Surfing is life!
Born in 1955, I was only 3months old when I discovered surfing for the first time. It was during a family trip in Kamakura. My dad was fascinated by the US navy who were enjoying surfing in Inamuragasaki. Then, my parents decided to move in Inamuragasaki. Everything started from here.
At 12, I stole my brother’s longboard and started to surf. Since then I became addicted to surfing!
“Surfing is like life. Every wave and every day are different. It’s now or never!”
At 17, I decided to learn more about surfing so I took a year off from high school and went to Hawaii by myself.
Plenty of beautiful meeting
My life is full of beautiful experience, things and people.
“Meeting” gave me everything.
In 1972, I met “Hawaii”. It was my first surf strip there, I was 17 years old.
During this trip, I had the chance to meet the famous shaper Dick Brewer, my future mentor. I was so excited that I asked him to shape my board. This is the moment I met my “magic board”.
After 10 years, I had the chance to shape one board in front of my mentor and show him my passion to shaping and surfing. After seeing it, Dick Brewer granted me to open “Brewer Hawaii” brand in Japan. Few years later, I started my owned company T-REEF Surfboard in Japan. Surfing shaping machine was the most common way in the industry but I persisted on doing 100% hand shape. And I met lot of surfers who needed magic boards.
Then, I met New Caledonia, a little paradise island. I had the chance to work as hotel manager and I moved there with my wife and my daughter. I also founded my own tourism company there. I was spending amazing days as surf coordinator and tour guide for Japanese tourists.
17 years of experiences and meetings in New Caledonia is the biggest reason why I started T-REEF Vacation House, and it’s my strongest power.
Mixture of attractive accommodation and experiential content.
produced by a Kamakura-native surfer
Kamakura Nouhaku Kyogikai Chairman
T-REEF Vacation House Manager
Born in Inamuragasaki, Kamakura City, Tadao Tominaga is an outstanding professional surfer and shaper. He started surfing when he was a sixth grader.
“I started surfing under the influence of my brother who is two years older than me. I’ve been surfing for over 50 years, ever since I saw my brother and US Navy sailors riding the waves off the coast.”
When he was 20, he started to pursue a career as a shaper.
“When I was 17 years old and in my junior year of high school, I went to Hawaii for the first time. There, I met my future mentor and world-famous shaper, Dick Brewer, who made me a surfboard. I brought it back to Japan and used it during a typhoon season in Inamura. I usually can’t go down well from the peak, and would parry*2 and wipeout*3, but with that board, it caught the wave at the peak, made a smooth bottom turn*4 and went through the wave with great speed. I was startled. I still get overwhelmed when I remember that feeling. The bigger the wave gets, the harder the condition is, the board made a difference. I wanted to make such a magic board*5 myself. That was the start.” Tominaga explained with a friendly smile. Tominaga visited Brewer from time to time for 10 years to learn his shaping skills and surfboard designs. 10 years later, he was officially recognized as his disciple and became a professional shaper.
*1 Shaper: Artisan who shapes surfboards. * 2 Parry: When the tip of the board sticks into the wave. * 3 Wipeout: when you can’t control the board and fall into the sea. * 4 Bottom turn: A turn made at the lowest position of a vertical wave. * 5 Magic board: a surfboard that perfectly suits and makes surfers’ dreams come true.
Tominaga launched T-REEF Surfboard when Brewer suggested him to establish his own brand, and moved to New Caledonia in 1996.
“For the first three years in New Caledonia, I worked as a manager of a small resort hotel. Around the same time, I started a local travel agency, and acted as a coordinator for tourists and surfers from Japan.”
In New Caledonia, Tominaga enjoyed the unique island lifestyle of the South Pacific. While surfing in the outer reef offshore, he often returned to Japan to shape surfboards. Later when his daughter went to France to attend university, he decided to concentrate on making surfboards with his friends in Japan. In 2017, he was suggested from a longtime acquaintance and founded an accommodation facility. He thought he could leverage his experience of working at a hotel and attending travelers in New Caledonia. That was the start of T-REEF Vacation House, named after Tominaga’s surfboard brand. In 2019, he took the position of Chairman of Kamakura Nouhaku Kyogikai, which aimed at the regional revitalization of his hometown Kamakura.
T-REEF Vacation House is a guest house providing extraordinary time and space.
T-REEF Vacation House started with the concept, “a place to experience extraordinary space and time”. Tominaga was familiar with serving guests, but things were different from the hotel business and travel business he experienced in New Caledonia. Providing hospitality to suit various customer needs was not easy at first. In particular, he struggled with promotion and setting prices at the right time.
Tominaga, who designs surfboards, led the designs of all five accommodation facilities at T-REEF Vacation House.
“The first facility, Blue Lagoon was inspired by the beach houses in New Caledonia and Hawaii where I used to live. The second one, Pine Tree, has a warm Latin feel designed around yellow, and the third one, Leaf, has a natural look of greenery. The fourth one, AMBER is a mixture of traditional Japanese house and modern Japanese vibe. Finally, the fifth one, Grand Bleu, was finished in white and dark blue, in the image of the Mediterranean Sea.”
Foreign tourists currently account for 60% of the guests who use the 5 unique facilities produced by Tominaga. About 80% of them are from Asian countries.
Offering Kamakura-specific, experiential contents along with accommodation.
Kamakura is one of Japan’s most popular tourist destinations, attracting over 20 million visitors every year. Tominaga wants the guests to relax at his guest house after sightseeing around shrines and temples with a rickshaw, enjoying marine sports, and eating out. Demand for accommodations is growing ahead of the Olympics.
“Ever since the launch, the facility has been used by many people from various countries including athletes, coaches, and crews for training camps and inspection for the Olympics. We have already received many reservations for this season as well.”
At the same time, regardless of the Olympics, Tominaga continues to promote the charms of Kamakura by hosting a surfing workshop in Shichirigahama. Depending on the level, an experienced surfer will teach beginners to advanced participants with much care for safety. Not only it’s an enjoyable activity for tourists, but it’s also a way of training the next generation of surfers.
“The sea for surfing, SUP, windsurfing, sailing and fishing. Mountains for hiking and trekking. Pleasant climate and great access from the center of Tokyo. Kamakura vegetables, shirasu (whitebait), and other delicious local food. All of these make Kamakura an enjoyable place for everyone, regardless of country, age or sex. When visiting Kamakura, please stay with us at T-REEF Vacation House. Let me introduce all the charms of Kamakura. We look forward to your visit.”
Tominaga, who loves to have fun and be around people, is planning various experiential contents in collaboration with local farmers, fishermen and restaurants.