To scores of adventurous young Japanese, Miyazaki prefecture is inextricably linked to surfing. These are Japan’s best and warmest waters, and though few foreigners get in on the action, this makes a trip here all the more appealing. The peak season runs from August to October, when most weekends will have a surfing event of some description.

There’s decent surfing in the waters immediately west of Aoshima – protected by the island, these smaller swells are perfect for beginners. Nagisa Store (t 0985/65-1070), between Kodomonokuni Station and Grand Hotel Qingdao, rents boards (¥3000) and wetsuits (¥2000), while a few minutes’ walk north of the same station similar prices are on offer at Wellybird (t 0985/65-1468). A little further towards Miyazaki is Kisaki-hama (木崎浜), a decent beach popular with surfers, and a ten-minute walk from Undōkōen Station. Equipment here can be rented at Blast Surf World (t 0985/58-2038), frustratingly located behind the Mos Burger just about visible from the station exit.

Experienced surfers with their own equipment should head instead to the reefs and reef breaks south of Aoshima, though these can be hard to get to without a local friend. Far to the north of Miyazaki, there are similarly ferocious waters surrounding Hyūga (日向), just south of Nobeoka.

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