The southernmost tip of the Boso peninsula can be explored as an overnight trip from Tokyo. It’s completely off the tourist trail, even for domestic travelers, and thus ideal for some laid-back sightseeing, except in the summer, when the beaches are in business. It can be reached by train from Shinjuku using the JR Sazanami limited express to Tateyama (about 2 hours and 15 minutes), or the highway bus from Tokyo station (around 2 hours, via the Aqua line, but beware of traffic jams on weekends).
Pagoda at Nago Temple
Oshima island as seen from Sunosaki cape
The largest city by far is Tateyama, located on a wide bay on the western side. From there, the JR Uchibo line curves eastwards and cuts across the peninsula, merging with the JR Sotobo line in Awa-Kamogawa on the eastern side. Minamiboso completely encircles Tateyama and has no major population centers, although inns and hotels can be found along the coastline. Since most sights are spread over a wide area, a rental car is needed when venturing south of the railway line, as bus service is infrequent.
View towards Nokogiriyama from Taibusa cape
Sunosaki cape from hotel Nankaiso
Fortunately, two of the most interesting sights can be reached on foot from Nakofunakata Station, one stop before Tateyama. Gake-Kannon (literally, “Cliff Kannon), also known as Daifuku-ji, is a temple, built under a red hued cliff, especially striking around sunset. It’s worth climbing one of the several staircases up to the small temple building perched directly under the cliff to see the view of the bay from the front viewing platform.
View of Tateyama from the balcony of Daifuku temple
Reaching Daifuki-ji (left) / Sunet at Nago-ji (right)
In the opposite direction is Nago-ji, a temple built on a hillside, and featuring a charming pagoda and another view of Tateyama bay; cherry blossom trees can be seen in spring. The trail to the observation deck higher up was damaged by the 2019 typhoons and is currently closed.
Daifuku temple at Gake-Kannon
Watch a video of Kannon-Gake and Nago-ji
Following the coastline west from Tateyama is Sunosaki lighthouse, about 20 minutes away by car. Over a hundred years old, its main purpose is to indicate the entrance to Tokyo bay. From the viewing area at its base, one can observe Tateyama bay, Mt Fuji, the Izu peninsula and Oshima island; the best views can be had around sunset.
Sunset from Sunosaki lighthouse
Watch a video of Sunosaki lighthouse
The Taibusa Cape Nature Park in Minamiboso is a great place for a short stroll with oceanic views, less than an hour walk from Tomiura station, two stops north of Tateyama. Starting from the information center next to the parking lot, it takes about an hour to make a loop of the park. On the way, one can check out an observation tower, an observation deck and the ruins of an old fort. From Iwai station, one stop away, is the start of the Kinone Pass hike.
View of Minamiboso from Taibusa Cape
Watch a video of Taibusa cape
Nojima Cape Lighthouse is situated at the southern tip of the Boso peninsula, a thirty-minute drive from Tateyama, and within the confines of the Minamiboso Quasi-National Park. The main thing to do is to see the view from the top of the lighthouse (a small fee is required); make sure to check out the interesting museum next to the entrance (Japanese only).
View of the coastline from the Nojima lighthouse
View of the Pacific from the Minamiboso quasi national park
The marker for the southernmost point of the Boso peninsula can be reached via a circular path around the cape: nearby is a white, solitary bench on top of a rock, the perfect place to gaze at the Pacific ocean stretching away into the distance. Following the “Boso flowerline” road for about ten minutes east leads to the start of the hike for Mt Takatsuka.
Bench at the end of Boso
Watch a video of Nojima cape