• Kyodo


A 73-year-old man successfully completed a 30-km swim Wednesday between Honshu and Hokkaido, making him the oldest swimmer to achieve the feat.

Toshio Tominaga, of Hiroshima, reached the town of Fukushima in Hokkaido at around 3:30 p.m. after departing from the Tsugaru Peninsula around 5:30 a.m.

“I will just give it my best shot and finish this swimming challenge for sure,” he said before setting off.

According to Ocean-Navi, which supports swimmers in their bid to cross the Tsugaru Strait between Aomori Prefecture and Hokkaido, a 56-year-old Mexican man previously was the oldest to make the crossing.

The Tsugaru Strait is one of the so-called Ocean’s Seven long-distance open-water swims, similar to the likes of the English Channel and the Cook Strait, which are popular challenges for marathon swimmers.

Since 2008, some 50 groups and people have tried to cross the Tsugaru Strait, Ocean-Navi said. Last month, a female high school student shattered the record for youngest person to swim across the strait at age 18.

Tominaga, an experienced open-water swimmer, swam across the Bosphorus in Turkey in 2009, though he fell several kilometers short of completing the crossing of the Strait of Dover between Britain and France in 2013.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.