Japan, surrounded by sea, offers number of great locations to windsurf. Most well-known of which is probably Omaezaki, where such legendary events like "Sometime World Cup" was held back in 80s. Today, the sport may not be as big and popular as it used to be, but still, many people do enjoy it throughout the year. In fact, if you go south from Tokyo (about 50km), you will see many windsurfers old and young at such beaches like "Kamakura (Zaimokuza) beach" and "Zushi beach"
About an hour by train from Tokyo, Kamkura is a beautiful seaside city with a great sense of history. it abounds with old shrines and temples. Like Kyoto city, it is one of the most revered places of worship in Japan, attracting nine million visitors a year, including foreign tourists.
You can get to Kamakura through the JR Yokosuka Line which connects such major stations in Tokyo like "Tokyo Station" and "Shinagawa Station" directly with Kamakura Station.
Main windsurfing spot in Kamakura is Zaimokuza beach. It is within a walking distance (10 - 15 min.) from Kamakura Station. There are couple of local shops where you can rent windsurfing gears and stand-up paddle boards. If it is not windy, don't worry. You can enjoy the city just by sightseeing those historic places within the town (such Mr. Obama who visited the Great Buddha in Kotoku Temple back in 2010)!!
Located next to Kamakura (Zushi station is the next stop after Kamakura Station in JR Yokosuka Line), Zushi is probably the most popular windsurfing spot in Greater Tokyo area. Number of PWA sailors visit this place for the promotion of their sponsor gears, including Ricardo, Brawzinho, Victor to name a few. The beach is filled with people especially during summer (July and August) as many seaside restaurants/bars are opened just for that period.
The beach has number of windsurfing shops where you can rent gears
The Greater Tokyo Area has some other windsurfing spots like Miura (where Hiro Yoshida (JP/Neilpryde) is based in), Futtsu, Kemigawa, Tone-River, etc.
Lake Motosu provides nice thermal condition during spring, summer and early autumn. Located at the foot of Mt. Fuji (highest mountain in Japan), the lake attracts many avid slalomers and freestylers. You can check photos of the recently held freestyle event from JPWA’s website: http://www.jpwa.info/result/2012/0519_motosuko_report.html
Omaezaki is the place to go for wave-riding during winter time. Many PWA riders visit the place every year for promotion. Motoko, who you may remember as a winner of Hawaii pro couple years ago over Moreno sisters is based here.
Japan Windsurfing 2011 from Sophia Regerbis on Vimeo.
The place is not super windy or boasting constant wind like Grand Canaria or Bonaire. The good season would be April though July, during which we often have nice thermal wind from the sea, or December through March during which we can expect good northeast off-shore wind. In any event, you may want to check Windguru for the latest forecast before your short trip from Tokyo.
You'll have good chances to encounter S, SW thermal conditions during spring and summer. If you are lucky, you may be able to enjoy Typhoon wave riding during July, August and September. Beginning around November, we constantly have NE, NNE off shore wind, which provides great flat water condition for slalom and freestyle. Big low pressure wind arrives every now and then during winter, which brings strong west onshore to cross on shore wind for some wave session.
Lot of the locals typically use 5.0 - 6.0 for freestyle, and 6.0 - 8.0 for slalom/freeride, but for typhoon ride during summer and low pressure wave ride during winter, typically 3.5 to 4.5.
Typically, 2-3mm full-suit or spring suit doing late April - June and October - December, 5mm semi-dry during December - March, and shorts/boxer doing July, August, September.
What you can do when it's not windy
Sightseeing!! Kamakura offers so many beautiful temples and shrines to see. The town is very foreigner friendly. No worry even you don't speak Japanese :-) Also, during summer time, both Kamakura and Zushi beaches offers numbers of beach-side summer houses that offers variety of foods and drinks. Lots of local girls chilling out there!
Report by Tom Nakamura:
Name: Tom Nakamura
Local beach: Zushi beach / Kamakura beach
How many years sailing: 7
Last windsurf move you cracked: Spock and Grubby
What you’re working on now: Flaka!
Work as an in-house attorney (lawyer) in Tokyo. Hooked into windsurfing some 8 years ago and moved to Zushi 7 years ago from crowded Tokyo. After spending one year in North Carolina, USA, came back to Japan in 2009 and living in Kamakura since then.