VIDEO| Stray into old Japan at Otaki Town in Chiba

Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi
Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi

VIDEO| Stray into old Japan at Otaki Town in Chiba

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

If you’ve been thinking about heading out for a nice daytrip around the Kanto Plain, head to Otaki Town in Chiba Prefecture. This quaint castle town is known as Chiba’s Little Edo thanks to the preserved traditional feel and architecture in the area.

Otaki has many museums, shops and restaurants for you to enjoy and is about a two-hour drive from many U.S. military bases in the Kanto via the Aqua Line Expressway.

Otaki Castle, the town’s landmark was built in 1590 by Honda Tadakatsu, one of the most powerful generals of Tokugawa Shogunate. Today, the castle is a museum but due to ongoing renovations, is not currently accessible. Visitors can still admire the beauty of the castle and surrounding landscape until the castle reopens sometime in 2027.

If you’re still seeking some history, head down the hill from the castle to the Museum of Old Merchants for a look at the daily lives of shopkeepers and tradesmen of the era. Nearby, you’ll find Tsuchiya Wagashi Shop, a Japanese traditional sweets store, and the Toyonotsuru Brewery, both in hundred-years-old buildings, selling tasty souvenirs to take home.

The small town is an easy walk to explore, or you can rent a bike at the train station. Visit the castle town by hopping on the cute yellow Isumi Rail train at Kazusanakano Station where you can park your car for free. The short 30-minute train ride to Otaki offers great views of the sprawling green forest, beautiful valley, impressive villages and rice paddies. The Isumi Rail is an ideal vessel to go time traveling into such a beautiful castle town.


Otakicho Tourist Information Center (in front of Otaki Station of Isumi Rail line)

Location: 270-1 Otaki, Otakicho, Isumi-gun, Chiba Prefecture
Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tel: 0470-80-1146

Isumi Rail
Tel: 0470-82-2161

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