You may never have thought of heading to Japan on a surfing vacation, but in fact there are some amazing spots along the Japanese coastline which are perfect for surfers of all abilities. Surfing is a popular pastime among the Japanese – in fact, so much so that surfing features in the nation’s famous anime cartoons (if you’ve never seen Eureka Seven with its more realistic robot anime who literally surf in the sky, it’s time to check it out!)
If you’re looking for something completely different from your usual California surf-scene, it could be time to head to Japan instead. Here is an insider’s guide to surfing in Japan.
When To Go Surfing In Japan?
If you’re looking for guaranteed waves (and, of course, all keen surfers are) you should head to Japan between September and November when the country is going through its typhoon season. You’ll get some impressive swell at this time of year – from shoulder high right up to triple overhead! If you don’t mind cold water, December – April is also a good time to get some guaranteed waves, but avoid May and June when the seasons change and you might end up with very few waves at all.
Which Are Japan’s Best Surfing Spots?
Japan has many surfing spots, however there are two primary surf zones – Miyazaki and Chiba. Both of these areas offer impressive surf in many different spots. Chiba is known for its consistent swell all year round, and it’s also close to the capital, Tokyo. Miyazakio’s shore faces south east and so is perfect for catching the typhoon swell. It’s a long way from major cities too, so if you can manage to get to this far south western spot, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the waves without crowds to bother you.
In between Miyazaki and Chiba, you’ll find the Bay of Shonan and Kanagawa where you’ll find waves after a storm near the shoreline. This region is home to a large community of surfers thanks to its close location to Tokyo. Many of the surf spots in this are reef, with epic waves when it’s on.
Bringing Your Wetsuit
Depending on when you’re traveling to Japan for your surfing break, you’ll need a different type of wetsuit. If you’re planning on traveling between April and July or between October and November you’ll need a 3/2 full wetsuit. Between December and March, a 4/3 full wetsuit will definitely be needed and you should also take booties and even a hood depending on where you’re going to eb surfing. If you’re traveling between August and September, a pair of board shorts and a neoprene top will be fine, or perhaps a spring wetsuit.
Renting Surfboards In Japan
If you’re serious about your surfboard, you’ll want to bring your own, and an all-rounder board should be a good choice for pretty much all the surfing conditions you’ll find off Japan’s coastline. If you’d rather not bring your own, you can rent a surfboard at all the main surf resorts. You’ll find surf shops close to all of the best known surfing spots and you’ll find the rates are usually around 3000 yen for a couple of hours .
If you’re happy to bring your own board, you’ll find traveling around the country with your board in tow is surprisingly simple. You can use the affordable delivery service that Japan has to offer rather than carrying your board on planes, trains and buses. This service is called Takubin, and it’s a commonly used shipping service. Simply head to the counter at the airport and arrange to have your board and other gear sent to your hotel. Then, when you’re ready to move on to another location, you can simply ask your hotel reception to arrange for it to be shipped on to your next spot. It couldn’t be simpler to use and you’ll be amazed by the convenience!
Japan – A Surfer’s Dream
If you’re a surfer who longs to see the world while enjoying your favorite hobby, Japan will give you the opportunity to have it all. With brilliant waves and fun surfing spots, you’ll also be able to enjoy a completely different culture and lifestyle. What’s not to enjoy?