JAPANESE LOVE AFFAIR
Norwegian surfer Leva Ozola fell in love with the magical surf and culture of Japan. On her travels she expressed her love of the islands by painting what she saw.
Japan is everything mashed together in perfect harmony: A fusion of Zen, neon, nature, spirituality and city life. During my three months there I fell head over heels in love. I began my journey in Kyushu, the southernmost island of Japan, mostly because of its great surfing beaches, and also because it’s slightly warmer than the northern areas of the country. Kyushu isn’t that touristy, so I met many local people and I’m deeply indebted to the owner of the Itoshima juice bar, Blue Roof, for lending me his friend’s surfboard. Not only did I discover that Nogita Beach was the best surfing beach in the area, I also shared some unforgettable surf sessions with a Japanese girl
named Akari. Itoshima is the go-to spot during the summer, when the warm water and colourful atmosphere draws more crowds than in the springtime.
The middle of my trip I spent miles from any beaches. Instead I dived deep into the culture and lived alongside local people in the rural Kume-Gin region. Here I stayed under the wing of a weaver called Toyomi, and her husband, who is a woodworker. With them I learned some traditional Japanese recipes, including how to make soba, miso soup and sushi. I also learned to weave with indigo yarn. I was fortunate to meet many amazing people and have a once-in-a-lifetime experience in this arts and crafts village.