5 Ways to Go Sailing in Shonan
Join a sailing cruise, Take a class, Rent a boat
A few years ago, while shopping at our local bakery, my husband and I overheard a conversation between two stranded travelers from Southern France. They had arrived a few days before to Japan and were following the trail of Kelly Slater, one of their surfing heroes, who often competes in our area of Shonan in Fujisawa. They were looking for a place to stay and a place to surf. We helped them find both.
With blue skies, expansive sea views greeting you an hour out of Tokyo, Shonan has lots to offer visitors. Hiking trails in Kamakura and Enoshima wind through temples and descend into spectacular coastal views. But it is with the beach and sea that the region excels.
Local beach culture varies by area and communities are tight knit. Knowing what to do, and where, can be sometimes difficult to navigate. Surf, kite surf and stand up paddle shops straddle the coast on Route 134. But sailing opportunities can be harder to find.
Here are 5 ways for you to go sailing in Shonan:
1. Go on a Chartered Cruise at a Marina: The easiest way is to go on a short chartered cruise. Riviera Zushi Marina offers a 40 minute tour that takes you around Sagami Bay. The cost is 4000 yen per person (with extra costs for lunch or dinner). Kids accompanied by adults are free.
Days: Monday ~Sunday ( not on Tuesdays)
2. Take Sailing Lessons:
Another way to entre the sailing scene is to take lessons. Quite a number of the clubs offer them. Odakyu Yacht Club opposite Enoshima Harbour, the Olympic Sailing venue, offers a good selection of courses- including a 1 day private course.
Odakyu Yacht Club Lesson Duration: 10:00~16:00
Cost: 2 day course 30,240 yen; 3 day course 43,200 yen; Private course 21,600 yen
Sailing dinghies lengths : 4.6m and 5.0m
Another option is the Hayama Sailing College Yacht School
Lessons are held in the morning and afternoon. Morning Lessons : 9:30~12:00; Evening Lessons: 13:00~ 15:30; Cost: 8,600 per person; 7,500 yen per person
( pair); 11,800 yen 1 Adult and 1 child They offer lessons in English and French.
There are also sailing lessons and seminars offered in English by TSPS in the Tokyo area. http://tspsjapan.org/about-our-courses/tsps-courses/
And finally there is the Chotto Yacht Club at Enoshima Open Bic.
Bic Chotto Yacht Club for kids with lessons for adults starting at 8,500yen; for kids 7,500yen
3. Rent a Sailboat
Odakyu Yacht Club also offers the chance to rent a sailboat. Family Cruising program is from 10:00am to 13:00. Costs: 10,800 yen per adult 8,640 yen kids 16 and under
Talk to Locals, Try a Tiwal and get your own
4. Talk to locals
Just talk to locals. Shonan people will go out of their way to help you enjoy beach life. Also we can help connect you with sailing, surfing, stand-up paddle activities for the best experience in Shonan. So please feel free to reach out.
5. Get your own Tiwal Sailing Dinghy ... <and now for a bit of shameless self promotion>
There’s nothing holding you back from getting your own sailboat. There are a few options available that include mooring fees and club memberships. But if you are the adventurous do-it-yourself- type then the Tiwal Sailing dinghy may be right for you.
From France's Brittany region ( famous for French navigators like Eric Tabarly), Tiwal is a compact, sturdy, inflatable sailing dinghy. Designed to fit into 2 bags, Tiwal 3.2 has been making waves since its launch in 2014, winning Red Dot and Boat of the Year awards in the same year. Tiwal arrived to Shonan shores in 2015.
You can drive to your favourite beach, unpack your bags, and in 20 minutes, you can be sailing with your Tiwal.
Tiwal Japan is run by long time foreign residents and trial sailing sessions are usually held in Shonan on the weekend.