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09 March, 2024

[TRAVEL] 5D4N Itinerary in Chiba, Japan: Things to Do, Eat and Play!

Konnichiwa, Chiba! 

Yay, it's another prefecture unlocked in Japan. Do you know that Chiba is the home of Narita International Airport and Tokyo DisneyLand and DisneySea? It is so near Tokyo, but sadly, people often make just 1-2 days trip to Chiba for sightseeing. So, in this post, I will tell you why you should spend at least 3 days in Chiba...

Country Farm Tokyo German Village in Chiba

In Chiba Prefecture, like any other prefecture in Japan, there are different attractions that you can enjoy in every season. My trip to Chiba is mid-October, around the beginning of autumn where the trees are still green and we don't get to see fall foliage yet :( So, make sure you choose the right timing to make your trip the most memorable one!

BBQ Wagyu Dinner in Chiba

Nevertheless, it has been an amazing trip to Chiba.
And here's my 5D4N itinerary in this beautiful prefecture:

DAY 0:
 Late night KUL-NRT flight (7 hours)

DAY 1:

 Boso-no-Mura Open-Air Museum
 Sawara Ancient Town
 Isaribi-Tei BBQ Dinner
 Kujukuri Taiyo no Sato Spa & Resort

DAY 2:

 Sugahara Glassware Factory
 Banya Fisherman Restaurant
 Isumi Railway Experience from Ohara Station to Otaki Station
 Otaki Ancient Town and Otaki Castle Museum
 Kichimu Ryokan

DAY 3:

 Kamogawa Sea World
 Oyamasendai Rice Terrace
 Umihotaru (Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line)
 Mitsui Outlet Park Kisarazu
 Route-Inn Hotel

DAY 4:

 Mother Farm
 Sakura Oldness and Open Space (Sakura Furusato Square)
 Naritasan Shinshoji Temple
 AEON Mall Narita
 Marroad International Hotel Narita

DAY 5:

 Early morning flight in Narita Airport

Fun fact. Do you know that the map of Chiba resembles the shape of a dog? \That's why they have named this cute little red doggie, Chiba-kun the mascot of Chiba Prefecture!

Boso-no-Mura Open-Air Museum, Sawara Town,
Isaribi-Tei BBQ Dinner, Kujukuri Taiyo no Sato Spa & Resort

To make the most out of the trip, we take a 11.35pm flight from KLIA and arrive at Narita International Airport early in the morning, so that we can have a full day to explore Chiba.

Boso-no-Mura Open-Air Museum

Our first stop of the day, Boso-no-Mura Open-Air Museum, is probably the best place to immerse into rich Japanese culture before exploring the whole of Chiba. You can see this blog post for the full experience in Boso-no-Mura!

Sawara Town

Sawara (佐原), locally known as koedo or “Little Edo,” is a small step back to the Edo Period (1603-1867) where it used to be a transport hub for rice shipments into the capital. Today, the history-rich Sawara canal takes the centrestage of the district, and it is lined with many preserved and restored traditional residences, merchant shops and warehouses from the Edo Period.

It is very similar to Kurashiki (倉敷) in Okayama which I visited last year. Come enjoy a boat tour at the canal and watch the twice hourly waterfall at the bridge.

Don't forget to try the sweet potato desserts at Jusanriya (さわら十三里屋)!

 Isaribi-Tei BBQ Dinner at Kujukuri Taiyo no Sato Spa & Resort

And finally for the first day, we had fresh and delicious seafood BBQ dinner
before our chillax onsen session in this guesthouse in Kujukuri.

Sugahara Glassware Factory, Banya Fisherman Restaurant,
Isumi Railway Experience from Ohara Station to Otaki Station,
Otaki Castle Museum, Kichimu Ryokan

Sugahara Glassware Factory

Sugahara Glassware Factory is where we can make our own customised glassware using the glass blowing method. It is very interesting to "work" with the factory workers there and I have made a premium glassware (of my choice of color and design!) which I suppose is probably the best handmade souvenir I can get for this trip!

Banya Fisherman Restaurant

We then adjourn to the seaside for lunch at Banya Fisherman Restaurant, in which the restaurant owner serves us with the freshest catch of the day! I am head over heels in love with my sashimi rice bowl here!

Don't forget to enjoy the sea view next to the restaurant too!

Isumi Railway Experience from Ohara Station to Otaki Station

It is my first time going for a local train ride and I am really excited about it because it gives a panoramic view of the picturesque scenery along the ride. If you are here at the right blooming seasons, you'll get to see beautiful flower fields along the journey!

Isumi Railway during Cherry Blossom season

Otaki Ancient Town and Otaki Castle Museum

Then we arrive at Otaki Town, a small sleepy town where all the centuries-old shops and residences of the famous are located at. I find this place really quiet which I can truly enjoy peace and tranquility at.

And the main highlight of this township, Otaki Castle Museum is suitable for history buffs to discover the Japanese samurai history from medieval times to modern times, and admire the beautiful artifacts relating to arms, weapons, and other regional cultural assets.

Kaiseki Dinner at Kichimu Ryokan

Here's the best traditional 9-course Japanese dinner for this trip!! Everything is prepared just so on point, beginning from starter, sashimi, seafood, soup and lastly the rice and dessert. Incredibly delicious and satisfying! 

Kichimu Ryokan

Kichimu Ryokan is one of the best accommodations I stay in Japan! Love the Japanese ryokan-style family room (can fit up to 4) with an outdoor jacuzzi, overseeing the glittering blue ocean. How I'd wish to wake up to such beautiful scenery every morning! 

Worth staying if you are sharing your accommodation with friends / family!

Kamogawa Sea World, Oyamasendai Rice Terrace, Umihotaru (Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line),
Mitsui Outlet Park Kisarazu, Route-Inn Hotel

Kamogawa Sea World

Kamogawa Sea World is my favourite place in Chiba! Definitely a MUST VISIT! ❤ Here I get to watch amazing performances by the Beluga whale, dolphins and sea lions, as well as enjoy close-up interactions with these sea creatures and watch the swimming whales while I dine at the aquarium restaurant.

It is a fantastic experience, so be sure to check out the 10 things to do in Kamogawa Sea World in my blog. 

Oyamasendai Rice Terrace

Little did I know Chiba has vast mountainous area for paddy farming. This place reminds me of Tegallalang Rice Terrace in Bali, except for the chilly weather here. There is nothing much around here except for a rice milling plant, but it is good to visit for taking Instagram-worthy photos :P

Umihotaru (Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line)

Welcome to the world’s coolest R&R! Umihotaru is the world's only highway rest stop that sits in the middle of the sea, being part of the Aqua-Line highway between Tokyo Bay and Chiba. How cool is that!

As you drive through the tunnel from either side of Tokyo Bay (Kawasaki or Kisarazu), it rises again to the surface at Umihotaru. Then you can stop by to enjoy the breathtaking view of Tokyo's skyline and its iconic buildings from here. It houses probably the world's most unusual parking lot, apart from 5 floors of restaurants & souvenir shops. Remember to take picture at the observation deck on Level 4!

Mitsui Outlet Park Kisarazu

Mitsui shopping outlets seem to be sprouting all over the whole of Japan. No matter where you go, you’ll have the chance to shop for your favourite designer labels. Perfect haven for shopaholics!

Mother Farm, Sakura Furusato Square, Naritasan Shinshoji Temple,
AEON Mall Narita, Marroad International Hotel Narita

Mother Farm

On the last day of our trip, we finally have the chance to visit Mother Farm, a famous 250-hectare animal farm located on Mt. Kanozan. To my surprise, it is not just an animal farm that houses sheep, cows, alpacas etc, but it also offers amusement park rides, free animal shows, animal feeding and we can even enjoy the ice creams made locally from the farm cow's milk here. Must visit too!

Find out more about the 10 things to do in Mother Farm here!

Sakura Oldness and Open Space (Sakura Furusato Square)

While travelling north towards Narita, we manage to drop by Sakura City for a short (but romantic) stroll at Sakura Furusato Square, where a huge eye-catching Dutch windmill - a symbol of friendship between Japan and the Netherlands - is surrounded by different flowers bloom during different seasons of the year. 

Tulips (April), sunflowers (July) and cosmos (October) are among the blooms that you shouldn't miss here. Overall, it is a wonderful place for lovebirds to spend time together, perhaps with their pets too. 

Naritasan Shinshoji Temple

This is the nearest temple from Narita International Airport - only 15-20 minute walk from JR Narita / Keisei Narita Stations. This 1,000-year-old temple never fails to impress me with its exquisite charm - something different from the overcrowded Sensoji Temple in Asakusa. 

And be sure to visit Naritasan's Omotesando, a “shopping street” located right outside the temple. 

Remember to plan your itinerary well if you want to try the famous Unagi specialty shop here, as the shops mostly close by 4pm. Anyway, it is good to drop by for a glimpse of historic Japan, if you have few hours to spare in Narita. 

Narita Shopping Havens: AEON Mall, Don Quijote, Uniqlo

One last thing to do before leaving Japan.... SHOPPING! We spend our last evening here to shop at the infamous AEON Mall, Don Quijote and Uniqlo Narita which are located just next to one another. I am perfectly satisfied with my shopping haul from all the ongoing deals this round. 

Hello Kitty themed toilet in AEON Mall Narita

In a Nutshell

So this sums up my 5D4N trip in Chiba, Japan. I guess this is the uniqueness of Japan -- Every prefecture has its own charm, and Chiba is not lacking of its scenic natural spots (especially fruit picking and flower viewing), culture-rich and historical attractions. The best part is, you get to enjoy different experiences in all 4 seasons! 

To check out the latest festivals, events or attractions in Chiba,

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