Sushi, samurai, and serious discipline. These are likely a few of the first things that come to mind when thinking about Japan. However, as great as all of those might be, that is not what we are here to talk about. Japan’s surf scene is undoubtedly world-class, and thanks to nearly 2,000 miles of coastline, local surfers won’t have to fight for the perfect wave.
Japan is unquestionably a world-class surfing destination that can easily compete with other top surfing destinations like Australia and The United States. Surfers of all skill levels will be spoiled for choice with Japan’s abundant surf spots. One of Japan’s top areas for surfing is Shikoku.
With a seemingly endless number of surf spots offering world-class waves, it is difficult to understand why the surf scene in Japan isn’t receiving as much attention in the limelight compared to other top surfing destinations. Discover what makes Japan likened to a surfer’s paradise and why it should be the destination for your next wave riding adventure.
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Surfing In Japan
From the outset, we need to make it clear how great Japan is from a surfing point of view. One of surfing’s most significant milestones was making its debut in the 2020 Olympic games, hosted in none other than Tokyo, Japan. That’s right; Japan was selected as the perfect destination for surfing to finally make its mark on the Olympic world.
That in itself is seriously significant and speaks volumes for the quality of the surf in the Land of The Rising Sun. Indeed, the surfing experience in Japan is undoubtedly one of the most consistent in the world. Throughout the year, many surfers of all skill levels will be able to put their skills to the test on these Olympic-level quality waves.
Because Japan is a nation made up of islands – roughly 7,000 to be more specific – it receives waves from just about every direction, which is part of what makes the surf here so consistent. However, the water here can get rather cold, especially during the winter months, so bring a thick wetsuit along when planning to surf Japan’s waves.
Japan is also a great place if you are looking to learn how to surf. There is a large variety of surf lessons available to help you get started in the waves or to help you improve on your existing skills. Overall, Japan is a great surfing destination for novice and highly skilled surfers alike. Anyone who has surfed these waves can consider themselves lucky.
When To Go Surfing In Japan
Any surfer who has had his or her fair share of experience in the waves will know that several factors, including wind, weather, and the overall time of the year, play a significant role in the kind of surfing experience you can expect to have. This, of course, makes planning a surfing trip especially important.
Thankfully, as previously mentioned, Japan is one of the most consistent surfing destinations globally. So, irrespective of what time of the year you plan on visiting, you can be guaranteed that you will be able to ride some great waves. However, certain times of the year are better suited to a more thrilling experience, while others offer more variety.
The best time to go for a surf is during Japan’s typhoon season, roughly between August and November. You can expect the best quality waves during this time. However, a little later on during the winter months is also decent for surfing. However, you will need to be ready to endure freezing cold water during this time, so wetsuits, boots, and hoodies will be a necessity.
Japan’s spring season, which falls from May through June, is not exactly known for being the best time of the year for good surf. However, that does not mean that you will not be able to strike gold. This season may be better suited to beginner surfers, but even intermediate and advanced surfers will be able to enjoy a few waves.
The Best Surf Spots In Japan
Thanks to the fact that Japan is made up of roughly over 7,000 islands, the options for epic surf spots are seemingly endless, and listing them all – even experiencing them all – could quite easily take a lifetime. However, we will list some of the best surf spots that Japan has to offer to get you excited for the waves in the Land of The Rising Sun.
Shikoku is undoubtedly Japan’s top-rated surfing spot and is a favorite among the local surfers and traveling surfers alike. Although it is undoubtedly one of the smallest islands in Japan, it makes up for it by offering world-class waves that are good enough to compete with the likes of Southern California and Hawaii.
There are several spots within Shikoku to surf. For beginner and intermediate surfers, Shishikui Beach offers some excellent yet friendly waves suitable for learning to surf and improving your wave riding skills.
If the best wave in Japan is what you are after, then Kaifu is a spot you do not want to pass by. The waves here are best described as world-class.
Yet another one of Japan’s most loved surf spots is Izu Shirohama. The waves found here have often been compared to what you would expect to find in Australia. Izu Shirohama is even mentioned as one of Japan’s star surfers, Hiroto Arai’s favorite local surf spots.
You’ll want to make sure that you are at this spot during typhoon season because you are guaranteed to surf a few unforgettable waves. On top of that, Izu Shirohama is also one of Japan’s most stunning beaches. Turquoise waters that meet a white sand beach promise to provide a relaxing time after a thrilling time in the waves.
Chiba Wada – Ohara
Last on our list – but nowhere near the last that japan has on offer – is Chiba Wada in Ohara. This spot is trendy among the locals as it is known for being one of the most consistent surf spots in Japan. Because of this, Chiba Wada is a hotspot for surf culture and is a great place to be introduced to Japan’s thriving surf scene.
If you are a passionate wave rider, then missing out on a surfing experience in Japan is not an option. You won’t just be satisfied, but you will be filled with greater excitement and passion for the world of surfing. After all, why wouldn’t you want to experience Olympic Games-worthy waves? They are undoubtedly bucket-list-worthy.