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Surfing in Japan

Japan, for those uninitiated into the thrills of surfing, is not exactly synonymous with the sport. Enthusiasts though, both local and across the globe, know that the Land of the Rising Sun boasts both some great waves and a vibrant surfing culture to back them up. Here is our pick of the country’s best spots to hang ten or get goofy.

Index

  • Chiba

  • Itoshima

  • Miyazaki

  • Shimoda

  • Niijima

  • Chiba

    Surfing in Chiba

    Surfing in Chiba

    Chiba Prefecture, with the majority of its border surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, is at the heart of Japanese surfing culture: large chunks of the country’s best-loved surf movie, ‘A Scene at the Sea’ directed by Takeshi ‘Beat’ Kitano, are set here. It’s also the surfing spot most easily accessed from the capital.

    Surfing in Chiba

    Surfing in Chiba

    The most highly rated waves lay over on Chiba’s eastern shores. Ichinomiya Beach, part of the picturesque Kujukuri coastline and best reached from Tokyo by car, is deemed by many Japanese surf devotees to possess the prefecture’s greatest beach break. Onjuku Beach, 25 kilometers south of Ichinomiya and around 90 minutes from Tokyo by train, is another highly scenic beach. Onjuku enjoys warmer waters than elsewhere in Chiba, thanks to currents that come in from the south, and generally consistent waves make it particularly suitable for funboards and longboards.

    Article: Surfing in Chiba

    一宮海岸
    Address
    千葉県長生郡一宮町一宮
    Phone
    0475421425
    Onjuku Beach
    Address
    Ogun-machi, Iizumi-gun, Chiba Prefecture
    Phone
  • Itoshima

    Surfing in Itoshima

    Surfing in Itoshima

    Itoshima is the seaside town of choice for folks from nearby Fukuoka looking to kick back for a while. Reliably consistent waves, together with good breaks, also make it a key part of Kyushu’s vibrant surf scene. Here the action takes place against a backdrop of lush, rolling hills, with surfers of all abilities flocking to two main spots, Nogita Beach and Futamigaura Beach.

    Surfing in Itoshima

    Surfing in Itoshima

    Futamigaura’s surfing area is smaller than that of Nogita, but a laid back atmosphere and pleasant scenery have seen this stretch of coast become a hip hangout. Locals refer to it as Fukuoka’s answer to the North Shore in Hawaii’s Oahu, and the beachside road is now lined with independent shops and eateries.

    Article: Everybody's Gone Surfing: Surfing Itoshima

    Nogita Kaigan
    Address
    Fukuoka Itoshima Ichino Kita
    Phone
    Address
    福岡県糸島市志摩桜井
    Phone
    0923322098
  • Miyazaki

    Surfing in Miyazaki

    Surfing in Miyazaki

    Down in Kyushu’s southeast awaits the city of Miyazaki, undoubtedly one of the very best places to experience surfing in Japan. The typhoon swell here is consistent almost all year round, and Kisakihama Beach’s wide range of beach breaks, river mouths, and punchy reefs have seen it chosen to host heats in a number of international competitions. The icing on the cake is the shoreline’s backdrop of dramatic mountainous terrain, which creates a stunning silhouette as the sun sets on the Pacific Ocean.

    Article: Surfing in Miyazaki

    Aoshima Beach
    Address
    Miyazaki Miyazaki-shi Aoshima 2-233
    Phone
    0985651055
  • Shimoda

    Surfing in Shimoda

    Surfing in Shimoda

    Shimoda, down on the Izu Peninsula a three-hour drive or train ride southwest of Tokyo, is another surf hotspot considered one of Japan’s very best. Here pearl white-sanded beaches, flanked by verdant forests and imposing mountains, give way to expansive waters that enjoy swells from the south, west, and east; making it possible to surf all through the year.

    Surfing in Shimoda

    Surfing in Shimoda

    Two beaches are especially recommended. Tatadohama Beach lies a short hop down from Izukyu-Shimoda Station, and hordes of parked-up camper vans and surf gear-laden cars attest to its status as a focal point for the sport. Fear not though, as on the expansive sands it is usually possible to find somewhere to set up camp. Just a little further south is Kisami Ohama Beach, with a relaxed, inclusive vibe that sees parents teaching their kids the basics on some sparklingly clear waves.

    Article: Shimoda Surfing Guide

    Kisami Ohama Beach
    Address
    Shizuoka Pref. Shimodashi Kisami
    Phone
    Shirahama Beach
    Address
    Shizuoka Pref. Shimodashi Shirahama
    Phone
  • Niijima

    Surfing in Niijima

    Surfing in Niijima

    Surfing in Tokyo? Not quite, but technically this outlying island, roughly 163 kilometers south of the capital, is administered by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Niijima, which spans 23 kilometers and boasts beautiful turquoise waters, has established itself as a surf culture hub while at the same time avoiding becoming overcrowded with visitors.

    Surfing in Niijima

    Surfing in Niijima

    Highly recommended here is Habushiura. Offering some great swells, this seven-kilometer stretch hosts many of the island’s surfing contests and is the most easiest accessed of Niijima’s beaches: it’s a mere 20-minute walk from Niijima Airport, or 10 minutes by car. The dedicated can opt for the giant waves and towering cliffs of a surf spot known as Secret: getting there involves a 20-minute trek through lush greenery.

    Article: A Surf Trip to Niijima

    新島
    Address
    東京都新島村黒根
    Phone
    04992-5-0001
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