Chiba: Narita / Boso
Chiba Prefecture is filled with places to see, including the Tokyo Bay area with a heavy concentration of modern buildings, and the Boso Peninsula, home to lots of theme parks to enjoy nature and animals. And Narita, where Narita International Airport is located, has Naritasan Shinshoji Temple, a popular place for overseas tourists to visit.
Built around the theme of "wanting to interact with the marine world," Seaworld is an aquarium that raises and exhibits more than 11,000 freshwater and sea creatures representing 800 different species. The charm of the orcas—kings of the sea—dolphins, sea lions and belugas make their performances particularly popular. Seaworld has lots of other attractions, too, including Tropical Island where visitors experience the South Seas, and Rocky Stadium where animals can be seen in their natural state.
(5 minutes on the free shuttle bus from JR Awa-Kamogawa Station)
Founded in 940, Naritasan Shinshoji Temple has held the faith of people for more than a thousand years. Including some three million people visiting at New Year's, the temple sees more than 10 million visitors a year. Experience a bit of the monk's life yourself, copying a Buddhist sutra ("shakyo") or taking a religious session in Mikkyo Zazen, in which you learn to meditate and clear your mind of worldly thoughts.
(A 10-minute walk from JR Narita Station)
Although not far from the urban center, Mother Farm is filled with nature and is beloved among children and adults alike as a favorite place to visit. Take the Mother Farm Tour (fee applies) where you can feed the alpacas and sheep, watch the sheep get shorn in the Sheep Show and enjoy the many other attractions and events Mother Farm has to offer.
(40 minutes on the free shuttle bus (reservations required) from JR Kimitsu Station (south exit).)
Located in Kisarazu, Chiba Prefecture, this is one of the largest outlet malls in the greater Tokyo area. Its proximity to Narita and Haneda Airports makes it convenient to get there. The types of shops range from luxury brands and select shops to sporting goods, outdoor, accessories and fashion. And remember to stop by the food court. The rooftop terrace offers a view of Tokyo Bay, the Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line, the Tokyo Sky Tree and Mt. Fuji.
(10 minutes by bus from JR Sodegaura Station)
(20 minutes by bus from JR Kisarazu Station)
Suzumeyaki, or broiled crucian carp, comes from the Sawara rivershed of the Tone (say "toh ney") River. It is prepared by cutting the fish down the back, skewering and then broiling. Although Suzumeyaki literally means "broiled sparrow," it is actually crucian carp named for the similarity in appearance to the sparrow. Sold as a specialty Chiba product, Suzumeyaki makes a great gift.
As of April 2014.