Chōshi has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with very warm summers and cool winters. Precipitation is significant throughout the year, although the winter months are slightly drier.
The commercial fishing and soy sauce industries were developed in Chōshi by the Tokugawa shogunate during the Edo period (1603 – 1868). Their development continued in the early industrialization of Japan in the Meiji period (1868 – 1912). Noted soy sauce producer Yamasa Corporation was incorporated in 1928, and Higeta Corporation in 1932. Chōshi was elevated to city status on February 11, 1933. Chōshi was a center of industrial unrest in the early 20th century; there were numerous strikes and labor disputes at the soy sauce factories, and residents attacked the government offices in 1930 over heavy taxation and unaccounted expenditures by municipal authorities.