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Sitting on the rural Boso Peninsula of the eastern outskirts of Tokyo, Chiba is the largest city in the prefecture of the same name. In reality it is a large suburb of Tokyo.
This is where you will find the Chiba Port Tower - a mere 10 minutes on foot from the monorail. Apparently no self-respecting Japanese city would dare not to have such a tower. The observation deck will give you views of the industrial wastelands and container docks, until they fade into the fog in the distance. For the quirky mind there is an odd display of stuffed fish mounted on sticks in a faux ocean environment in the lower section. You could check out the Chiba Castle's fluorescent display, which is a bit on the cool side or if it happens to be the season of the cherry blossom, head to
Aoba no Mori Koen (Blue Leaf Forest Park) and meander around.
Basically the city is a concrete jungle, but you will find comic markets if you are into otaku and anime shops. The Chiba City Central Library is for the book buff where there are more than 850 thousand copies of books, magazines and newspapers to poke through. Looking more like a museum than a library, the building is huge and wrapped in terraces. On the outskirts of the city you can glimpse the showcase "city of the future", Kaihin-Makuhari.
For the shopaholic there is the Makuhari Techno Garden to explore with its plethora of shopping malls, restaurants and office towers where aerial bridges cross realistic plastic plants. If you want to see "real" plants you will have to go to Sakura Park where the hordes of tourists head to during cherry blossom season. As one would expect you have temples to gawk at, firework festivals annually, you can watch a game of baseball or football, even take in a movie if you are over walking or bussing it around.
When it all gets too much, head to the surfing mecca of Japan, Chiba's coastline or be a devil and try out your vocals at a night of karaoke.
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