The best surfing spots in Japan

Izu, photo by

With four large islands and thousands of smaller islands in tow, Japan has more beaches than you could find, and for a surfing addict beaches mean one thing – an opportunity to find some great waves. Despite being an underrated surfing destination on the international surfing scene, Japan has more than enough surfing spots, as well as surfers to enjoy them. Surfing is quite popular in Japan, so much that often the way a surfing spot looks like doesn’t even matter much if it has some good breaks. Surfing spots can range from idyllic beaches to ugly, concrete bordered beaches next to a highway. In any case, a surfer traveling to Japan will have lots of options to choose from. Here are some of the best surfing spots in Japan.

Tahara, Aichi Prefecture

Tahara is more famous for its huge Toyota factory than for its tourist attractions (although there are several interesting places to see), but the beaches around the small town are great for surfing. Pacific Long Beach in particular has a reputation that attracts fishermen, and more importantly surfers.

Kamakura, Shonan Coast

Shonan Coast, photo by ajari on Flickr

Shonan is probably the most popular destination int he country for surfers, as well as one of the best surfing spots in Japan. Since it is so close to Tokyo, Shonan is usually quite crowded, but since there are several beaches near Kamakura, everyone can find a spot for themselves. In summer, Kamakura and the beaches around it are teeming with surfers and beach goers, and it’s not so much the quality of the breaks that attracts people than the general cheerful atmosphere of the destination.

Niijima Island, Izu Islands

The small volcanic island of Niijima is extremely popular with hardcore Japanese surfers, and as soon as the weather is good for surfing, people come to enjoy the great waves. The island is picture perfect, with white sand and crystal blue water, empty coastlines, green mountains and friendly people. It’s hard to believe that the island is part of the Tokyo Metropolitan Area – the chaos of the capital seems to be thousands of miles away!


Ibaraki, photo by goodsurfers2012 on Flickr

Ibaraki can be rainy and windy, but wind has never made a surf spot worse, only better. The rows of wind turbines on the coast are a clear indication that the waves are quite something in Ibaraki, although no one will advice you to try surfing in spring or autumn, when the weather can be too nasty even for surfing. In winter, however, skies are clear and waves are good, and in summer likewise.


Izu is one of the most popular summer tourist destinations in Japan, thanks to its many hot springs, traditional inns, fishing and scuba diving spots, and of course, surfing. The beaches at Izu are beautiful, if sometimes crowded, and although the breaks are good there are few spots to go around for all those surfers who come to Izu, so prepare to face the crowds!

Comments (1)


  1. Kamakura is a beautiful place to go surfing, I’m just glad the surfing population is growing in Japan!

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