We are Kochi-ke: Bruce Dillon | One with the Kuroshio waves

“I’ve been drawn to the waves for over 40 years. It’s hard to explain exactly why but I think there’s something about natural energy. There’s something about riding earth’s literal waves of energy that keeps me fired up no matter how many hours I’m out there. When I’m one with that rhythm, the waves are refilling every ounce of energy I’m dispensing, and I feel limitless. So, to me, it’s more than just a sport. Surfing is a way of life that not only brings me closer to nature, but also taps into an inherent and harmonious relationship I feel we’re all meant to share with the earth. With that, comes pure unadulterated joy.”
“Growing up surfing along the Gold Coast in Australia as a teenager, I knew I’d found something I would continue for the rest of my life. But it wasn’t until university that I discovered my true passion, which was to teach others the skills, and more importantly, the fun of riding waves. That led me to all kinds of surfing spots around the world, and eventually, the quaint town of Kuroshio in Kochi’s countryside where I would eventually settle for the next 27 years, and counting. Back then, it was mainly the uncrowded waves and affordability of living right next door to the ocean that immediately made me move here. But what made me stay, that’s another story.”
“Certainly, the pristine nature, welcoming surfing community, delicious food, and serene countryside life in Kochi are all important reasons I’ve found a home here. But there’s also something deeply fulfilling for me to witness the emerald Kochi water unlock a sense of childlike freedom for people here in ways that I haven’t really seen to the same degree anywhere else. There is a strong sense of formality, rule and social order to Japanese culture that informs the way someone might interact with their parents, elders, coworkers, and even strangers too. Although that comes with a lot of beauty, it can also put a lot of pressure on individuals to behave a certain way. But once you’re in the gentle Kuroshio water, that’s all gone. Free from daily stresses and totally present in the moment, the ocean gives you permission to be a child again.”
“Ever since opening Hata Surf Dojo in 2005, I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing that inner child come alive among so many of our participants. Oftentimes, whether it’s a fear of falling or whatever else, people also have to learn to be bold and brave when trying something as new as surfing for the first time. It can be challenging, but that’s what brings people the biggest and proudest of smiles when they succeed, and believe me, anyone can do it. I’m here to make sure you’re safe and equipped with the proper tools you need to take that leap of faith in yourself, so I hope you come visit and experience the pure liberation of being one with the Kuroshio waves.”

“We are Kochi-ke (Kochi family)” is all about highlighting the stories of the people who make us proud to call Kochi our home. Whether you are living in Kochi now or have only visited once, you are part of the Kochi family.

About 1.5 hours from Kochi City by car, Bruce’s Hata Surf Dojo is located along one of the most beautiful beaches in Shikoku. The 4-kilometer Irino Beach is known for its gentle waves, which makes it the ideal surfing spot for beginners.
Hata Surf Dojo: https://www.hatasurfdojo.com/
After an active beach day, treat yourself to delicious charcoal-grilled unagi (eel) at Shimantoya, just 20 minutes from Hata Surf Dojo by car! Learn more: https://visitkochijapan.com/en/topics/1148
  • We are Kochi-ke: Bruce Dillon | One with the Kuroshio waves

  • We are Kochi-ke: Bruce Dillon | One with the Kuroshio waves

  • We are Kochi-ke: Bruce Dillon | One with the Kuroshio waves