24 Nov Niijima, Japan – Habushiura Skate Park (Surfers & Skater’s Paradise)
Located south west of Tokyo is an island called Niijima, known for it’s beautiful blue waters and professional standard waves for surfing. Niijima will also be the spot for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Surfing event.
Although most websites say you can surf from Jan to Nov, there can be some days when the waves are be absolutely flat. Which unfortunately was what happened on the days we went in June. On those days, skating is a good option, so remember to bring your aggro skates or skateboard!
This skate park open to public for free is located just next to habushi beach on this peaceful island, and has a whole bunch of mini-ramps of different sizes. Great for learning new tricks!
How to get to Niijima
There’s a few ways to get to Niijima from Tokyo
Overnight boat (Tokaikisen)
This will take 8hrs 30min on a large passenger ship from the Tokyo Takeshiba pier.
Cost: Starting from 6,010 yen (2nd Class) to 16,840 yen (VIP) (one-way)
High speed jet foil boat (Tokaikisen)
This takes 2hrs 30min, and is a pretty convenient way to get to Niijima. This is the way we got there.
Cost: Around 9,220 yen (one-way)
For English speakers, it’s easiest to just call Tokaikisen and book the ticket as they have staff that can speak English too. Do check their website for the latest ferry schedule and prices. There is a 20% off early purchase discounts too if you have a friend in Japan who can help you to buy the tickets.
Depending on the season, there are 2 or 3 flights daily from Chofu Airport to Niijima. The flight is 35min.
Cost: 14,400 yen (one-way)
Where to stay
I stayed in Surf Station Habushi, which was just right next to the skatepark and habushira beach. If you can speak Japanese, you can call Surf Station Habushi to make a reservation. If you don’t speak Japanese, your next best bet would be to try calling the Niijima Tourist Office.
Do take note that there are no shops or restaurants near Surf Station, so you’ll need to book your meals at Surf Station or cycle to the town center for food.
Surf Station Habushi
Address: 9-2 Minami Hiyama, Niijima-mura, Tokyo
Telephone: (+81) 4992-5-1816
Hours (Restaurant) 11AM – 5PM
Closed (Restaurant) Tue, Wed
Another option is camping on Niijima! It’s free to camp there, and there are showers, toilets and a sheltered area to cook too. The habushiura campsite is also only a 3min walk to the Habushi Beach. Yes, just imagine camping here to surf and skate everyday!
There are also other accommodations in the main town area near the harbour available on the Niijima Tourist Office website
Most of the island is accessible by bicycle, and you can rent a bicycle with a rack for your surfboard too. We rented bicycles and surfboards from Elegance in the town center near the harbour, where the owner is a friendly Ojisan who speaks some English and is a karate sensei too!
Most of the surfers are locals from Tokyo who bring their own surfboards during the weekend, and the surfboard rental shops may not be open everyday, so it’s probably best to bring your own surfboard if you have one.
What to eat
If you are like me and like to try unusual food, this seaweed pasta at the Water Park rest house was pretty good.
Oh, and by the way, the “water park” is probably not going to be what you imagine. We thought we were looking for water slides and such, but well, it’s really something else. I’ll leave that as an adventure for you to discover!