OARAI 大洗海岸



Comment on Surfing here following the March 11 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami Some areas along this stretch of coast were hit by the Tusnami. Surfers are back in the water and visitors are coming from other parts of Japan to surf. As with North Ibaraki it's mid August and there are constant after shocks up to magnitude 6, these shocks are often centered along this coast line both onshore and offshore.

Due caution is required, please check with locals before surfing here and be aware there is a lot of tension and trauma in the local population.

Also note Ibaraki borders Fukushima prefecture and Central Ibaraki is only 150km from the Fukushima Nuclear Plant.


For ease of use we've called from Oarai to Ioka, Ibaraki South. A nearly straight SE ~ NW stretch of coast that bends quite suddenly around to the NE up at Oarai. The area is called Kashima and the beach runs for over 40km.

The continental shelf extends out an average of 25km off shore and is quite shallow for a long way off the shoreline. Most of the power of Pacific ground swells gets dissipated before reaching the shoreline and generally the beaches are all flat sandy beaches with almost no natural contours to break it up. Not to worry, there are Tetrapods, break walls and ports aplenty which create their own sandbars for the waves to break on.

Most straight swells over 2m will close out, luckily however any South or North in the swell will hit the beach at an angle so it is a constant hunt for a sand bar in good shape.

There are many 'named' breaks along this stretch of coast with the most well known being Hazaki, Topsante, Onuki and Oarai, however personal experience shows that a solid understanding of the slight differences in angle, beach steepness and sand build ups is the best way to score great waves without following the crowd to the biggest parking lot.

For example the Hazaki area is offshore in a SSW and will not pick up swells from the South in them while Oarai can be good in a NNE wind and will pick up the bigger South swells.

A feature of the coast is the many power generating wind turbines and it is quite the experience to stand under one in a strong wind.

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