Day Trip: 4 Places In Chiba City

Lots of action, with little travel distance in between

 By Victoria Vlisides   Jan 20, 2016

Quick List

  1. Go karting

  2. Chiba Castle

  3. Do-it-yourself deep-fry restaurant

  4. A Honky Tonk Bar

  5. {Please note: Click the photo for even more photos.}

Tokyo is an alluring mistress on the weekends, but as I learned during this weekend, staying in Chiba Prefecture can be a lot of fun, too. For months now, I've been trying to persuade people to go to an indoor go-karting place in Chiba City. Finally, I said "screw it," and just decided to go.

But before that, I took a short walk from Chiba Station and ate at a do-it-yourself "kushiage" restaurant. A "kushi" is a skewer, and "age" means deep fried. I put shrimp, okra, pork, chicken and even takoyaki on a wooden skewer and deep fried it right at my table. Quite tasty. I recommended going to Kushiya Monogatari (串家物語). It was around 1500 yen for an all-you-can-eat lunch, that includes sides, drink bar and dessert.

Next, I took a 5-minute cab ride it to Chiba Castle in Hon-Chiba area. With admission free, the castle is a lovely example of how new and old live side by side here in Japan -- even in big cities. It's a smaller castle, but the view form the top was quite nice around 4 p.m. The castle closes at 4:30 p.m., which is why I took a cab. But, it's only about a 5 -10 minute walk from Hon-Chiba Station.

From there, I walked to the go-kart place, which is in Chiba-Minato, another part of Chiba City. On the 20-minute walk, I took a wrong turn and found an American-style steak and honky tonk bar... decided to go back there after go-karting, as I was craving a bloody mary.

When I finally made it to the go karts, I learned that go-karting in Japan is no joke.

Drivers had actual motorcycle helmets. I think you could wear them on a motorcycle, at least, and we had to watch a safety video (all in Japanese, but who needs safety anyways...). The small course was lighted up in blue and left some room for drifting (at least my crappy version of it). The course itself has a small incline and even a tunnel to go under. For 7 minutes and 2100 yen (about $20), it was worth the money. 

That night, I was looking for a night club but seems like you're going to have to go to Tokyo for that. Chiba doesn't have everything, but it's a decent change of pace from that #TokyoLife so many of us know and love.

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Join the discussion

Carol Akiyama a year ago
Sounds like a fun day. I love day trip guides! And I never knew there was a Chiba Castle...
Victoria Vlisides Author a year ago
I am happy I could help :) The castle was cool! And, it's free!