of the major beer brands in Japan.

At this Brewery, you can choose two types of tours to join. Those courses are Shirase 5200 and New Black Label beer tour. At Black Label beer course, you will learn how Sapporo black beer is manufactured and packaged in details. There is also a sounding gallery where you get to know more about Sapporo black beer through images. Shirase 5200 and New Black tours give you an opportunity to be on the big ship called Shirase a large Antarctic research vessel.  After the tour in Shirase, you will join the regular tour at Sapporo Beer Chiba Brewery. Of course, there will be a tasting session after both tours. You can taste Sapporo beer as much as you want.

You should take shuttle buses from JR Tsudanuma station or Minami Funabashi station to the site. For more details and information about this place, please visit the official site of the brewery, URL: http://www.sapporobeer.jp/brewery/english/

Iinuma Honke

Image courtesy of Unaaari

Japanese Sake is getting more popular around the world these days. Sake taste like light wine. Although beer is getting more popular among Japanese people in and out of the home, Sake is still rooted in Japanese culture. Japanese people drink sake on traditional occasions such as New Years Day or at the wedding. Learning about Sake helps you to understand Japanese culture from the different perceptive. Iinuma Honke offers a tour around this sake brewery. It has become one of the hot tourist spots in Japan.

However, Iinuma Honke is still one of the hidden tourist spots for sake lovers. Over 50,000 people are coming from all over Japan or abroad for this tour. Therefore, it takes only 1 hour and a half from the center of Tokyo to get to the brewery. The center of the Iinuma Honke is an old private house, which was built in the Edo period. There are galleries, restaurants and souvenir shops in it. Thus, in the restaurant, you can taste original Japanese cuisine using sake. You will be amazed at what you can do with sake for cooking. After enjoying food at the restaurant, you can join the Sake Brewery tour. You will learn the history of Sake and its making process there. You can check the details of this place and the tour at their official homepage, URL: http://www.iinumahonke.co.jp/shop/

For History Buffs

If you are interested in Japanese history and want to learn more about it while you are in Japan, museums are the right place to go for you. I recommend three places to visit for history buffs: Tojo Museum of History, National Museum of Japanese History and Boso Village. Tojo Museum of History is the special place for someone who is interested in the Edo period. Besides, if you are keen on learning Japanese history from the ancient time to present, you can try the National Museum of Japanese History and Boso Village. You will become a Japanese history expert after visiting those places at the end of the day and impress people around you with this knowledge.  Here follows some information about those fantastic museums.

Tojo Museum of History

Image courtesy of Wiiii

Tojo Museum of History locates in Tojo Park. It represents the history of the Tokugawa family, which was ruling Japan for over 260 years 400 years ago. There are museums, Tojo house – the nationally designed important cultural property, and Shountei – the traditional tea house. So, you can learn the history of the Tokugawa family and stroll around the park.

Tojo Museum of History exhibits Matsudo Tokugawa family’s traditional handed down treasures and documents and goods from the Paris exhibition of 1867. Thus, there are many historical pictures and documents that the Tokugawa family inherited over generations. If you are especially keen on Edo period history, Tojo  Museum of History will satisfy your curiosity.

You can access the site within 10 minutes walk from Matsudo station. For the details about this place, please check their official page, URL: http://www.city.matsudo.chiba.jp/tojo/annai.html (in Japanese)

National Museum of Japanese History

Image courtesy of Wiiii

National Museum of Japanese History locates in the Hokuso area in Chiba. You can access the museum with about a 1-hour train ride from the center of Tokyo. You can enjoy exhibitions and movies, forums and seminars regarding Japanese history in this museum. The museum provides audio service so that you can wander around the museum with English explanations. So, please visit their website at https://www.rekihaku.ac.jp/english/information/facilities.html (in English) to find out more about what you can explore in this museum.

Boso Village

Boso Village is a hands-on-learning museum. It opened in 1986 as the museum for learning the historical change in food, clothing, shelter, and technology in Japan. There are two areas: area of the records of culture and geography and area of experiencing old technologies. You can access this museum by taking a bus from JR Narita station.

The good thing about this museum is that you can learn more about the history of general people’s life. In each facility, you can join various activities such as making bamboo baskets, Japanese tea cookies, sushi, soba, and many more. It could be hard for you to decide which events you should join. But one thing I am sure of is that you will never be bored while you spend time there. Check their website at http://www2.chiba-muse.or.jp/www/MURA/contents/1520316673745/index.html (in English) for more information. You can also download digital guidebook, URL: http://www2.chiba-muse.or.jp/www/MURA/contents/1520316673745/simple/Digital%20Guidebook.pdf

For Nature Lovers

Visiting big cities like Tokyo or Osaka can sometimes be too bustling and makes you tired. Sure, it is inspiring to explore world-famous cities. Besides, it gives you stimulation with a lot of adrenaline. But at the same time, you may feel the need for connecting to nature to reunite with yourself. In this case, I recommend you explore the landscape in Chiba.

Choshi City Dolphin and Whale Watching

Choshi Ocean Institute offers various types of cruises. You can see the famous Byoubugawara cliff from the ocean or enjoy Sunset or Sunrise on the boat. Other than those regular cruises, you can join dolphin and whale watching from the coast. If you are lucky, you could bump into over 5000 dolphins. Looking at those dolphins and whales from the ocean ease your stress and tiredness. It also would be nice to smell and feel the sea breeze while you are on the boat. For more information, please visit their official website, URL: http://www.choshi-iruka-watching.co.jp/index.html

Kujyu Kurihama

Kujyu Kurihama is a 66 km long beach, which faces the Pacific Ocean. This beach is among the most beautiful 100 beaches in Japan. This beach shows a different face depending on the time you visit. It is evident that you can swim in the summer there, but also you can do surfing, jet skiing, cycling and horse riding through the season. You can also camp in the vase along the side of the beach and try gorgeous seafood in the restaurants scattering around the beach. Or, get fresh seafood and make barbeque right at the beach. Spending time at this beach will undoubtedly refresh your mind and ease your stress. So, if you are into sports and nature, this is the place for you to go.

Yourou Keikoku

Yourou Keikoku is the most significant hot spring spot in Chiba. It locates in Kazusa Rinkai Area. It takes about 2 hours to get there by train from the center of Tokyo. You can either camp here or come to hike and go back to Tokyo. So, it is all up to you how to arrange your travel.  Yourou Keikoku is a famous outdoor spot where you can enjoy camping, stream fishing, hiking and much more. At this site, you can immerse yourself into nature. Not only that, but you can also enjoy thousands of stars sparkling in the sky and sleep over the sound of the river. How relaxing would it be? You can visit their official website at http://www.youroukeikoku.com/ (in Japanese) to get more information.

Closing Remarks

Thank you for reading this article to the end. I hope this article made you feel like exploring in Chiba prefecture. It is too bad that I cannot bring in every single good point of Chiba prefecture in this one article. Therefore, this prefecture offers excitement, great nature, extraordinary learning opportunities through various museums and facilities. Considering how much experience you can get in this prefecture, it would be a good idea for you to stay in Chiba before heading for the famous cities in Japan right? Your trip will be more rewarding if you could connect with local people before your trip. Try Huber and find some locals in Chiba who can help you to sketch your travel plans, will suggest you the best places to visit according to your wishes and will bring you to local festivals! For more information, please click on the banner below.

Have You Been to Oita Prefecture?

Chiba Prefecture is a great place to visit and can boast plenty of tourist attractions. Besides, it is very close to Tokyo, and you can easily visit it within a day. However, would you like to see rural Japan? Oita Prefecture gives you a unique opportunity to visit a land of hot springs and admire authentic traditional Japan. The following article assembled the best festivals and activities to enjoy in Oita Prefecture, which will make your trip to Japan even more rewarding!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/6193/

Would You Like to Know How to Enjoy a Japanese Festival Even More?

A lot of people when they get to a Matsuri for the first time feel a bit lost. They confuse about what is happening around. If you are new to Japanese Festivals or want to know an alternative way of how you can enjoy these events, the following article will provide you with a set of helpful tips on how to choose a proper festival and activities you should try there. Please don`t hesitate to take a look at it!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/5363/

Don’t Stay Hungry at the Festival!

Image courtesy of Tomomarusan

For all foodies who enjoy Japanese Festivals would be nice to get acquainted with the rich choice offered by Yatai (Japanese festival food stalls). The food presented during Matsuri is pretty different from the one you get at the restaurants in Japan. Besides, there is a certain charm in grabbing some snack from a food stall and diving back into the festival crowd. I am sure that you will discover something new about Japanese festival food from the following article!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/5504/

Hikkey

Yogi and Snowboarder. Love to explore nature and to meet new people. Currently, residing in the Kansai area in Japan.

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