Japan has been known as a great snow destination for a few years now for overseas visitors. It started in the North then pretty quickly spread south thru Honshu. It is famed for some of the best powder snow you will experience anywhere on the planet along with a unique culture, amazing food and friendly locals, Japan is a great choice for your winter holiday destination.
How about the waves? Surfing has also been a popular sub culture and sport in Japan for many years now but still not many overseas surfers visit her shores to explore the amazing coastline this country of 6852 Islands has to offer. That equals a lot of beach breaks, point breaks, reef breaks and amazing river mouths!
We spent a lot of time surfing here in the 90s when the sport was growing rapidly. Visited many local surf spots and met many amazing Japanese surfers. The vibe and the culture was amazing, it still had that laid back 70’s feel to it and a very open friendliness to visiting surfers. Things have not really changed.
The biggest and best waves can be found on the Pacific Ocean side and especially during the Typhoon season which works its way up the islands of Japan very soon. The greatest intensity of these low-pressure systems is between July and September and make no mistake it can get heavy. So if want to check that out and some nice warm water better get packing, brush up your Japanese skills and bring a few boards and mates along for the ride.
Near to Nozawa is the other side of the Archipelago with the Japan Sea. At this time of the year it is normally as flat as a tack, beautiful but not a ripple to ride. I once camped on the beach for 10 days in November and all I caught was a cold! However Winter real is when the swell arrives and it can get good. Less than 1 hour drive from Nozawa Onsen are some great beach breaks, no crowds and spectacular scenery. So you could literally ski or snowboard in the morning and surf in the afternoon! Better pack a very good wetsuit though as it gets chilly! Some days you need to wade thru the snow on the beach to get to the waves!
This is a pretty cool little video from some visiting surfer/snowboarder/toboggan riders that achieved just that and rode the mountains and the waves on their trip to Japan looks pretty awesome and may give you some fun ideas as you soak up your Sunday. So maybe you will be packing two types of boards for your next trip to Japan!