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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.


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