If asked to list some popular surf destinations, you’d probably name a few of the following: Hawaii, California, Mexico, Australia—far-flung tropical places whose very mention conjures images of wild beaches, palm trees, and crashing cerulean waves.
You would most likely neglect to mention Japan. The country, after all, is famous for many singular culinary and cultural offerings, but adventurous water sports are not among them. “And I’m not sure why,” says Saturdays NYC’s Morgan Collett. “Surfing is actually really popular there.”