At time of writing we're just back from 5 days on the island and were lucky enough to get perfect swells and light winds. Too hard to leave especially when we know our good friend Thiago from Shizuoka surf is staying for 3 months.
You are always welcomed on Nijima by smiling faces, locals waving at you as you drive around the island, excellent facilities like showers on the beach & free hot springs. Add to this beautiful scenary everywhere and some stunning views from the tops of the 4 main mountain peaks - all accessible via road. It's a small island and many people say you can spend a weekend here and not get bored, we would say you can get lost here as a surfer for a month and still not want to leave.
There are over 10 different surf spots to surf around the Island with a hand full more secret ones that work on different swells and winds - go explore. This place truly is an Island surf paradise, on any given wind direction and swell direction there will be a break that is working.
Nijima is the most famous of the small Japanese islands for surf. Even though it is 8 hrs by normal ferry it is still part of Tokyo and governed by Tokyo. Its is only lightly populated and has surf beaches all around it so picks up swells and winds from 360º
The water is clean and green and the climate is always warmer and nicer than its big sister city Tokyo.
The beaches are white sand and very much like a tropical paradise - a must for any surfer to visit at least once.
It is also very very easy to get to, Standard overnight Ferry, Fast Hydrofoil Ferry in 2.5 hours, Small plane in 45 minutes.
Local Information & Recommendations Photo Map
Click the link below to view our interactive map with photos and information of the break and surrounding area.
(All photos are Located using GPS coordinates for pin point accuracy)
One of the locals drives round the island most days and uploads the pictures to his Blog and surf report
Some times he gets superb 'water shots' and if you get to know him he will even put you on his mailer which is how he shows his best shots to his mates. Well worth checking daily.
"Click Here" for a local person blog he updates regularly and has some nice pictures
or check out Akiko Japan Pro Body Boarder who lives on Nijima Blog ! "Click Here"
Live Web Cam
Habushira Beach An excellent web camera that has many views over the most famous surf beach in Nijima
In the summer time the water colour against the sand is simply stunning. One of our favourite cameras for sure.
Surf Breaks On Nijima
There are loads of accommodation options to chose from. The pensions are easy and friendly - they can all be found here. "Click Here" For those of you that do not mind the outdoors and simple living there is one of the best campsites in Japan on the island which is 100% free all year round, it has a great undercover cooking area as well as hot showers and lights at night time.
It is very easy to find just ask any taxi driver to take you there or ask a local to point you in the right direction. It is only 5 mins walk from main Habushi beach - a Nijima Gem.
One piece of advice is if you do not have your own transport (rental car, bike, or bicycle) buy food at Marumana Super Market on the way there as there are no shops near by and if you run out of cold beer early on in the night its a good 20 min walk to the nearest vending machine.
The police do a walk round check 3 times a night to make sure everyone is OK
Nijima is about 24square kms in size and is about 10kms from tip to tip it is 163kms from Tokyo and actually lies closer to Izu peninsula than Tokyo port.
Population 2500 . You'll also find some wonderful temples, amazing mountains, free Yunohama hot springs and its 'world famous' Green Nijima glass.
It's easy to feel small here due to the overpowering beautiful nature all around. The island at the other end of the beach has strong rip currents and the locals warning is to not to swim any where near it. Atop the nearby head land is the local Onsen - free and open 24 hrs a day - which makes this break a great one to surf in the winter - you can run from the break direct to the bath.
The break on the right day can produce a super left Tube and for the brave, bombing rights. The bottom is mostly sand but getting in and out there are lots of rocks and boulders, easy to smash a toe on entry and exit.
Best from - Jan to April Size - up to double over head Swell - West to South West Wind - East to North East
500ft cliffs at the point fall vertically into the ocean with massive boulders strewn at the bottom, huge ravines and rain lines torn into the side of the cliff, all quite dramatic.
This is a picture perfect left hand break that peels from the point all the way into the curving bay
Best from - May - November Size - Up to triple over head Swell - East / North / South Wind - West to South
Often called 'the main point' on the island, as it is easy to find (in front of the white building "Habushi Gate") this place like many is picture perfect with white sand and emerald green water that is enough to take your breath away. Habushi will break with basically any swell - from chest high waves right up to triple overhead pounding beach break with pits so deep they will hold a bus, many people say it is one of the best beach breaks in Japan. Our 5 days there and it churned out consistent barrels. Similar to Sendai Shinko in Fukushima - which is way up north from Tokyo.
With the perfect swell & wind direction the waves were inbetween a straight drop into a barrel and a easy takeoff onto 150m of green smashable wall of peeling perfection with barrel sections. It's a beachie so Left and rights depending on conditions. This probably is the busiest peak however by Tokyo standards there is basically no-one out at its peak, no more than 10 surfers. If you get it ON it will definately hardload into the memory banks for frequent recall.
Best from - May - November Size - Double over head Swell - East / North / South Wind - West to South
It can be super fast and unforgiving but if you get it with the conditions lined up you will get fully shacked on some deep pits.
HelicoptersOk - obvious name - the daily helicopter lands directly on top of this cliff at the end of the airport runway and when you're surfing this point you almost feel they are coming to rescue you.
There is a rough 4x4 track down to the beach to a large gravel car park.
"Warning" do not try and drive your 2WD car onto the beach here - you will get stuck.
The wave is one of the more powerful A-frames on the beach and on small days will draw a crowd, big days and many surfers will head for Habushi or Secrets so you can score this all on your own. Best thing to do is park in the car park on top of the cliff and use the 5 minute walk as a warm up.
Best from - May - November Size - Double over head Swell - East / North / South Wind - West to South
Under Cliff TopThe area between "Helicopters" and "Secrets" is about 2-3km of beach breaks and any number of peaks will be working depending on the swell, the sand bars and the tide. Almost guaranteed to be surfing alone or with just your own crew.
When we were there a peak close to Secrets was going nuts everyday. Just where the beach starts to widen again. There are some natural deep water channels due to the huge volume of water being pushed down from secrets.
If secrets is busy or the swell big this place can be just as good if not better and you will have it all to yourself, rights and lefts to be had with the big ones breaking a little more crumbley out the back giving you time to set up for the inside section where it barrels. Lefts seem to go straight into the barrel and require a grab rail take off. Classic powerful beachie, easy to get nailed on the paddle back with lots of duckdiving to get out the back again.
SecretsSecrets is a legend in Surfing across Japan, hardly a secret, due to the car park having a sign and every local happily pointing you in the right direction. The location is breath takingly beautiful, white sand beach, no one around, a 500ft sand stone cliff plunging into the ocean and the water is crystal clear.
The wave is a right hander with barrels galore mixed with some smoking fast long wall sections. When the conditions align it can run for 100s of meters and be one of the most perfect waves in the world.
The locals have 4x4's and drive directly down the beach to the break, each year the council will try and bulldoze a road at the bottom of the cliff but it sometimes gets washed away. If you do not have a 4x4 you will get stuck, and even if you do check with the locals as sometimes it becomes impassable even for the best 4x4s .
The option is to park in the cliff top car park, 2kms from 'Helicopters' then walk down the 100 step path to the beach and along the beach about 2kms, make sure you take what you need as it a long walk back, also leave some energy for the climb back up as its quite a way.
Its possible to walk around the sand stone cliffs on low tide however when the tide comes back in retreat is cut off and you'll have to wait for the tide to go back out. On a small calm day it is possible to walk round the entire headland past the island to Mamashita. Ask a local to show you the way as it does involve a bit of bouldering when you get round the other side. This place will always score a 10/10 in our eyes whether its big or small.
Best from - May - November Size - On a clean long period swell it can hold triple overhead Swell - East / North /South Wind - West to South
Best from - May - November Size - Up to double over head Swell - East or North Wind - West to South
AwiuraThe break is one of the best on the island, depending on swell direction this place breaks left or right and throws a solid barrel which gives it claim to snapping more boards than anyother break on the island.
It looks like a paradise island movie set and it's an amazing feeling surfing somewhere so beautiful and wild.
Unlike the rest of the beaches its a rocky bottom.
At close to the most northern point on the island access is via 'the tunnel' - push bikes are not allowed there is a bus but surf boards not allowed so you will have to hitch a lift or rent a car for a day to get up there. The tunnel is over 4km long and must have cost millions, but because of it you can get up to this break in only 10 mins from Habushi, its hard to imagine what they did before they had this.
Toilets and shower in the car park.
Iso / Best from - Jan - April Size - Up to double over head Swell - West Wind - East
Wada / Best from - Jan - April Size - Up to double over head Swell - West Wind - East
Di B / Best from - Jan - April Size - Up to double over head Swell - West Wind - East
These breaks are on the ferry port side of the island and really only work when there is a big West swell pushing in, or a massive typhoon, the locals will tell you some great story's about them and there are a few pictures on the walls of the local beer bars etc, showing these places with sick waves. All are very easy to find. They are mainly big fat A - frame waves with serious grunt and a lot of white water, good to have that little extra bit of volume in your board.
There are still more than half a dozen other waves on this island, go have a look for yourself and you might score something special. All part of the fun of surf tripping, you'll have to do some walking but the rewards might be huge.
Surf Boards: a single surf board will cost you 700yen one way, you can take as many as you want, you can also take longboards as well.
There are many ways to get to nijima.
1. Slow night boat: leaves daily at 11.00pm you need to be there at 10.00pm ready for boarding, it goes from Takeshiba stop on the Tokyo monorail. Reserved seats or tatami mat is 7,740 yen one way. It arrives at 7.30am in the morning. There are higher grade cabins on board if you want to splash out.
Tel: 03-5472-9999 - English Speakers
2. Jet Boats : There are 3 of these a day leaving at various times, they take only 2.5 hrs. 11,740 yen one way they also fill up quickly so we advise booking well in advance. There is a return jet that leaves the island at 4.00pm each day that arrives in Tokyo at 6.30pm - every one trys to get on it, esp on a Sunday, this one you must book months in advance. Tel: 03-5472-9999 - English Speakers
Surf Boards: Length restricted to 210cm and each board will cost you 1000 yen each way. They measure them and charge you as you board the boat.
You will also need to fill your name and address and phone number into your ticket stub before boarding as well as keep hold of your ticket as they will ask for them when you depart, if you have lost it you will have to pay again.
A video look at the terminal and boarding procedure can be found here. "Click Here"
To book and further information "Click Here"
3. Air Planes: there are 4 daily flights in and out of Nijima on a prop plane that take about 45mins and leaves from Chofu Airport, 13,700 yen one way
they charge extra for surf boards, length is restriced to 2m or less. Luggage restriction is 5kg of free luggage every Kg after that is 250yen.
If you fly send all your gear via Takubin a few days before you go. Tel: 0422-31-4191
Times "Click Here" Fare Table "Click Here"
If there for a long time is there is a local boat across to Shikinejima, 820 yen. There are some stunning swimming and snokling beaches to be found. Tickets at the ferry building on Nijima. "Info Click Here"
5. Island hopping by Helicopter, nice way to keep your girl happy and your wallet empty.
Information here. "Click Here" rates "click here" Tel: 04996-2-5222
Extra Video,maps,links & information see below.
If you know or have any video of this break please pass it on to us we will be happy to show it on www.surfinginjapan.com ,email us direct at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click on the Videos below to visit our YOU TUBE Channel where we keep all our HD videos.We hope you enjoy them.
A look at Mamashta pumping on a good day in 2011 , super goofy point
Video 1 - Maui Pro Final 1988 Tom Curren Vs Gary Elkerton very cool indeed.
Video 2 - Video about a little surf trip to the island
Video 3 - Nijima Cup 2009
Video 4 - A look up and down this very famous stretch of beach
Video 5 - A look at the island from the top of the highest peak
Video 6 - Some video taken on the same time as our trip to nijima with pumping conditions.
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