Because Japan is an archipelagic nation made up of 6,852 islands, it has an abundance of beaches and resorts where people can have some fun under the sun, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, and, most especially, surfing! You can use your Japan Rail Pass to visit some of these locations.

If you are an avid surfer or want to start learning it, here are some highly rated surfing spots in the country:

Nii-jima

About 163 kilometers south of Tokyo, in the Philippine Sea, lies the volcanic island of Nii-jima, which is one of Izu archipelago’s Izu Seven Islands. It occupies a total land area of 23.87 square kilometers, and is approximately 11 kilometers long and 3 kilometers wide. It frequently experiences earthquakes, averaging between 10 and 20, with magnitudes of at least 5, annually.

Some of the most notable beaches in the island are the:

  • Maehama Beach – offers various water sports facilities, and views of Mount Fuji
  • Habushi Beach – home to a nationally protected reserved, and boasts of white sand and powerful waves

From Tokyo, you can get to Nii-jima by taking a jet boat operated by Tokai Kisen at the Takeshiba Sanbashi Pier. Departure time is at 10 pm every day, and arrival to Nii-jima is at 8 am the next day, for a total travel time of around 10 hours. There are also ferries that go to Nii-jima from Shimoda in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Amami Oshima

Amami Oshima’s Tebiro Beach is regarded by many as a surfing mecca. It hosts numerous surfing competitions all-year round, including an international contest back in 2011. In addition, it is offers good viewing spots for marine animals, like humpback whales, sperm whales, and bottlenose dolphins.

To get to the island, you can fly to Amami Airport from Kagoshima, Fukuoka, Naha, Osaka, or Tokyo. You may also take a ferry to get there from the other islands within the Amami archipelago.

Tanegashima

Found approximately 40 kilometers off the southern tip of the island of Kyushu, Tanegashima is a Japanese island that has earned the recognition of being one of the finest surfing spots in the country.

Throughout the year, it sees lots of surfing enthusiasts, even during the typhoon season, as its waves are really strong and high. It also has amazing white sand beaches and landscapes, and museums and other attractions in the town center.

To go to Tanegashima island, you can fly into the New Tanegashima Airport from Osaka-Itami or Kagoshima. Alternatively, you can take a ferry from Kagoshima.