Best Surfing Spots: Where to Surf in Japan 

Travel tips
Writer's Profile
Writer’s Profile

Misty Fujii is a Canadian who moved to Osaka, Japan, in 2019 and married her Japanese sweetheart. In 2022, they had a baby and moved to Fukui for the clean country air. She is a DJ who teaches English part-time and writes to share Japan with the world. She gets excited about collecting vintage vinyl records, food from all countries, travelling, and renovating her traditional Japanese house.

This post may contain some affiliate links. When you click through and make a purchase we may receive some commission, at no extra cost to you.

Surfing in Japan may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to Japanese sports, but this island nation packs a punch! With the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Japan Sea to the west, the country has 9,750km of coastline full of prime surfing spots that appeal to a wide range of surfers. And with surfing added to the list of sports at the 2020 Olympics held in Japan, the world now knows what a great surfing spot Japan really is! 

The prime surfing season coincides with Japan’s typhoon season when the country gets the best waves. The most dedicated surfers flock to the beaches from August to November, but you can expect to see the surfboards out anytime the weather is good! 

Let’s dive into the vibrant world of surfing in Japan, where the waves are calling, and the community is thriving. Discover the best surfing spots in Japan, where you can ride the waves and also connect with fellow surfing enthusiasts who share your passion. 

1. Chiba

Tsuyoshi Uda, CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED via Flickr

Chiba is only a stone’s throw from Tokyo and is one of the best surfing spots in Japan! Chiba has three prime spots with waves for all skill (and adrenaline!) levels.

When you’re craving a taste of pure surfing paradise, head to Ichinomiya. This beach town, nicknamed “Japan’s Surfing Sweetheart,” boasts long, rolling waves perfect for practicing or catching some chill vibes. Plus, it hosted the 2020 Olympic surfing competition, so you know the breaks here are legit! 

For beginners or those who like their waves on the more mellow side, Onjuku is the golden ticket. This charming town boasts beautiful sandy beach breaks that cater to surfers of all levels. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a complete grom (that’s surfing talk for newbie), Onjuku’s got the perfect waves to help you learn and have fun. And when you want something more challenging, head to Katsuura, also known as Malibu, for monster typhoon swells and heart-pounding reef breaks. Proceed here with caution, though, because Katsuura is no joke!

2. Tokyo/Kanagawa

Philip Cotsford, CC BY 2.0 DEED via Flickr

When you want to stay even closer to the big city lights, you’ve still got options! Believe it or not, Tokyo Bay has a stretch of coast dedicated to surfers with surf shops, clubs, and, of course, awesome breaks to surf. The Chigasaki (Southern Beach) area is called Shonan and is a short commute from the city. The best part? On a clear day, you’ll also have views of Mt. Fuji! It’s easy to see why this is a coastal haven for beginners hoping for mellow waves. 

Another short train ride away is Yugihama, famous for sun and sea bathing. It’s one of Japan’s cleanest and best beaches for swimming, paddle boarding, and, of course, surfing! It’s a prime spot for intermediate surfers and close enough to Yokohama so that you can check another city off your Japan travel bucket list. And if a small island getaway is what you’re craving, take the ferry to Niijima Island for challenging typhoon swells and epic breaks. This volcanic island may not be for the faint of heart. Still, for experienced surfers, Niijima is a dream come true with long rides, turquoise water, and the feeling of being on top of the world.

3. Kyushu

If you’ve ventured a little further south down to the island of Kyushu, there are some must-surf spots you will want to take advantage of. Miyazaki (along with Chiba) is one of Japan’s top two surfing spots. The coastline stretches for over 300km and hosts plenty of surf schools and waves. From the legendary longboard haven of “Sh**storm Beach” (seriously, that’s its name!) to the powerful barrels of “Lance’s Left,” there’s enough variety here to please longboarders and adrenaline-seeking shortboarders. 

For something a little more secluded, head to Ei Beach. This hidden gem boasts breaks that cater to all levels, from rolling waves for beginners to more challenging peaks for those who crave a thrill. Plus, the stunning backdrop of Cape Toi and the nearby hot springs make Ei Beach a surfer’s paradise with a side of relaxation.

And then there’s Aoshima, a tiny island paradise accessible by bridge. Beginner surfers can catch gentle waves on the island’s east side. In contrast, more experienced surfers can tackle the challenging breaks on the west coast. Aoshima’s charm goes beyond the waves with delicious local seafood, charming shops, and a relaxed pace of life that will have you saying “sayonara” to stress and “konnichiwa” to pure bliss.

4. Shikoku

Shikoku is the smallest of Japan’s main islands, packing epic waves without the crowds. It’s a little-known area, but surfers in the know swear by the epic adventures they find here. Stunning scenery and chill vibes are the icing on the cake! 

Surfers head to Kochi, specifically the Hata district, for secluded beaches, crystal-clear water, and breaks that range from mellow to massive. This coast is ideal when you want the room to carve up your own lines (or to wipe out without an audience!). The friendly locals, incredible seafood, and abundant nature make it a perfect getaway for Kansai locals and beyond. 

For experienced surfers, Kaifu Point is the ultimate test. Nicknamed the “Japanese Pipeline” for its Hawaiian-like monster barrels and hollow tubes, this spot is not for the faint of heart. One minute, you’re paddling out; the next, you’re barreling down a watery tunnel that’ll leave you breathless. But for those who conquer Kaifu, the bragging rights are legendary!

5. Okinawa

troy_williams, CC BY 2.0 DEED via Flickr

I need to include Japan’s most southern island, Okinawa. It’s got some of the most beautiful beaches! But believe it or not, Okinawa is a mixed wave when it comes to surfing. Consistent waves can be hard to come by, and unlike the typhoon-heavy breaks on mainland Japan, you’re more likely to catch some gentle waves down here. That means you can still head out with your surfboard in tow; it just may not be the most exciting place for experienced surfers. However, Okinawa redeems itself in other ways. Think crystal-clear water begging to be explored, colorful coral reefs teeming with life, and a laid-back island vibe that’s pure magic. 

Are you already in Okinawa and want to try a little surfing? The prime spot to catch some waves is Sunabe Beach. It boasts long stretches of golden sand and rolling waves, perfect for beginners or those looking for a mellow ride. It’s a great place to learn the ropes, perfect your pop-up, and soak up the incredible scenery. Just don’t expect to barrel down any tubes or catch waves that’ll make your heart jump out of your chest; savor the relaxing atmosphere instead!

So grab your board and hit the waves! Where’s your dream surfing spot in Japan?

Japan Wonder Travel Tours 

Japan Wonder Travel is a travel agency that offers guided tours throughout Japan. 
From private walking tours to delicious Food and Drink tours, we can help you organize the best tours just for you! If you want to explore Japan and learn more about the history and backstories of each area you are visiting, our knowledgeable and friendly English speaking guides will happily take you to the best spots! 
In addition, we can provide you with any assistance you may need for your upcoming trip to Japan, so please feel free to contact us if yu have any questions or need some help! 

Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market Food and Drink Tour
Explore the most lively and popular fish market in Tokyo and try some of the local’s favorite street foods and sake with one of our friendly and knowledgeable English speaking guides! 

tsukiji tour

Tokyo 1–Day Highlights Private Walking Tour (8 Hours)
There’s no better way to explore an area than taking a tour with a knowledgeable local guide. You will have the chance to learn about the history and interesting background stories of Tokyo, as well as discover some hidden gems which can be hard to do without a guide.

Asakusa Tokyo private tour

Mt. Fuji Day Trip Bus Tour from Tokyo
Experience the breathtaking views of Mt. Fuji by visiting the highlights of the area on our guided sightseeing bus tour! Departing from Shinjuku in central Tokyo, you can travel comfortably to all of the best spots in the area by bus.

mount fuji chureito pagoda

Follow us on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and TikTok for more travel inspiration. Or tag us to get featured!

Happy traveling!

Stay informed of the best travel tips to Japan, the most exciting things to do and see, and the top experiences to have with the Japan Wonder Travel Newsletter. Every week we will introduce you to our latest content.

Other Articles You Might Be Interested In

Travel tips
Sponsored links
Share this article on your social media
Copied title and URL