Go Under the Sea, and Stay Totally Dry! It's an Undersea Observatory
It's the Katsuura UnderSea Park! Can't swim? Or maybe you just can't get enough one-on-one time with the fish of the sea? Well, you should probably point yourself towards Chiba, then! Make your way over to the city of Katsuura, on Japan's Boso Peninsula, and you'll find a magical little observatory under the water.
Clear water and lively fish... at first glance, the shore along the coast of Katsuura City in Chiba might look a little like the tropics. Perhaps we teleported to Okinawa?
But no, this is the Boso Peninsula, across Tokyo Bay from the big city itself. And yet, despite the conveniently mundane location, here you'll find the very cool Katsuura UnderSea Observatory! Much like the distant observatory at Okinawa's Busena Marine Park
, climb under the water and you'll see the local marine life swimming right by.
- The cliffs and the water both remind us a little of Okinawa, but the spot is just 15 or 20 minutes walk from Chiba's Ubara train station. Rent a car in Tokyo and you'll be here in a flash. The coast makes for beautiful views and pretty great local seafood.
- This is the entrance to the UnderSea Park's observatory - we're getting close! The admission fee is 960 yen for adults, 470 yen for elementary and middle school students, and 210 yen for younger children over four. Make sure you get there between 9 am and 5 pm!
- The observation tower is 24.4 meters (80 ft) high, but more importantly, it goes 8 meters (more than 26 ft) under the water! Even if swimming in the ocean makes you nervous, or you just don't want to get wet, you can make some new fishy friends under the sea! It might be better down where it's wetter, but we were happy to stay dry while we... said hi.
- It's a great destination for people who don't have any experience scuba diving or snorkeling, along with little kids and parents. It's a super relaxing way to just see the fish swim by, totally comfortable in their natural habitat!
- You can observe from above sea level as well. Play a little make-believe, and try to guide this ship to safety!
- Wander down the coastline a little, and the view of the observatory from afar is pretty lovely as well!
If you want to spend some more time in Chiba, we recommend you stop in at Umihotaru as you drive over from Tokyo, climb Mount Nokogiri (and get a peek at hell!), and then finish off your day with some fireworks, like these in Tateyama.
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