Skimboarding 2008 Session #08 – Farewell Chigasaki, Japan!

November 4, 2008 · Print This Article

What you see in the above photo is a mysterious rock out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.  It is the symbol of Chigasaki.  I have no idea how it was formed or what it really is.  Despite skimboarding this place for the past six summers, I never investigated its meaning.  And I do not want to know.  I always imagined it as a great shark’s dorsal fin.  The rock is very mysterious, for as you walk further from it, the stone actually appears closer to you.  Such is the scene of my first ever skimboarding in Japan back in June of 2003, and my final session in October 2008.

I am leaving Japan early next year, after what will be nearly 6 years of living here.  Being a very nostalgic person, I will have many emotional farewells to my favorite places in Japan (even though Tokyo has driven me crazy in the end).  None though I feel will be as emotional as the good-bye I had to make to Chigasaki Beach.  

Skimboarding at Chigasaki was the first tradition I established upon moving to Japan.  Like other beaches I’ve skimmed regularly, I discovered Chigasaki, thus my great affection for it, despite the beach in reality being little more than a large ash tray with diminishing waves the past few years.  Yet there is nothing in Japan I love more than Chigasaki.  It was my consistent escape from May to the end of October ever year I lived here.  It was my own.  I took very few people there, for few were worthy.  On Saturday evenings when there was no one, there was Chigasaki.  

I took the exact same stuff to Chigasaki each and every time.  In the above photo you’ll see my trusty backpack (from Korea) with my skimboard’s protective sock lumped in front of it.  To the right are my also trusty water and Aquarius bottles.  All of this sits on my very trusty tatami straw mat.  And of course on the far right lie my skimboard and surf shorts.  Each item is as beloved to me as any person.  

My favorite food to eat after skimboarding was kim (Korean dried seaweed) and genmae (Japanese organic brown rice).  After a usual 90-minute skimboarding session I would lean back on my backpack and stare out at that mysterious rock off Chigasaki’s shores, eating my seaweed and rice.  Then a Meiji Black chocolate bar.  

There are so many customs involved with going to Chigasaki, from taking note of every one of my favorite houses along the street to the beach, to watching people play tennis, to wondering why the owner of a small, but nice RV never took it out.  I even listened to almost exactly the same music from my apartment to Shinjuku Station to the beach every time, with little variation, as has long been my skimboarding custom even back in Florida.

How was my 8th and final skimboarding session of 2008 and my last ever session in Japan?  Modest and appropriate and what one would expect of a late October session on a gray but not depressing Saturday afternoon.  

I say farewell to thee, Chigasaki.

FINAL JAPAN SKIMBOARDING SESSION PHOTO GALLERY:
My favorite house in Chigasaki I had NO IDEA I made this kind of face while skimboarding!! One of the smoother rides I had on my final session
Going up and through a wave . . . . . . and coming out the other side. Me, managing to get over the top of a breaker.
The waves were large and hard to get to this afternoon. Got to know when to bail sometimes Otherwise, when you are facing a crashing wave . . .
It can mean hitting a wall of water . . . . . . which is quite painful. The famous rock outcropping that is the symbol of Chigasaki
For six summers I brought the same backpack, same water bottles and put them all on the same tatami mat. This was my view for years as I waited for a good wave to roll in.  

FINAL JAPAN SKIMBOARDING SESSION HD VIDEO:

 

made on a mac

Comments

12 Responses to “Skimboarding 2008 Session #08 – Farewell Chigasaki, Japan!”

  1. on November 5th, 2008 12:42 AM

    Farewell to skimboarding in Japan…

    My personal tale of the past 6 summers I spent skimboarding Chigasaki Beach, and what Chigasaki means to me. Photo gallery and HD video included….

  2. on November 5th, 2008 1:37 PM

    Nice, I can understand the emotional attachment to a place that you’ve always gone to, that you’ll probably never come back to either.
    Hope you find some decent skim boarding places back home.

    Jason Collin Reply:

    Thanks Can…I’ll soon get to return and skimboard on my past favorite skimboarding beach, and many pros skim out in California, where I hope to end up sooner or later.

  3. Micke
    on November 5th, 2008 9:07 PM

    The music in the video is that the song Guaranteed by Eddie Vedder?

    Jason Collin Reply:

    Yes, it’s that song. I’ve been wanting to use parts of that song in a video for awhile.

    Micke Reply:

    Have you seen the movie Into the Wild (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0758758/)? If not do so, I’ll think you would like it. You seem to be an adventurous kind of a person, hehe. The movie has also a good soundtrack including the song Guaranteed.

    How come you leaving Japan?

    Jason Collin Reply:

    Yes, I’ve seen INTO THE WILD and reviewed it here:

    http://jasoncollin.org/2008/02/11/into-the-wild-2007-review/

    I got the soundtrack for INTO THE WILD immediately after watching the movie.

    I’m leaving Japan because I’ve been here 5.5 years, and abroad in Asia for 8.5 years and it’s just time for me to return to the U.S., especially since we just got a great new president!

  4. on November 6th, 2008 12:56 PM

    Hey Jason, kind of a similar situation, but I can understand how you’re feeling about the upcoming move back home. Been living in Kyushu for the last 3.5 years, coming here for the last 8. I’m from San Jose, CA so I was always close to Santa Cruz, Capitola, Monteray, or Carmel for surfing whenever I wanted.

    Been thinking a lot lately of either moving to Tokyo to change jobs or to go back home. I love Kyushu and I think some part of me will always stay here, but change is good too. When I ever do leave Japan, I think I will miss the natural beauty of the place the most. The seasons, colors, smells, and sounds. Those will probably be the things that linger in my mind as the years go by.

    Video settings?

    Jason Collin Reply:

    Hi Ben,

    For me, I don’t feel Japan is so beautiful, or at least it’s not so beautiful in comparison to other places. Some places in Japan may have a serene nature feeling, but I wouldn’t say anywhere I’ve been in Japan is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen (with regard to mountains, forests, beaches, etc.)

    Moving to Tokyo would be a move to make only if you really, really want to feel city life, and all the stress that comes with it. When I moved here from Korea, I was in the countryside in Korea, so I was totally up for some real city life. Now though I’m just sick of the grind of living in a metropolis.

    I’m thinking of moving to Santa Barbara maybe. I briefly lived in Claremont, about 30 minutes east of Pasadena.

    Video settings were: ISO 50, WB sun, NR on, and then exported from iMovie to Vimeo at 9,000kb/s encoding.

    Ben Reply:

    Hmm, San Jose is a city with a population of almost a million by itself butted up again other large population cities like Sunnyvale, Campbell, Milpitas, etc. and in close proximity to other places like San Francisco.

    Going from that to Sacramento, less people more fields, was a bit of a change. And now I am living in a city that has less than 100,000 people total after combing three other cities into itself. There’s only one other long term foreign resident here and I find that to be lucky!

    If/when we move to Tokyo, I think it will only be another stopping point along the way back home. Despite all the things I like here, I don’t think I could stand to live here past another 3-5 years with the kids.

  5. on November 7th, 2008 2:30 AM

    Nobody knows what the future holds (tomorrow can see anyone’s life change dramatically if the “right” chain of events unfolds), but I can’t imagine all of the final times I’ll participate in treasured activities here.

    Sounds like you’re pretty excited to go back, though. Hope all of your preparations go smoothly until the final day.

  6. on November 10th, 2008 1:00 AM

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