WEST SHONAN

West Shonan -  Enoshima 江ノ島 - Sagami River 相模川
10 kilometers of Beach breaks with little to separate them other than the Hikiji river and some massive man made Piers and ports.  Offshore NNE - N.
The main differentiator must be the shops that call the nearest patch of sand their local and there are a lot of shops so either these local breaks are small or they all overlap.  In general SE swells of 1~1.5m are optimum for these breaks.
Read on below to pick up a bit of the local flavor of the main breaks.

Dairoku 大六
A left hand rivermouth break over a sand bottom, breaking along the West edge of Enoshima into the mouth of the Sakai river. An epic spot when the swell is huge and the winds not too strong, when the swell is 8-10 feet the waves can be head + high with rides up to 200m long. The river has builds up sand in a perfect smooth formation and the banks don't seem to move due to the shelter from the island. It needs to be close out conditions on Kugenuma beach and low tide to work.
It can hold up to 2 x + overhead and is a really really fast wave when it gets really big. An easy paddle out so expect crowds when it is good, especially longboarders. Paddling out be ready to turn and drop in as soon as someone falls and you’ll increase your wave count. Walk across to the island and up the small road and down a small alley way to a mini harbour and paddle out from there or go out from the  East end of Kugenuma beach just next to the river.
Offshore in an easterly (one of the only places) and can handle a real strong wind.
Sand bottom.
Best Tide: low incoming is better
Best Swell Direction: SSE 170º ~ SW 212º (the island chain blocks a slice of this window).
Best Size: 4 to 8 feet (head to double overhead)
Best Wind: East
Perfect-O-Meter: 6 (1= 1 ft wind slop; 10 = G-Land)
Bottom: Sand
Access: 50km from down town Tokyo, car park everywhere (¥400/hr)
Crowd Factor: Holidays  9+, weekdays 6 (1 = Pipeline in Summer; 10 = Tokyo Station)
Local Vibe: compete with longboarders (gets a lot more competitive when it gets bigger)
Water Quality: 4 - (1=clean; 10=turds in the lineup)
Food:  7-Eleven on the main road, Macdonalds, Denny’s
Surf Shops: Everywhere; rental shops

Kugenuma 鵠沼
Some locals talk about Kugenuma as the indicator spot for the whole Shonan coast. It takes a lot of experience and knowledge to get this sorted out. The best way to get this knowledge is to access a scooter and ride up and down the shore checking what the waves are doing at each spot - while this is unlikely if you dont already live in Shonan, we will try and sort you out in the right direction.

Kugenuma is a black sand beach break, with left and right peaks along the length of the beach. It is a very mellow wave until it gets overhead then it starts getting more serious, depending on swell direction and tides the bigger days can go from beach wide closeouts to short punchy barrels. As always the goal is to find the available sand bars.   As almost everywhere else Kugenuma is best on a low incoming tide. Northerly winds are off shore.

At the East end of the beach the sand is very flat and the beach is a bit sheltered by the island so the waves are mellow and small (can offer shelter when typhoons closeout to the rest of the beach). The middle of the beach is typical flat bottom sandy beach breaks, pick your break. Usually the waves at Kugenuma are mellow and long and will break well even at full high tide.
The next feature is the Hikiji rivermouth, always crowded with long boarders unless the swells get big and then you can have it to yourself.  

The best surf season is mid-late summer when the typhoons really start to march up the coast. classic juicy surf from typhoons, often off shore or glassy.
Best Tide: low incoming is better
Best Swell Direction: SSE 170º ~ SW 212º (the island chain blocks a slice of this window).
Best Size: 4 feet (head high)
Best Wind: North
Perfect-O-Meter: 4 (1= 1 ft wind slop; 10 = G-Land)
Bottom: Sand
Access: 50km from down town Tokyo, car parks (¥400/hr)
Crowd Factor: Holidays 9 +, weekdays 6 (1 = Pipeline in Summer; 10 = Tokyo Station)
Local Vibe: compete with longboarders (gets a lot more competitive when it gets bigger)
Water Quality: 4 - (1=clean; 10=turds in the lineup)
Food:  convenience stores, Macdonalds, Denny’s
Surf Shops: Everywhere; rental shops

Tsujido  辻堂
From the Hikiji river the beach line is called Tsujido, and the train station (Tokaido) is about a 25 minute walk from the beach. After Fujisawa the train line is a little closer to the shore so you could get off at any stop and walk to surf spots. Tsujido beach is generally less crowded than Kugenuma due to less parking and less people living locally. On the right of the Hikiji river there is often a classic left hand point style rivermouth break especially at low tide. This is always uncrowded (no one seems to like going backhand) and has long rides. Otherwise there are a variety of peaks along the beach but these shift as the tide changes and you need to keep checking the best spot. On a decent (4 foot plus) swell this beach can be better than Kugenuma and offer faster more challenging rides and a decent inside section ideal for shortboards.
Best Tide: low incoming is better
Best Swell Direction: SSE 170º ~ SW 212º (the island chain blocks a slice of this window).
Best Size: 4 feet (head high)
Best Wind: North
Perfect-O-Meter: 4 (1= 1 ft wind slop; 10 = G-Land)
Bottom: Sand
Access: 50km from down town Tokyo, car parks (¥400/hr)
Crowd Factor: Holidays 9 +, weekdays 6 (1 = Pipeline in Summer; 10 = Tokyo Station)
Local Vibe: compete with longboarders (gets a lot more competitive when it gets bigger)
Water Quality: 4 - (1=clean; 10=turds in the lineup)
Food:  convenience stores, Macdonalds, Denny’s
Surf Shops: Everywhere; rental shops


Chigasaki 茅ヶ崎
Chigasaki sports a mixture of long and shortboarders and there are lots of local surf shops with a thriving surf scene. This beach is very similar to Tsujido but for some reason seems to get a little less swell. Again the town is walking distance from the beach but on most days Tsujido or Kozu would be a better bet for shortboarding, and Kugenuma for longboarding. One spot that is worth mentioning is the T-Bar - a kind of man made wave barrier. Most people use it for a fishing platform but on big swells if offers some protection and the build up of sand has produced clean waves. This is often the best spot in a 6 foot plus swell unless you have the transport to surf the reefs in the East of Enoshima. Note: T-Bar has become a posers paradise and it is so popular that it is dangerous, try and surf it at your own peril.

Best Tide: low incoming is better
Best Swell Direction: SSE 170º ~ SW 212º (the island chain blocks a slice of this window).
Best Size: 4 feet (head high)
Best Wind: North
Perfect-O-Meter: 4 (1= 1 ft wind slop; 10 = G-Land)
Bottom: Sand
Access: 50km from down town Tokyo, car parks (¥400/hr)
Crowd Factor: Holidays 9 +, weekdays 6 (1 = Pipeline in Summer; 10 = Tokyo Station)
Local Vibe: compete with longboarders (gets a lot more competitive when it gets bigger)
Water Quality: 4 - (1=clean; 10=turds in the lineup)
Food:  convenience stores, Macdonalds, Denny’s
Surf Shops: Everywhere; rental shops

Banyu バヌ (Sagami River)
This is a great swell catching spot that breaks infront of a very smelly factory, works on high tide and can be a beautiful right and a shorter left. Always bigger here than the rest of Shonan.  Parking is really tricky here and you have to walk a little distance along the edge of a golf practice range to get to the beach or park in the new park on the South side of the river and paddle across the river ( bit dodgy so make sure you know what you are doing )
The sand bars created by the river often have the best shape of anywhere nearby and on a big swell day its easy to get tubed.
Just don’t drink any of the water and wash your eyes and ears well when you get out.

Best Tide: Mid incoming
Best Swell Direction: SSE 170º ~ SW 212º (the island chain blocks a slice of this window).
Best Size: 4 - 6 feet (head high +
Best Wind: North
Perfect-O-Meter: 6 (1= 1 ft wind slop; 10 = G-Land)
Bottom: Sand
Access: 50km from down town Tokyo, car parks (¥400/hr)
Crowd Factor: Holidays 6 +, weekdays 2 (1 = Pipeline in Summer; 10 = Tokyo Station)
Local Vibe: never really busy
Water Quality: 7 - (1=clean; 10=turds in the lineup)
Food:  convenience stores, Macdonalds, Denny’s
Surf Shops: back up towards Chigasaki

Rivermouth  
The Mouth of the Sagami River -
The fishermen dont like surfers here partly I guess because they are trying to run the mouth in pretty large boats and dont want to have to watch out for surfers, I’ve seen them buzzing surfers in 50ft boats and screeming and throwing stuff. The safest time to go out there is also the most dangerous - when its too big for the boats to go out - I’ve seen standup barrels and some pretty amazing looking waves breaking in the river mouth on typhoon swells but never seen anyone actually catch a wave out there. Some local surfers will head out here in the biggest swells of the year and catch long clean walls on longboards or guns. Another danger is from the current  in the Sagami river which has caused a lot of drownings over the years.

Hiratsuka 平塚 / Oiso 大磯 - Sagami River West 西相模川
On the West side of the Sagami river there are a variety of decent low tide beach breaks that can be quite punchy on a good swell. They are popular with the Hiratsuka crew and can get well contested due to the size of the city. A better bet is to travel further to Oiso (where the beach is much closer to the station) and surf around the mouth of the Hanamizu river.
Lots and lots of options down here. Oiso is a little pocket that is offshore in a WSW

Sakawa River 酒匂
One of the best (top 10 waves) in Japan is the Sakawa River Mouth. There can be no waves for months then after a heavy rain the sand from the river gets pushed out and the waves can suck as hard as Kirra on the gold coast, breaking left and right.
Locals only and a heavy crew.
You will be OK if you surf well and turn up by yourself. Occy, Johnny Boy Gomez, Darren Handley and Luke Egan ripped the wave apart on a big typhoon swell.
Lots of pebbles blast you in the tube.

Hayakawa River 早川
A similar set up to Sakawa even further West, Tubes as round as you want. Surfing on the mid to high tide will save your board from the pebbles bashing it.

Yugawara 湯河原
The last spot before Shizuoka prefecture and the Izu peninisula. Similar to Kugenuma Kaigan this spot seems to capture a lot of the swell, especially Northern winter swells, as it is more open to the North and less blocked by the Miura peninsula. Empty during the week as it is far from the major cities but crowded at weekends and in the summer.
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