We are amongst one of the most glorious times in Tokyo…Cherry Blossom season. The pink and white flowers are everywhere and the feeling of hope and rebirth of spring is intoxicating. I am sooooooo glad to see cold winter days fall behind me.
This was my fist full winter in a lot of years, as I usually gypsy off to some sunshine land partway through the cold months. But this year I found myself in Tokyo and the mountains since the last weekend of October. I can’t believe it’s been so long since I swam in the ocean…I’ve been dreaming about that big salty bath recently and been thinking about my last island adventure.
Trying to hang onto summer, we headed down to Niijima in October, a surf island south of Tokyo, chasing the surfers and the sun. A shockingly babelicious Japanese guy named Kazutomo met us at the boat we came in on. With his long surfer hair & beard, wearing a Cheech & Chong t-shirt, holding a skateboard with our hotels name on it, we knew we were in for a stellar weekend! (I hate myself for not taking his photo right then and there) What we didn’t know was that we were the only people who ventured there to watch the big surf competition. Due to a typhoon in August, the competition had to be pushed back to October and seeing as October isn’t summer, this notoriously promiscuous party island was deserted. The obscure little town was eerily quiet and we were left on our own find trouble and explore a ghost town…
It is very very hard to take people seriously when they tell me that this is the place to be in summer. A jet boat, one of those futuristic boats that actually hovers over the water and moves at the speed of light, Jetsons style, can get you from Tokyo to Niijima in 2.5 hours. Paradise at Tokyoites fingertips.
So in true journalistic spirit, I will definitely make the trip back there this summer in search of the action that this surf island boasts about. And if we don’t find the raging parties, at least we know where to find our buddy Kazutomo and we know the best place on the beach to build a bonfire and take a midnight skinny dip in that stunning ocean.