Atsuma to utilize surfing’s ability to attract visitors, with first sanctioned competition on July 24

Executive committee member Kondo Ichiro (right) in talks ahead of the event

Surfers in the town of Atsuma in the Iburi region of central Hokkaido are working to create a way of attracting people to the town, with Hama-Atsuma Beach – known as one of the most prominent surfing spots in Hokkaido – at its core. On July 24, the town will host its first NSA (Nippon Surfing Association) sanctioned competition, which will bring together some 80 surfers from throughout Japan.
The Hama-Atsuma coast, which is visited by 60,000 surfers a year from Hokkaido and beyond, has been attracting a steady stream of surfers who have fallen in love with its expansive 1.2-km-long coastline. Kondo Ichiro, 43, who moved to the town from Sapporo last December, is one of them. As he travelled to and from the beach, he felt that “surfing’s ability to attract people had not been fully utilized in the development of the town.” An executive committee was formed by six surfers from the town and beyond, and a plan was made to create a new surfing event and promote Atsuma’s appeal.
The NSA-sanctioned ‘Atsuma Mayor’s Cup’ is a competition for amateur surfers, who are awarded NSA points according to their results. As the number of points earned during the year determines which surfers are eligible to take part in a development program, many surfers from all around Japan will participate in the event.
Another competition for novice and less experienced surfers will also be held on the coast, as well as a market that offers vegetables such as spinach, and sandwiches made with eggs produced in the town. The aim is to give surfers from Hokkaido and beyond a chance to experience the appeal of Atsuma’s food, and to create opportunities to tour the town before returning home.
“We want to make this an annual event that both surfers and non-surfers can enjoy,” enthuses Kondo. The tournament starts at 7:00 a.m. The market will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Admission is free. The deadline for entries for the competition open to novice and less experienced surfers is July 18, and can be confirmed on the Instagram account (@atsuma_open_of_surfing).


Hama-Atsuma coast