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Chiba is the capital city of Chiba Prefecture, Japan. It is located approximately 40 km east of the center of Tokyo on Tokyo Bay.Chiba City became a government designated city in 1992. Its population as of 2008 is approximately 960,000.Chiba City is also one of the Kantō region's primary seaports, and is home to Chiba Port, which handles one of the highest volumes of cargo in the nation. Much of the city is residential, although there are many factories and warehouses located along the coast.There are several major urban centers in the city, including Makuhari, a prime waterfront business district in which Makuhari Messe is located, and Central Chiba, in which the prefectural government office and the city hall are located.Chiba is famous for the Chiba Urban Monorail, the longest suspended monorail in the world, as published in the Guinness Book of World Records. Some popular destinations in the city include: Kasori Shellmound, the largest shellmound in the world at 134,000m2, Inage Beach, the first artificial beach in the nation which forms part of the longest artificial beach in Japan, and the Chiba City Zoological Park, which gained popularity because of the red panda Futa, who stands with human-like posture.

The city was founded on January 1, 1921 and was designated on April 1, 1992 by government ordinance.As of September 2008, the city has an estimated population of 961,544 and a density of 3,523.79 persons per km2. The total area is 272.08 km2. There were 19,135 registered foreign residents in the city as of March 31, 2007, making up for about 2% of the total population. It is the 14th most populated city in Japan.Chiba was governed by Keiichi Tsuruoka, an independent (elected with support of LDP and Komeito), until May 1, 2009. He had been arrested in April 2009 during a corruption investigation by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police. He was succeeded by Toshihito Kumagai of the DPJ, who won election in June 2009.The city assembly has 54 elected members.Chiba Prefecture is famous for peanuts, or rakkasei. One of the many points of interest is the Experimental Station for Landscape Plants.Chiba plays host to the annual International Chiba Ekiden and the Chiba International Cross Country takes place just outside of the city. Chiba Velodrome is located within the city.

How to Reach

By Air

Narita International Airport and Tokyo International Airport are the closest major airports.

By Train

The Chiba Urban Monorail runs through Chiba City.The major intercity railway stations are Chiba Station, (Sobu Line, Sotobo Line, Uchibo Line, Sobu Main Line, Narita Line, transfer for Chiba Urban Monorail), Keisei Chiba Station (Keisei Chiba Line), and Soga Station, (Keiyo Line, Sotobo Line, Uchibo Line) all in Choo-ku.

By Bus

Airport Limousine buses link Chiba to Haneda and Narita Airports.

Key places to visit
Chiba Port Tower, Chiba Castle, Blue Leaf Forest Park, Mitsui Outlet Shopping Mall, Costco


Places to Visit

Chiba Port Tower

10 minutes on foot from monorail and Keiyo line Chiba Minato station.Towers like this are a fixture of any self-respecting Japanese city, and here the observation deck (112m) offers views of the surrounding industrial wastelands and container docks, at least for a kilometer or two until they fade off in the smog.There is also a curious display of stuffed fish mounted on sticks in a simulated ocean environment downstairs; the simulation is needed since heavily polluted Chiba Bay hasn't sustained anything above seaweed for quite a while. Entry ¥410, open daily from 9 AM to 7 PM (or 9 PM in summer).

Chiba Castle

A recent reconstruction, but it does look quite cool- just try to ignore the flourescent tubes inside.It's about 5-10 minutes walk from the Kenchomae Chiba Urban Monorail staion.

Blue Leaf Forest Park

Nothing too spectacular, but during the Sakura (Cherry blossom) season a nice place to get away from the concrete jungle.10mins walk from the Keisei Chiba line station Chibadera.

Mitsui Outlet Shopping Mall

Located close to the Kaihin-makuhari Station, there are lots of shops including such major brands as Coach, Edwin, Nike, and so on.During special events or holiday seasons like Christmas the sales draw large crowds.For people who want to enjoy shopping with their pets, some shops have special areas that pets can enjoy.


In Japan, there are few Costcos, and one of them is in Makuhari.This way of displaying items is uncommon in Japan, so many people are interested in it and go there.Entering the building can be done without a membership card if entering at a busy time the only time memberships are absolutely checked for is at the cash register.For some Japanese, the items are too big or too much, so people like to divide the items with others.To get there,you can take bus from Kaihin-makuhari or Shin-Narashino Station.It costs 100 yen and takes 5 minutes.

Right Time to Visit

October - December
March - August


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