When you tell a Western friend you’re visiting Asia, the first image that pops into their head is probably very similar to the Oyama Rice Terraces of Chiba: terraced rice fields flooded with water, facing onto lush green valleys. Catch them at the right time of day and you’ll catch morning mist, the sunburst of dawn, and glittering reflections to complete the effect.
Even if you don’t have the time or will to drag yourself out of bed that early, the area is still well worth a visit. With a total of 375 rice terraces, you could spend quite a while exploring around the area. Over the winter months, the fields are lit up with hundreds of lanterns for several hours after sunset, with a beautiful, otherworldly atmosphere.
If you feel like rolling up your sleeves and trying some agricultural activities for yourself, there are places in the area to try traditional activities like making mochi or traditional washi paper.
To get here, it’s best to drive. Take the Tokyo Bay Aqua Line, which runs right under the bay, to get on to the Chiba’s Boso Peninsula.