What’s the best way to practice social distance while still doing something thrilling and being able to see the world from a new perspective at the same time? If you’re not afraid of heights and have a few thousand yen to burn, paragliding around the beaches of Shonan should be on your bucket list.
Powered paragliding is a form of ultralight aviation where the pilot wears a back-mounted motor (a paramotor), which provides enough thrust to take off using a paraglider. Though it looks like nothing more than a giant parachute with a go-kart engine and propeller in a backpack, there’s a lot more than meets the eye in terms of the technology in these machines. Of course, it helps to have a seasoned pilot and mechanics to keep everything in operating condition.
Perhaps the best scenery for this type of activity is being able to fly just off the Shonan coastline and see the waves crashing into the ocean, surfers riding their crests, and a lovely view of Mt Fuji off in the distance if the weather permits. Shonan Sky Sports has been doing this sort of thing since 1985. Should you get the notion to take up the sport as a new hobby, you may also inquire about lessons, licensing, and so forth from SSS; they are also a full-service shop with instructors and mechanics in Hiratsuka. There are packages available starting at ¥6000/person on up, with flight time being the main variable.
There are certain things to take into consideration before getting off the ground:
Because reservations must be taken in advance for preparations to be made, please head over to the Activity Japan website produced by the HIS travel agency. They handle all booking in English for Shonan Sky Sports.
Photos via Shonan Sky Sports/HIS