Skip to main content

Surfing in December in Japan

Tokyo-To, Saitama, Kanagawa, Chiba, Gunma , and Tochigi Prefectures all make up a large portion of a region of Japan called Kanto.   From every cardinal direction, the proximity of lakes,rivers,oceans, and cities are within reach. If we were to choose a centrally located city like Tokyo for example, a 2 hour commute by car or by train in any direction could easily take you to a natural hot spring, a pristine garden-park, a temple, a shrine, and even wetlands and marshes. How about surfing?

Around December many Japanese typically enjoy snowboarding, skiing, and snow trekking. Here in Japan, surfing is enjoyed year round, even during typhoon season. Luckily for those of us who live in the Kanto region we can enjoy a little bit of everything without ever having to leave this region. Surfing seems to be gaining in popularity, lately.   Even on chilly December mornings you can see surfers out hitting the waves, sometimes as early as 4:30am.   I'm a SoCal transplant, so waking up at 4:30am for surfing in December is far from strange, but in Japan...? All I can say is cool(ness).

Where are good places to surf? There're quite a few places, but if I had to choose one place then it would be Choshi in Chiba Prefecture, specifically Kashiwa Beach and Iioka Beach. The nice thing about these two beaches are the air currents. If you are surfing at Ioka you get strong southerly winds from the south Pacific Ocean, from the north you get the icy cold arctic winds, plus a nice push from wind gusts out of west Japan. All of these elements combined with how sea currents move create exciting waves patterns in the ocean. I was surprised to find on the map below a place called Malibu Beach which reminds me of another beach in Los Angeles with the same name. The world can thank the Polynesians for surfing, I think. Some adaptations in Japan are good, especially if they originate from anywhere else other than the West. On a side note, seafood in Choshi or Choushi is very good.

I highly recommend the kinmedai when it's in season.

Popular posts from this blog

Shin-Okubo: Little Korea

So I finally got around to going up there to Shin-Okubo,  the land of Seoul via the Yamanote Line.  Been putting this trip off for years for personal reasons;  I am not a fan of Hanlleyu.      I knew why I came up this way, and for none other reason than the food, and maybe to bask in the nausea of Korean romanticist who steal Japanese Jukujo's souls.    But honestly, I like spicy food and stews and pickled vegetables that challenge my taste buds.    I also love the little funky cafes that line the main thoroughfares and alley ways, each with their own little eclectic menus and interior decor.     This place is Korea.  

Shin-Okuba represents more than just a place to relish in Korean culinary delights and K-pop culture, but a place where Koreans can express themselves through their culture.    You can feel the local vibe in the air as you're walking down narrow walkways and footpaths.    I have personally been to mainland Korea six times, so a lot of the nostalgia was there …

August: The Return of Souls

August is peak summer season in Japan.  We can look forward to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays and festivals in the world, especially  in places like Tohoku and Kanto regions.  August is also  the most contentious month of the year in Japan; with the end of the war and war-related guilt.    Then there's the great exodus back home for millions of Japanese.   Obon season is what it's called in Japan, and it's  where families return to their hometowns to remember their ancestors and to spend time with loved ones.  Gravestones are visited, cleaned, and washed; rice or alcohol is often placed on  miniature altars next to a  headstone.  This is a way for Japanese to reconnect with their roots; a way for them to stay grounded and founded in the ways of tradition and cultural protocol.   

For the foreign tourist, some places will be overcrowded and expensive to reach; for Japanese, this is normal and can't be helped.   Wherever you go there will be lines and h…

Japan Board of Education: Amazing Grace...?

Japan Board of Education Textbook.
Amazing Grace
Shuken Shuppan  Polestar textbook English Communication

Preface:  Japanese / Japan is  one of the leading donors in humanitarian aid around the world.   They have donated billions of yen to charities, developing countries, and startup business to just about every country on the globe.  Some Japanese have even taken matters to the extreme  to the point of poking their noses into hotspot areas like Palestine and Isreal, things the Japanese may want to avoid.  Had Japan shared its borders with an ethnic minority with its own government, the relative peace and calm of this country would be questionable.   No other country can be like nor emulate Japan.   So, where does this spirit of charity and altruism come from exactly?   Why do the Japanese feel they need to save the whole world, while caring very little for its own people?   It's the Board of Education...?  The essay below is one such example of what Japanese kids learn in school,…