Around 30 miles (50 kilometers) outside of central Tokyo, the Natural History Museum and Institute of Chiba is dedicated to the natural and human history of Chiba province. The museum has a large collection of geological finds from the region as well as dioramas showing the flora and fauna of the area.
Through immersive, high-tech dioramas featuring stuffed animals and lifelike replicas (including a life-size replica of a whale), the Natural History Museum in Chiba explores the geographic and biological legacy of the region and the interaction between humans and nature, from dinosaurs to the present day. There's English signage and plenty to keep children interested. Outdoors, you can also tour the Ecology Park, with trees and plants native to the region.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Entry to the museum is by paid ticket.
- There are lockers on-site, plus a cafe and souvenir shop.
- Most of the museum and its grounds are wheelchair accessible, with the exception of some parts of the Ecology Park.
- There are a limited number of wheelchairs and strollers available to borrow.
How to Get There
The museum is located at 955-2 Aobacho, Chuo Ward in Chiba Prefecture. It is accessible by public transport, car, and taxi. The no. 7 bus runs close to the museum from JR Keisei Chiba Station—alight at Chuo Hakubutsukan and walk briefly to the museum. Alternatively, the no. 2 bus also runs to Chuo Hakubutsukan, from JR Soga Station.
When to Get There
The museum is open Tuesday–Sunday year-round. It is closed Mondays and national holidays. Opening hours are 9am–4:30pm, and last admission is at 4pm.
Mount Nokogiriyama Temple
The Boso Peninsula in Chiba province runs to the east and south of Tokyo city and offers beaches, mountains, and a number of hotel resorts. One of the most popular activities is a trip to see the Zen Buddhist temple at Mount Nokogiriyama, which dates back more than 1,300 years. The main attraction is the 100-feet-high (31 meter) stone Buddha, known as Big Buddha (Daibutsu), carved into the mountainside.