Mother Farm: Enjoying Chiba’s Pastoral Theme Park

ByMichael Stigall
Mar 28, 2023

Mother Farm: Enjoying Chiba’s Pastoral Theme Park

Mother Farm (マザー牧場) is an expansive working “entertainment” farm that is located in Chiba’s central Boso Peninsula countryside sitting 300m atop Mt. Kanozan. These qualities combine to create the perfect outing for those wanting to escape the metropolis’s traffic-choked, building-lined streets and looking for some open space with the kids in tow. It’s a great option to get some fresh air, natural greenery, and a little peace and quiet. The ice cream is also transcendent.

This isn’t your typical theme park; there’s even some great history here. The farm was the idea of Hisakichi Maeda, the founder of the Sankei Shimbun newspaper, who later developed Tokyo Tower. Growing up in prewar rural Osaka, his mother often said, “if only we had one more cow, we could prosper.” That must have stuck with him because, in 1962, he opened the farm, the name of which is to honor his mother.

Within its 250-hectare confines, you will find horses, pigs, sheep, alpacas, goats, and cows. This also means the kids can enjoy pony rides, horse feeding, cow milking, butter churning, piggy racing, duck parading, sheep shearing, and general ogling at the other animals in the livestock sections.

Mother Farm is also known for its fields of wildflowers, so if you visit at the right time, the surrounding grounds will be an explosion of yellows, oranges, and lavenders as petunias, daffodils, wintersweets, and rape blossoms bloom. Strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries can be picked here, but only in limited quantities in season.

If you have a four-legged family member looking to get away too, check out probably the largest collection of dog runs in the Greater Tokyo area. It’s also one of the few family- and dog-friendly places.

At some point, the older kids (and maybe you) will want more excitement. For that, there’s Waku-Waku Land (わくわくランド). The carnival-style setup places rides and attractions in the middle of the farm, complete with the requisite Ferris wheel, go-karts, bungee jumping, and a zip-line. I like the Ferris wheel for its view, which goes all the way out to the other side of Tokyo Bay on a clear day. I could clearly make out the Landmark Tower at Yokohama’s Minato Mirai, the Tokyo skyline, and SkyTree. Pretty neat, considering the distance.

As for the dining options… well, it is a farm. There are several restaurants and numerous small stands in the park. One of the restaurants is a barbecue area where you can eat “Genghis Khan style,” a Japanese euphemism for barbecued lamb, beef, pork, and stir-fried veggies cooked on a grill at your table. Another restaurant is more traditional but offers splendid views of the farm and valley below. One other must-get while we’re talking food: the fresh ice cream! Those cows aren’t just for show; the ice cream is as fresh as it gets, complemented with fresh blueberries and strawberries. The best part about the ice cream is that the farm operates several small shops throughout the metropolis that sell the ice cream, so you don’t always have to go across the Bay to get that farm-fresh flavor. 

Mother Farm

Mother Farm (マザー牧場)
Map Link: 940-3, Tagura, Futtsu City, Chiba Prefecture 299-1601
Tel: +81 (43)937-3211

Xser21, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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