Are you looking for a warm, flower-laden getaway somewhere beyond the concrete and asphalt of Tokyo? A beach retreat to catch cooling breezes in summer? Refreshing greenery and flowers? Minam-Boso City is an easy escape within a few hours train ride or drive from the capital.
Temples and Shrines
Japan’s food culture is celebrated at Takabe Shrine, a sanctuary dedicated to Iwakamutsukari-no-Mikoto, the deity that presides over all things culinary. In May, October, and November the shrine holds a special knife ceremony in which chefs ritually prepare fish.
Takabe Shrine is a 25-minute walk south of Chikura Station on the Uchibo Line.
Deep in the Minamiboso countryside is the enigmatic Komatsuji Temple. Designated a prefectural heritage property for its seated Kannon statue, it’s a popular spot for viewing spectacular autumn leaves. It’s also got some mysteries, with tales of rainfall that comes every February 15th in memory of a tragic story, and the murmur of chanting from beneath the temple floor.
Komatsuji is a 25-minute bike ride from the nearest station, Kokone, on the Uchibo Line.
Parks and Beaches
One of the first vistas you can encounter in Minamiboso City is Taibusamisaki Nature Park, a promontory that juts into Tokyo Bay. It's got a subtropical forest canopy, some meadows overlooking the bay, and campgrounds where you can take your time to enjoy the rocky shore.
The park is a 10-minute drive from Tomiura Station on the Uchibo Line.
As Minamiboso City stretches right across the Boso Peninsula, it has many beaches. On the inside of the peninsula facing Tokyo Bay is Iwai Beach, a three-kilometer swathe of sand with views of Mount Fuji on clear days. On the Pacific Ocean side, Wadaura Beach has calmer waves and a rocky shore for paddling about. For surfing and bodyboarding, head to Minami Chikura Beach.
Minamboso City is famed for its flowers which bloom from the end of January until late November. A vast display of seasonal flowers at Shiramazu Ohanabatake has flower picking and cut flowers at the roadside shops. Shirahama Ohanabatake flower fields are a 15-minute bus ride from Chikura Station on the Uchibo Line.
Shopping and Dining
Minamiboso City is noted for its abundant michi no eki, roadside stations that provide ample parking, restaurants, and shops that feature local products and produce. At some michi no eki, the reception staff can direct you to experiences such as pick-your-own seasonal fruits and vegetables. Biwa Club Michi No Eki near Tomiura Station has everything loquat, known as biwa in Japanese. Michi no Eki Furari Tomiyama near Kanaya Port even has soba noodle workshops.
To remember your Minamiboso trip, at the michi no eki and souvenir shops look out for Boshu uchiwa, the delicate hand fans made of bamboo and paper.
Being surrounded by the sea, Minamiboso’s restaurants feature seafood. Look out for Boshu sushi which is served in generous portions. Another specialty on the peninsula is futomaki matsuri sushi, large rolls of sushi that are as much art as food. When sliced, these elaborate sushi rolls reveal designs such as flowers and animation characters.
Minamiboso City is best explored by car or bicycle. Cyclists can rent a variety of bikes including electric-assist and sports bicycles from a dozen locations in the southern part of the peninsula through the bicycle rental network Kurukuru Sha Raran.