Escaping the city for a day at the beach might be easier than you think. Chiba - Tokyo’s neighboring prefecture - has some of the country’s most impressive beaches, with golden sands, turquoise waters and world-tier surfing locations all just a few hours from the capital. If you’re looking for the best swimming beaches then look no further.
Katakai Beach: The Heart of Kujukuri
In the middle of the 60km Kujukuri Beach, Katakai is a spot popular with swimmers. Soft sand and crystal blue waters make for the perfect combination with surfers often making the most of the waters as well. The area is known for sardines as well as hamaguri clams, which can be bought from the many stallholders along the beach. Due to its popularity, the beach has toilets and showers available to bathers.
- Name: Katakai Beach (片貝海水浴場)
- Address: Katakai, Kujukuri, Sambu district, Chiba
- Access: Katakai Beach is in the center of the Kujukuri Beach and is close to the exit of the Togane Kujukuri Toll Road. It is a short 22-minute bus journey costing 500 yen from JR Togane Station on the Togane Line. From Chiba Station, it takes 35 minutes on the JR Togane Line, costing 510 yen.
Maebara Beach: Calm Waters
A popular resort beach with plenty of nearby hotels for a beach gateway, Maebara Beach has everything you need. The soft sands are with tranquil waves; the curve of the bay creating a calmer sea for swimmers. The beach is on the southeast coast of Chiba’s Boso Peninsula, with Kamogawa Sea World to the north and the picturesque Kamogawa Matsushima to the south. The Kamogawa City annual fireworks display is held at Maebara Beach on the 29th of July, with thousands of rockets launched above the waters.
- Name: Maebara Beach (前原海水浴場)
- Address: Maebara, Kamogawa, Chiba
- Access: Maebara Beach is an 8-minute walk from Awa-Komogawa Station on the JR Sotobo, Uchibo and Wakashio Lines. From Chiba Station you can take the JR Sotoba Line Rapid and change at Soga, then either the JR Sotoba Line (140 minutes, 1690 yen) or the Limited Express Wakashio service (90 minutes, 3170 yen).
Choshi Marina Beach: White Cliff Walks
At the eastern end of the Kujukuri stretch, Choshi Marina Beach is one of the most popular spots in Chiba for swimmers. It is often likened to the white cliffs of Dover thanks to the bright white Byobugaura Cliffs, with walking paths offering great views between swims. While Choshi Marina Beach is served by Tokyo Bay, the eastern side of Choshi city has beaches on the Pacific Ocean, if you want to enjoy two different bodies of water. Unusually shaped rocks are a popular attraction in the area, with Inuiwa (dog rock) and Sengaiwa rocks just south along the coast from Choshi Marina Beach.
- Name: Choshi Marina Beach (銚子マリーナ海水浴場)
- Address: Choshi Marina Beach, Shiomicho, Choshi, Chiba
- Access: The beach is located on the most eastern-side of Chiba and is a 25-minute walk from Tokawa Station on the Choshi Electric Railway, with buses available in season. From Chiba Station, you can take the JR Sobu Line for Choshi and change to the electric railway - the journey takes around two hours in total and costs approximately 1,870 yen.
Moriya Beach: A Beach with an Island
Sheltered in a cove, Moriya beach offers an island-esque escape with calm waters and sandy shores. It’s been rated one of the top 100 best beaches in Japan since 2006 thanks to its beautiful views and has the best water quality in Katsuura City. At low tide, visitors can walk across the water towards Watashima Island. On Watashima island be sure to visit the shrine gate in the sea - it gives a magical feel to the view of the water.
- Name: Moriya Beach (守谷海水浴場)
- Address: Moriya, Chiba, Japan
- Access: The beach is a 15-minute walk from Kazusa-Okitsu Station on the JR Sotobo and Wakashio Lines. From Chiba Station you can take the JR Sotobo Line Rapid and change at Kazusa-Ichinomiya to the JR Sotobo line for Kisarazu. The journey takes around two hours and costs approximately 1,340 yen.
Shinmaiko Beach: Crystal Clear Waters
Offering calm waters and views of Tokyo Bay, Shinmaiko is a firm favourite among Chiba and Tokyo’s swimmers. The beach’s reputation for clear water is a major part, while the and 350m long, 85m wide beach is great for relaxing on post-swim. The beach is watched over by the Tokyowan Kannon, a 56m high goddess of mercy originally built as a call for world peace in 1961. Today she offers views of the beach, the bay and even Mt Fuji, with entry only 500 yen for adults and 300 yen for children.
- Name: Shinmaiko Beach (新舞子海水浴場)
- Address: 158-1 Yahata, Futtsu, Chiba
- Access: Shinmaiko beach is a 20-minute walk from Sanukimachi Station on the JR Uchibo Line. The journey takes 70 minutes from Chiba Station and costs 990 yen, catching the JR Uchibo Rapid service for Kimitsu to Kisarazu and changing to the JR UChibo Line for Kazusa-Ichinomiya.