WPM Video Series: (Almost) All You Need To Know, Japan’s favorite wave pool

Surf Stadium Japan is surprisingly easy, reasonable, and makes a great surf trip destination. In this video, we share some highlights for planning your trip and explore what Surf Stadium Japan has to offer. As a reminder, you can check out all of our wave pool guide videos on the WavePoolMag YouTube channel.

The wave pool itself is a turnstile surf park. There are no add-on hotels, rock climbing or pump tracks. In that regard, Surf Stadium is a core surf park. And you’d expect nothing less just being a stone’s throw from the beach.

The pool at Surf Stadium is a pneumatic system with 24 caissons. It’s a shortish wave, good surfers can fit in 3-4 maneuvers while the average surfer can get in two solid turns. The takeoff in this type of pool is more tricky than lining up with a marker on a wall as you would do at a Wavegarden Cove. For this reason, there is a beach Marshall out in the lineup who tells you when to paddle for the wave.

The wave itself feels more like an ocean wave than some of the other pools. While it’s hard to pinpoint exactly why, the shape of the shoulder as it transforms into a pitching lip resembles any of several quality beach break waves. When we visited, the level of surfing ranged from intermediate to advanced with a few super groms going at it too.

cost wave pool japan
Mahina Maeda at Surf Stadium Japan

The Lowdown: Shizunami is a thriving surf town about four hours by car southeast of Tokyo. The bullet train from Tokyo central takes a little over two hours to nearby Shizuoka station. Surf Stadium Japan is also one of the world’s first surf parks close to an existing natural surfing location. The wave tub itself sits on a 2.4-acre site a stone’s throw from the Pacific ocean. AMW says that Shizunami will demonstrate how high-performance surf can be achieved in urban, surf-centric, relatively smaller footprint locations, referred to by the company as “surf arenas.”

WavePool Construction Progress: Completed

Accessibility: Open to the public, All-ages, Beginning surfers, Intermediate surfers, Advanced surfers

Wave Generating Technology: American Wave Machines Perfect Swell with some new improvements and enhancements

Wave’s Technical Information: Both Left and Right Breaks, Length of Wave: 30-60 yards/meters, Semi-hollow to hollow and performance-oriented. 110 waves per hour come in three-wave sets at between 1:10-1:30 apart. Waves are waist to head-high.

Hours of operation/Seasonal Hours: Dec–Feb: 10am-5pm, Mar-May: 9am-6pm, June-Sep: 8am-8pm, Dec- Oct-Nov: 9am-6pm.

What it costs to surf at Stadium Japan:

Trial Session: 8800 yen ($70) – includes surfboard, wetsuit, safety equipment, and instructor.
Beginner Session: 7700 yen ($60)
Intermediate Session: 8800 yen ($70)
Advanced Session: 8800 yen ($70)
Expert Session: 9900 yen ($80)
Private Session: Prices vary depending on the season, but start from 156,000 yen ($1320) per hour, and customized waves will be provided according to the customer’s preferences.

Note: Membership registration is required to purchase tickets. If there is a vacancy on the day of the session, e-tickets will be sold to those who come directly to the facility. Surf Stadium advises to check the availability up to 23:59 the day before you want to go surfing.

Pool Structure: Concrete pool facility with sand added

Waves per hour: 110

Atmosphere: Beach party Japan style

Apparel: Mostly boardshorts and bikinis. 3/2 fulls and spring suits for fall/winter