From Openwaterpedia
Ion Lazarenco Tiron course across the Tsugaru Channel from Kodomari Benten Cape on Honshu to Shirakami Misaki on Hokkaido on 25 July 2017 in 11 hours 20 minutes in northern Japan
Honshu, the main island of Japan
Stephen Redmond swimming in the Tsugaru Channel off of Honshu on his quest for the Oceans Seven, captured in the film Defeating Oceans Seven by Red Bull Media House
73-year-old Toshio Tominaga at start of Tsugaru Channel crossing in northern Japan on Honshu

Honshu (本州 in Japanese) is the largest island of Japan. Japan's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Channel, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Straits. It is the seventh largest island in the world, and the second most populous after Java in Indonesia.

It has a population of 103 million in 2005, (98,352,000 as of 1990; in 1975 it was 89,101,702), mostly concentrated in the available lowlands, notably in the Kantō plain where 25% of the total population reside in the Greater Tokyo Area, which includes Tokyo and Yokohama, Kawasaki, Saitama and Chiba cities. Most of the nation's industry is located along the belt running from Tokyo along Honshu's southern coastal cities, including Kyoto, Osaka, Nagoya, Kobe, and Hiroshima, part of the Taiheiyo Belt.

The economy along the northwestern coast by the Sea of Japan is largely fishing and agriculture.

Eminent historical centers include Kyoto, Nara, and Kamakura.

Oceans Seven

Honshu is the traditional starting point of the channel swims across the Tsugaru Channel and the least known of the Oceans Seven challenges. The Oceans Seven is open water swimming's equivalent of mountaineering's Seven Summits which are the highest mountains in each of the seven continents. It includes the:

1. North Channel between Ireland and Scotland
2. Cook Strait between the North and South Islands of New Zealand
3. Molokai Channel between Oahu and Molokai Islands in Hawaii, U.S.A.
4. English Channel between England and France
5. Catalina Channel in Southern California, U.S.A.
6. Tsugaru Channel between the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido in northern Japan
7. Strait of Gibraltar between Europe (Spain) and Africa (Morocco)

Achieving the Oceans Seven requires an ability to swim in both very cold and very warm seas and a tremendous amount of planning, time, financial resources and multi-national support teams of knowledgeable local experts.


Video of Brad McVetta crossing the Tsugaru Channel from Honshu to Hokkaido, courtesy of Masayuki Moriya of Ocean-navi and the Tsugaru Channel Swimming Association

Video of Adam Walker crossing the Tsugaru Channel from Honshu to Hokkaido

Open Water Swimming

Honshu is site of dozens of open water swimming competitions including those conducted by the Japan International Open Water Swimming Association and the Shonan Open Water Swimming event.

The 2014 Shonan Open Water Swimming event was held on 31 August 2014 with over 1,400 athletes in attendance.

Sado Island to Honshu

Ocean Navi team of Kumiko Koizumi, Masamichi Taniuchi, Tamotsu Yoshida, Noriko Kawasaki, Minori Tanaka, Takaomi Modegi, Yukie Makino, Terumi Nakayama and Satoko Murata completed a relay crossing of the Sado Channel from Sado Island to the Japanese mainland of Honshu in 13 hours 7 minutes 4 seconds on 13 June 2018.

External links