Recently, Hector Santamaria went on a trip to the Land of the Rising Sun, and absolutely scored. Two typhoons in two weeks and empty lineups for days. We kinda fell in love with these photos, so we decided to give him a ring and let him convince you to go there yourself. Do you want five reasons to make Japan your next big surf trip? Then read on.

All photos by Chris Grundy @chrisgrundyphoto

“The people are really generous and kind,” says Hector. “They represent everything that you don’t find elsewhere – everyone in the world is constantly rushing around and thinking of themselves, and it’s almost the exact opposite in Japan. They are thinking about everyone. They are very open-minded and it doesn’t seem like anyone believes in having an ego – unlike most of the world, they’ll listen to whatever you have to say. They’re about having a good time and sharing advice. If their surroundings are happy, then they are happy.”

“On this trip in particular we really scored, but if you can plan your trip during peak typhoon season it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll find sick waves. My favourite break was a river mouth in Omai Saki (I can’t tell you the name, otherwise the locals would kill me). It’s really dumpy there, and it can be very big – 15ft, fast, hard – and very, very fun. As a note though, if you go outside of the main breaks then make sure you’re really respectful because it can get localised. I know Kai Neville is in some trouble with the locals for putting their spots in edits. But there are absolutely no crowds, so as long as you’re not obnoxious, you’ll get tons of waves.”

“There are so many things about Japan that are unique. First off, you’re gunna love their soups. Their soups are the best that I’ve ever had, and they are so incredibly cheap. Then the trains – if you get a chance to ride the bullet train definitely do it, because you won’t forget it. Everything is so modern. And Tokyo! It’s a great city, and you definitely have to go to karaoke while you’re there. But make sure you only stay a few days, otherwise you’ll go crazy.”


Book your next surf trip to Japan here.