Join the Japan Surfing Culture Tour in Chiba's Ichinomiya Town
Ichinomiya Town -
the surfers' paradise in Chiba Prefecture
Located in the eastern part of Chiba Prefecture, Ichinomiya Town is conveniently accessible, just a 90-minute drive or train ride from Tokyo. It's home to Tsurigasaki Beach, renowned as one of Japan's premier surfing destinations and the very site where the surfing competitions took place during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
This autumn, you can partake in a unique tour that not only lets you immerse yourself in the thrill of surfing but also offers a captivating glimpse into the rich local history and culture of Ichinomiya Town. Keep reading to learn more about this exceptional excursion!
Kujukuri Beach curves gently across the Pacific Ocean, with Ichinomiya Town situated on its southern end. Every summer, its sands are packed with beach-goers, and recently, it has become famous as one of the leading surfing towns in Japan. Year-round, the coast's great waves attract professional and amateur surfers alike, as well as spectators.
The best-known surf spot in town is on Tsurigasaki Beach, commonly known as Shidashita Point. This beach was chosen as the venue for the surfing competitions at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Memorably, the 2020 Olympic Games marked the first time surfing was included as an Olympic sport. Athletes from all over the world battled for the gold on these waves.
Tsurigasaki Beach has served as the training ground for many well-known professional surfers, such as Hiroto Ohara, Reo Inaba, and Tenshi Iwami, who compete around the world. Ichinomiya Town is visited by 700,000 surfers every year, and many surfers settle here permanently to enjoy the immaculate waves. The sound of the tide and the salty scent of the ocean are hallmarks of this beloved surfers' paradise.
More than surfing!
Ichinomiya Town's rich history
In ancient times, Ichinomiya Town thrived as a castle town within the Ichinomiya Domain in Kazusa Province. Tamasaki Shrine, originally established during the Heian period (794-1185), later became Ichinomiya Shrine, and the town that developed around it took on the name Ichinomiya. The venerable Tamasaki Shrine has a history of more than 1,200 years. The goddess enshrined there is Emperor Jimmu's mother, Princess Tamayori. The shrine is dedicated to the protection of women, and worshipping there is said to bring good luck for marriage and safe childbirth.
The Kazusa Twelve Shrine Festival is held every September. The festival features a procession of small portable shrines called mikoshi. During the event, several mikoshi believed to be carrying Princess Tamayori and her family are brought together at a torii gate built on Tsurigasaki Beach. This festival is also known as the Kazusa Naked Festival, a reference to the white garbs worn by participants. In a practice known as "hamaori," the mikoshi shrines are carried out into the ocean. Though this is a common practice for festivals on the Boso Peninsula, the Kazusa Twelve Shrine Festival is one of the most famous and is even designated as an intangible folk-cultural property of Chiba Prefecture. Tsurigasaki Beach is lovingly called a "holy ground" for surfers, but it also serves as sacred grounds for the many ancient festivals that take place here.
What exactly is this experience
-packed premium surf-and-turf tour?
An exciting new tour is coming to Ichinomiya Town in Chiba Prefecture this fall. In addition to surfing at the famous Olympic Games venue, you'll be immersed in enchanting ocean folklore, sample local delicacies, and much more in this truly unique 'surf and turf' adventure on land and sea. It's the perfect way to enjoy Ichinomiya Town to the fullest. Plus, an English-speaking attendant will be available to share the unique charm of Ichinomiya Town with international guests.
Here, we'll tell you all about the two-day, one-night tour.On your first day, a driver will be sent to pick you up from any hotel within Tokyo's 23 wards, Tokyo Station, or Narita Airport. From there, you'll be taken to surfers' paradise on Tsurigasaki Beach, where professional surfers will teach you how to surf. Riding the waves on this revered coast, with its rich history and legendary festivals, is sure to be nothing short of extraordinary. First-time surfers can rest assured that instructors will carefully guide you through every step.
After surfing, your next stop is Tamasaki Shrine, a prefecture-designated tangible cultural property. Here, you'll enjoy traditional gagaku court music performance by the Tamasaki Gagaku-kai. The musicians, who are all volunteers and parishioners of the Shrine, will treat you to songs about the sea and the moon. You'll also have a chance to see portable mikoshi shrines, which are typically reserved for festivals. Immerse yourself in the sacred ambiance and experience the rich cultural heritage that Ichinomiya Town is proud of.
A performance by the traditional Tamasaki Gagaku-kai court musicians. They play the sho, hichiriki, and other Japanese musical instruments.
After the gagaku music performance, it's time for dinner. The meal is a collaboration with the ‘Starry Sky Restaurant’ produced by Japan Airlines. The venue for this one-night-only restaurant is SUYAHONKE, an old townhouse built in the middle of the Meiji period (1868-1912). Enjoy the seasonal atmosphere as you dine on meals crafted with the finest local ingredients.
Enjoy a meal prepared by two incredible chefs native to Ichinomiya Town. Chef Ichiro Motoyoshi, of the multinational restaurant Agozzo, trained at a restaurant in Tokyo’s famed Daikanyama district and gained experience around the world before opening his own restaurant in his hometown. His specialty is marrying local ingredients with different cooking methods from around the globe.
Chef Hajime Hoshino, of the innovative restaurant Hoshimiya, is more than just a chef - he's also a certified professional surfer. He's earned a reputation for delicious cuisine that transcends culinary boundaries, a style that is perfectly suited for the melting pot of locals, newcomers, and tourists who inhabit Ichinomiya Town.
Accommodation will be provided at one of the town's popular resorts. COFF Ichinomiya, a laid-back resort, provides a serene stay within a unique container building. ALL SEASON RESORT KURA offers Japanese-style villas with private gardens and charming traditional Japanese interiors.
On the second day, in addition to activities such as surfing classes at Tsurigasaki Beach or golf at the ICHINOMIYA COUNTRY CLUB, Japanese cultural experiences such as hariko (papier-mâché) doll-making classes will also be available. Have lunch at a restaurant recommended by your attendant, an Ichinomiya Town local. After that, you'll be brought back to your hotel in Tokyo's 23 wards, Tokyo Station, or Narita Airport.
Enjoy a wide range of activities on this premium tour, from surfing at the Olympic Games venue on Tsurigasaki Beach to cultural experiences that take you back to ancient times steeped in folklore. Applications are now open for this exclusive tour brimming with Ichinomiya Town's unique charm. Don't miss this one-of-a-kind experience.
Surfing Culture Tour
including Surfing at a Tokyo Olympic Games Venue
Dates: November 29 & 30, 2023
(*Two days, one night)
Price: 268,000 yen per person
(*The tour fee covers transportation, accommodation, 4 meals (lunch, dinner, breakfast, and lunch), activity fees, and rental of a board and wetsuit. Surfboards, wetsuits, and other equipment will be provided, so you can enjoy the tour hassle-free!)