CHIBA SOUTH 南千葉
So many set ups, so many options, so many waves and so many surfers....... South Chiba is host to some excellent Japanese Waves.
Minami Boso 南房総, or Southern Chiba is a fishing and farming area, most famous for its farms growing flowers for the big city. The road from Tateyama to Chikura has been named 'Flower Lane'. Too far for most to commute to Tokyo the area has a quaint country feel to it.
Surfers here get a lot of choice, from Eastern (pacific ocean) facing beaches to the Southern reefs and beaches and to the Western beaches in Tokyo Bay.This choice is good when big storms roll up from the south and the winds move around a lot.
Its always been a popular place to own a beach house and as of mid 2009 accessibility has greatly increased with the reduction in the price to drive under Tokyo bay (¥800) on the Aqua line.
Because of the distance from Tokyo, pretty beaches, rocky coast line with great fishing and snorkeling this is one of the most popular places along the coast for Tokyo people to buy second homes.
Golden sand and clear blue water just add to the attraction of the location.
It gets crowded here in the summer months as the water is warm, the summer houses fill up and there are a lot of hotels.
Surf: there are both sand bars and sand covered rocky reefs that can produce good waves.
REEFS - Two of the Four M’s are in South Chiba - two left hand reefs producing outstanding waves and serious beatings on their day. When they are working you need to be fit strong and a very competent surfer to get waves and have a good time. And like a lot of great waves around the world they are dominated by locals who know them well and wait all year for them to turn on. Be polite or you will be asked to leave the water. Forget your image of polite non pushy Japanese, when these waves crank the tempo and aggression in the water lifts to international standards.
Added to this there are numerous sand covered rock reefs that get good when the planets align
Pacific Coast: There are 5 main areas from the South facing Onjuku with its high rise apartments and high speed train connect to Tokyo station to the North East facing Chikura with its wide sandy beaches and popularity for beach houses.
South Coast: Heisaura 5 km South West facing beach dotted with a couple of reefs.
Tokyo Bay: A few beach breaks that start to work in big South / South west swells and are off shore with Easterly winds.
Access: In 2009 the Aqua line (tunnel under Tokyo bay) dropped to ¥800 each way, effectively opening up the bottom of Ciba to traffic from the South Tokyo Metropolis and Kanagawa (Shonan).
The coastal road can often be very busy and getting from Onjuku to Chikura can take a couple of hours during daylight hours.
Parking is a mix of free and pay (Summer time usually ¥1,000 for all day)
Size: The reefs can hold real size and are very tide dependant. The mixed reef and sand breaks can handle upto double overhead but are more ‘conditions’ dependant. The beaches are best chest to over head. The lineups get less crowded as the swells get bigger.
Winter: cold water cold winds; warm wetsuit, boots, gloves not necessary
Summer: warm water, hot days and beach parties, board shorts
Spring and Autumn: often the best for swells and light winds
Offshore Winds: breaks in Southern Chiba face almost every direction so where you choose to surf often depends on the wind / swell combination.
Round trip from Tokyo: early morning on Sat or Sunday ¥2,560 one way. early morning week days probably a little more expensive, business hours the most expensive.
Travel time is about 1.5 hrs early morning or can be up to 3 hrs during the day - traffic depending.
Notes: Chikura has a fireworks festival every year in the summer, hundreds of fireworks from a pontoon just off the beach.
Then surf all day have a BBQ and in the evening kick back in your deck chair for 2 hrs of entertainment. Saturday Aug 13th, 2010.
If you would like to see us cover a particular break we have not yet covered please let us know.
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