Well, autumn is upon us and to celebrate we had a 6 day holiday, aptly nick-named "Silver Week" which incorporated 'RESPECT THE AGED DAY'. At this time of year it's a common sight to see rice crops harvested and the golden yellow fields of mature rice paddies covering the countryside like a patchwork quilt.After spending the "Obon Holiday" in Kamogawa, I was super keen on hitting the road and exploring some new coastline in the north while it was still relatively warm. I talked good friend SHINYA into joining me as he had not surfed north of Chiba and was also keen to explore. We were obviously not alone in our thinking and every man and his dog were driving north. At one stage we went 30km in just over 2 hours!!! That is even slower than top level marathon runners!!!One of Shinya's co-workers from the hospital originates from IWATE Prefecture and had some inside info on a few spots that break well in typhoons. So, our first stop was in the far north of Japan, Iwate. Iwate is well known for it's apple orchards and I found this awesome 'ringo-pan' or apple bread in the local convenience store.Unfortunately, the typhoon path meant that a lot of the promised swell was hitting the coast at the wrong angle to light up some of the reefs we had been informed of. Shinya was constantly on his phone checking the typhoon updates and surf point reports providing tons of up to the minute information. He was also checking on Maruki and Kamogawa non-stop (already homesick?) which, as luck would have it, was firing. Bugger!!We did finally manage to find a really beautiful spot after 12 hours on the road with a few fun gentle waves rolling in to wash of the road dust and enjoy a great sunset.
After enjoying our little surf it was off to find an Izakiya. We found a nearby town with a huge port and Nippon Steel factory which had exactly what we were looking for. The Sanma sashimi and grilled Hoke were particulary delicious and the beer went down a treat.
As you'd expect of a port town, there were a few 'snack bars' and this street was solely 'snacks', each with a 'mamma-san' to listen to your problems and entertain you as she pours your drinks. I was on a tight budget and without much to worry about, steered clear of these establishments.Next morning was game on. The swell was hitting the coast a little south of where we were so the decision was made to head for MIYAGI Prefecture. First stop was Koizumi River, where Rich, Nadia and I went a few summers back and camped. the right in the corner off the rivermouth was looking good but had quite a few on it and I was after something more challenging and perfect!!So, back on the road, we headed for a semi-secret rivermouth the Jun, Dave, Naoki and Shu scored over the last couple of years. We were in luck, and despite it looking smallish from the carpark it was head-high and building!!! It was a super long paddle but the waves were perfect!! On my third wave and I took-off late, bottom turned and pulled in high to get a stand up barrel and spat out clean as a whistle!!! So stoked!!! I couldn't resist a double fist pump claim even though no-one saw it. That one wave alone made the whole trip worthwhile and memorable.
After about 30-40mins the wind changed and came onshore, but not too strong and the swell pulsed in the head-and-a-half range with the odd bigger one making for super fun rippable waves but decent beatings on the inside and energy draining paddles to make it back out if you got caught inside!!As conditions deteriorated, the call was made to check Sendai Shinko.
Reasonable waves, but bad winds meant that we pulled the pin and headed home. The Delica went smoothly without any trouble in what will probably be her last decent roadtrip as she is laid to rest in the end of October as rust waits for no-one. It's a real shame as that car has been fantastic, served me extremely well and will be sorely missed. Thanks AKIHITO for the deal all those years ago!!. Mahalo Bra