Visiting Chiba: Japan’s Hidden Prefecture

Visiting Chiba: Japan’s Hidden Prefecture

No, I’m not trying to be funny. Chiba is indeed the name of a prefecture (state) in Japan that I’ve had the pleasure of visiting for a shoot over a year ago.


This may not have been my first time in Japan, but I must say I have never seen or known Japan quite like this before. For starters, I’ve always thought that Narita airport was in Tokyo but it turns out, it’s in Chiba! So are Tokyo German Village and Tokyo Disneyland. I have no idea why. Even our guide didn’t.


My memory is a little rusty now but I am going to try my best to recollect some of the highlights of my trip. On my first day, I got the opportunity to be dressed in a full Samurai suit at the Japanese Cultural Village including the sword! (Yes, it was blunt.) As expected, the entire getup was heavy. I can’t say that I felt like a true warrior even though I tried very hard to look the part. Nonetheless, I had fun playing pretend and the ambiance helped.

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Believe it or not, 27 years of my life, I have never witnessed a sunrise and I got to pop my cherry at the land of the rising sun! It was absolutely breathtaking. No word could describe how I was feeling on the inside but on the outside, I was freezing! It was winter in Japan with a temperature of a single digit and on top of that, we were by the beach! Just imagine the breeze. Despite the rising sun, I couldn’t feel its warmth. But it was well worth it. The view was spectacular. As a matter of fact, Chiba is incredibly beautiful! There were so many instances that really took my breath away. I felt extremely calm and serene. It was just a wonderful feeling being away from all the hustle and bustle.

Having said that, there was a day when I was in a crowd of thousands for a festival known as Seijinshiki. It was sort of like a rite of passage where 19 year olds who were turning, or have turned 20 gather in a huge hall to watch performances and listen to advice/speeches about entering adulthood. It was also a massive high school reunion for most of them. Later in the day, they would go out and celebrate and the celebration usually involved alcohol because this day also meant that they could drink legally. I was really eager to be a part of the festival for I got to be decked out in a full traditional kimono and be 20 again! Although walking was quite a challenge because I could only take small steps due to its tight fit, at the same time, I was glad because the kimono kept me warm throughout the chilly weather. It was great to see the young generation keeping to traditions, voluntarily donning their traditional outfits and waking up early for prayers, as the day would typically start at the temple.
There were other fantastic moments in Chiba like eating the biggest and sweetest strawberries, the freshest sashimi, the tastiest unagi I’ve ever had in my life, meeting the smiling sea lion at Kamogawa Sea World, spending the day with Amber Chia at Mitsui Outlet Park, Tokyo German Village and Umihotaru (which by the way, is not just a bridge that connects Chiba to Tokyo but a plankton that glows in the dark!) and more! Japan is definitely a must-visit destination. I’ve only been there twice in my life, the first being Tokyo and now, Chiba. But I heard that there’s a whole lot more to explore and I can’t wait for my next visit. If you have any comments or suggestions about Japan, please feel free to holla at me!



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