You’ve got to hand it to the Japanese for their ingenuity. In the winter months, some of the water parks fill their pools with trout. One example is the Seibu-yen – the amusement park just about 15 minutes from base up by the Seibu Dome. I’ve fished both here and at Akigawa International Trout Fishing Grounds and both are about the same setup. It’s not cheap, but its easy. You can bring your own fishing poles, but it’s probably best just to use their tried and true rigs. Basically, you can show up with nothing and rent everything; but I do recommend bringing a hand rag and a needle nose pliers if you have them. They’ll rent you poles and bait and even give you a bucket or a bag for the live fish. At Akigawa, there was an old man walking around and helping the kids catch fish. It doesn’t get any easier than this. At the end of the day, you walk your fish to the kitchen and have them cleaned for free at Akigawa or ¥100 at Seibu. Both places have a restaurant and cafe and Seibu has charcoal grills and picnic tables to throw the fish on and eat right away. I was at Akigawa on a quiet day and nobody was cooking fish there, but they do have all kinds of cooking options. You can even rent a party gazebo with friends to cook and hangout all day. It’s also a comfortable place for non-fishing moms and dads to relax in the sun on a sunny day.
If you are looking to fish, I recommend starting at Akigawa. It’s a pretty 30 minute drive up the valley to a sunny spot on the river with artificial pools. Some English was spoken at Akigawa. The fish were surprisingly tasty for farm-raised fish. Beware: it’s hard to resist the rides at Seibu-yen; you’ll have to walk through the amusement park to get to the fishing pools. Both places charge for parking and all in all, it adds up. At Seibu, I paid for myself and my son. At Akigawa I paid for just my sons. Zeke Lyons – January 2018
Parking: ¥500 – ¥1000
Fishing: about ¥3000 + rentals + cleaning per person
No tolls on road to Akigawa
Akigawa English website: http://akigawagyokyo.or.jp/