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Guide to prices, waves and stays for Surf Stadium Japan – the world’s newest wave pool

How much does it cost to surf the Surf Stadium Japan wave pool?

Adults (13 years and older) 550-1650 yen ($5-$14)
Children (12 years old and younger): Free – 825 yen ($7)
Trial session: 3300 yen ($30): This includes rental goods (surfboards, wet suits and safety equipment) and an instructor.
Beginner Session: 6600 yen ($60)
Intermediate Session: 8800 yen ($77)
Advanced Session: 8800 yen ($77)
Expert Session: 9900 yen ($85)
Private session: From 230,000 yen ($2000) per hour includes customizing the waves to your choice.
Prices vary depending on the season.

What advanced waves are offered at the Surf Stadium wave pool in Japan?

The Drainer: Two barrel sections on the same wave, each running 3+ seconds
WedgePop: The biggest air section yet produced by PerfectSwell
The Highball: A professional surfer’s dream canvas providing opportunities for a variety of maneuvers and a massive finishing move
Roundhouse: Soft in the middle for traditional cutback practice that rolls into a wedge barrel
Wedge (Updated): A stretched-out slab that leads to extended time in the barrel.


Surf Stadium Japan opened its doors recently for an abridged 2021 season. Digital outlets teased us on social media with Olympians ripping into translucent wedges. Then the Volcom Japan team hit the tank, delighting in several new air sections (video further down the page). The world grew curious.

It’s a PerfectSwell model by American Wave Machines slightly bigger than its sister pool in Waco Texas and features updated and totally new wave settings. If you want to surf this modern wonder, you have to get here, stay here, find a place to eat, buy your tickets and generally navigate a totally new attraction. WavePoolMag will be visiting Surf Stadium in 2022 and we can bring our readers an exhaustive first-hand account at that time. To tide you over until then, we spoke with Shunichi Matsuuchi, Assistant General Manager who provided us some much-needed insight into visiting the world’s newest wave pool.

About the town of Makinohara, Shizunami

The climate in Shizunami is comfortable and humid with little precipitation throughout the year. The weather remains very pleasant throughout the year. It is also Mecca for surfing in Japan and hosts 600,000 visitors a year, many enjoying breathtaking views of Mt. Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan from the lineup. The area is dotted with countless surf shops, including Jack Ocean Sports, which has been in business for over 50 years (HP: https://www.news.jack-surf.com/ Instagram: jackoceansports_1968). It is also a habitat for abundant marine life. Just inland from the beach, there are tea plantations that have been cultivated for over 150 years. Shunichi says they plan to transmit Japanese surfing culture from this small Shizunami area to the rest of Japan while producing world-class surfers. “This is a luxurious city with a very livable climate and happy people.”
 

guide to wave pool japan shizunami
Kolohe Andino was part of the Olympic squad who tested out the wave pool in June.


How is this PerfectSwell wave pool different from the one in Waco?

AWM uses “PerfectSwell model 240” wave-making equipment. Recent software and system upgrades have made it possible to create a wider variety of more dynamic waves. The biggest waves produced at the pool in Japan are bigger than those at any other PerfectSwell location (currently Waco & New Jersey.) Shunichi says Surf Stadium Japan uses a proprietary system to filter groundwater to a state where the water is drinkable. They also added that children can enjoy the pool safely away from the waves if they aren’t surfing. The stadium is kitted out with lighting which allows surf sessions to roll into the night.

Advice for sessioning Surf Stadium for the first time

Shunichi says that inside the stadium, there are stores, a restaurant where you can eat while watching the session, and a special space to relax between sessions. If you pony up for a private party, they can customize more than 100 different types of waves for your event. “The surf stadium offers a wide variety of high-quality barrels, air sections, and some of the best waves you will ever find,” says Shunichi. Those familiar with Waco, and the PerfectSwell wave machine will adapt more rapidly to this wave pool than surfers who’ve only experienced a Wavegarden Cove or other technology.

How to get there? It’s a 3-hour drive or a 3-hour 20-minute train ride from Tokyo.

  • 12 km from the nearest airport, Shizuoka Airport (a bus route from the airport is planned shortly).
  • 8 km from the nearest expressway exit “Yoshida IC” (228 km from Narita International Airport, 130 km from Chubu International Airport).
  • From JR Shizuoka Station (where the Shinkansen bullet train line runs), take the 50-minute express Shizuoka Sagara Line bus, get off at Shizunami Kaigan Iriguchi, and walk 10 minutes.
  • Warning: if you rent a car, non-Aussies and Brits will have to be comfortable driving on the left-hand side.

Where should I stay?

The Hotel/Shizunami Resort Hotel Swing Beach and Ocean View Hamayu are a two-minute walk from Surf Stadium and the ocean. Guesthouses and hostels include Minamikaze, Sailors, Gobangai, Minshuku Tokai, and Pagurus Nature & Camp Kashima. Shunichi adds that there are also places like Higher Grand Camping where you can stay in a trailer. A quick tour through Hotels.com found that prices range from $300 per night for a weekend stay at a lux establishment to smaller places that come in under the $50 range. There’s also a campground right next to the pool. 

What will it cost me?

Adults (13 years and older) 550-1650 yen ($5-$14)
Children (12 years old and younger): Free – 825 yen ($7)
Introductory session: 3300 yen ($30): This includes rental goods (surfboards, wet suits and safety equipment) and an instructor.
Beginner Session: 6600 yen ($60)
Intermediate Session: 8800 yen ($77)
Advanced Session: 8800 yen ($77)
Expert Session: 9900 yen ($85)
Private session: From 230,000 yen ($2000) per hour includes customizing the waves to your choice.
All Surf Stadium Japan prices vary depending on the season.


Finally, what’s your favorite wave setting at Surf Stadium Japan?

“My favorite wave to surf is the Malibu wave setting,” says Shunichi. “The wave is not too hard, as you can imagine from the name, really good for practicing maneuvers. But my favorite one for our customers is the Mush Burger because I love to see customers surf their first wave. For the pro level, my favorite wave to watch is the High ball. This is a setting that allows you to put in two snaps and then one huge air. We have seen some incredible airs.”

Editor’s Note: This is quite possibly the world’s first beach-adjacent wave pool. So it will be fascinating to see how that dynamic works. For years wave pools have been boasted as “inland” destinations.

More on Surf Stadium Japan at the below links


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