Enjoy the modern advances of Japan alongside ancient shrines, art galleries and a collection of spectacular parks at this port city on Tokyo Bay.
Chiba is a busy seaport, the capital of the Chiba prefecture and a gateway to the coastal towns of the Boso Peninsula. Just a 50-minute train ride from central Tokyo, the city attracts visitors with its seafront and hilly parks decorated with pretty cherry blossoms. Visit an art gallery in Chiba, tour a Shinto shrine and ride one of the world’s longest monorails.
Start at Chiba Port Park, which has a children’s playground, picnic areas, walking trails and great views of the bay. Admire the Tokyo skyline from Chiba Port Tower and browse work by local artists at the Chiba Prefectural Museum of Art. Rent a bike, pedal slowly through Inage Seaside Park and swim at Inage Beach. Makuhari Seaside Park features Makuhari Beach, landscaped lawns, trails and the ZOZO Marine Stadium ballpark.
Travel through the city center on the suspended Chiba Urban Monorail to Chiba Zoological Park. Here you can get near elephants, giraffes, primates and a red panda. Closer to central Chiba, elegant Inohana Castle dominates Chibashi Inohana Park. Inside the castle, the Chiba City Folk Museum delves into the city’s history.
Nestled in the urban residential landscape of the downtown district is Chiba Shrine. This serene 12th-century temple complex is notable for its vermillion designs, peaceful gardens and ponds. Changing exhibitions at the Chiba City Museum of Art showcase national and international artists. Have fun with hands-on exhibits at Chiba Museum of Science and Industry.
Catch a bus to Aobanomori Park, a great location for admiring the springtime bloom of cherry blossom trees. Explore the fascinating past of the Boso Peninsula at the Natural History Museum and Institute. Don’t miss the Hoki Museum, famous for its collection of Realist paintings.
Chiba is 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Tokyo. High-speed trains depart regularly between Tokyo Station and Chiba Station. Use Chiba as a base for exploring attractions in Chiba prefecture such as Kujukuri Beach, Naritasan Shinshoji Temple and Tokyo Disneyland.