Surfing may be the last thing you would think to do in Japan. However, being an island nation surrounded by seas, you can usually find plenty of waves without having to travel too far.

Kujukuri-hama Beach is in Tokyo's neighbouring Chiba prefecture and boasts a rare 66km coastline. The lack of reefs makes for some consistent and powerful beach breaks. Kamakura in Kanagawa is another popular beach due to its easy accessibility and proximity to Tokyo.

Also not too far away from the bright city lights is Kochi prefecture, in the south of Shikoku Island. Kochi is well-known for its sandy beaches and powerful waves. Most of the best surfing spots can be accessed by driving along Route 55.

Iriomote Island, Okinawa

Miyazaki prefecture spans the east coast of Kyushu Island, and is home to quite a few good surfing spots. Follow the palm-lined highway along the sun-kissed, saw-toothed Nichinan coastline to the south of Miyazaki city or head north to Hyuga and Nobeoka to find the best waves. If you fancy a break from surfing, take a wander to Sun Messe Nichinan, a park that is home to the only permitted replicas of Easter Island's Moai statues.

Okinawa is a chain of 160 islands scattered between Kyushu and Taiwan. The subtropical climate brings warmer weather and makes Okinawa the perfect place to enjoy many water sports, including surfing, but also swimming, snorkelling, scuba-diving and more. 

Moai statues, Sun Messe Park