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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   2 min read

With the yen at its weakest in years, Japan is finally a great value for British travellers so if you’ve always wanted to go, now is the time! Tokyo and Osaka will certainly tempt but what about a surfing holiday in Ishigaki? Now a quick, low cost skip from Osaka.

Japan will be attracting more Western visitors than ever before with the yen being such a good value against the Pound Sterling. Start your journey with flights to Tokyo. The capital is a must-see and if you’re really on a tight budget? There’s plenty to see and do around Tokyo that’s free. Check out our guide: How to experience Tokyo for FREE.

If you’re after a low cost trip with a super laid back feel, then you definitely need to get out of Tokyo. Hop on a cheap regional flight south, 250 miles south of Okinawa Island to be precise, to the island of Ishigaki. The island isn’t big, only 85 square miles but it’s way off the usual tourist trail and have some amazing surfing, sandy beaches and undisturbed coral reefs.

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Where to surf on Ishigaki

Where you surf really depends on the island really depends on which time of year you travel there. In the summer months the best breaks are in and around Maezato and in the winter months, Uganzaki will be the best. If you need some local tips, there’s only one place to go: Smile Cafe where owners Ken and Emiko are always happy to talk surf. You can find the cafe in the Misakichou district, near Shinei Park.

The best swells are in winter but during typhoon season in the summer you can find waves up to 5m tall around the coral reefs. The winter winds are superb for windsurfing though, if you fancy trying something a bit different.

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Getting there: Ishigaki is home to a brand new airport that opened in March 2013 and is now serviced by a new Japanese low cost carrier, Peach. Flights depart from Osaka.

Imgs: ajari, dcysurfer / Flickr cc.

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