Surfing in Japan

Overview

Japan is a country of many facets. Not only does it offer multiple options for the sports minded but also the interesting aspects of Asian culture and Japans long and vivid history will make for a fascinating visit. Combined with this, the ultra modern cities offer many diversified attractions and definitely leave an everlasting impression.

Due to the well-developed underground networks it is possible to discover large cities in a relatively short amount of time. Also Japans natural world and its climate can definitely be described as very diversified. The extremes in seasonal temperatures for example, as Japans summer is tropical and very hot and the winters can be freezing and ice-cold.

This climatic diversity creates ideal conditions for many different sporting activities: you can surf on the long sandy beaches of the west coast and alternatively further inland there are lots of opportunities to discover Japans fascinating natural world.

The mountains are wonderful and ideal for a hiking or a climbing tour in the summer months whereas during winter, there is lots of scope for winter sports.

Map

Climate

In Japan you will find huge climatic differences between the north, which has short summers and snowy winters, compared to the south, with its subtropical climate. During the winter months from December to February cold and dry air masses move in a southerly direction from Siberia towards Japan where they collide with warmer and more humid air from the Pacific area. This causes heavy snowfall in the west.

In the east of Japan hardly any snow falls, it can however become very cold; the average temperatures in January in Tokyo are below the temperatures inland. In the summer months from June to August, warm and humid air streams from the Pacific dominate the weather and cause humid air and high temperatures across the country.

In the early summer the south experiences a few weeks of rain, which continuously moves north. At this time of the year typhoons appear and often bring heavy rain and strong winds. Especially close to the coast the impacts of these storms can be disastrous.

In spring and autumn temperatures are mild and the days often very clear. In Tokyo the winter months are the coldest and the summer months, with average temperatures of 23-28 degrees, the warmest.

Waves

Japan offers travelling surfers a large variety of surf spots; these are, however, often crowded by local surfers. Especially well known and very popular are the surfing beaches of Shikoku and Chiba Prefecture, on Japans west coast. In this area there are a number of really excellent world class river mouth breaks as well.

The water from rivers creates sandbanks that are perfect and waves that break on them with real quality. These river mouth breaks are really awesome. Especially in the summer months the water is very inviting with temperatures of 18-21 degrees.

In the winter months however the water temperature can drop down to 14 degrees. The months from August to December are the most suitable for advanced surfers.

Best season for beginners: March – June
Best season for advanced surfer: August – February

Crowd factor: higher in the summer month, in the winter you can enjoy many breaks alone

Travel information

Scheduled flights operate regularly to Tokyo, Aichi, Chiba and Osaka. There are numerous direct flights from several international airports. These airports are the starting point for all international flights. There are, as well, many small and medium sized airports, which are part of the well-developed national air network.

You can travel around easily using the underground and also with the well-established bus network or with one of the numerous cabs. The islands of Japan are well connected too with many ferries operating. There are however, no ferry services to the neighbouring countries.