I caught a tautog when I was 6 years old; that was the height of my fishing career. The subsequent lack of production can’t be blamed on a decline in my skills. No, I have just as much ability as my 6-year old self! Rather, I just stopped fishing. Despite not engaging in fishing, I quite like to watch others do it. It’s like watching people nap, they look so relaxed.
Do people in Tokyo generally looked relaxed? Maybe not. But they can always take up fishing!
1) Ichigaya Fishing Center 市ヶ谷フィッシュセンター (map)
The Ichigaya Fishing Center is probably the best-known fishing spot in central Tokyo. For 750 yen per hour you can enjoy carp fishing or, if you prefer, you can try your hand at Mini Fishing ミニ・フィッシング (goldfish 金魚 and small carp 小さな鯉), which is targeted at women and children. The Ichigaya Fishing Center is popular because it is centrally located. Literally, surrounded by Ichigaya Station 市ヶ谷駅, the fishing pond is just steps from four train lines: Chuo-Sobu Line, Yurakucho Line, Namboku Line, and Shinjuku Line.
The fishing park from above…
Ichigaya fishing center in 1967 (source):
2) Sendaiborigawa park 仙台堀川公園 （せんだいぼりがわこうえん） (map)
This fishing park is a humble oasis in the flat, canal-bound expanse of Koto-ku. I walked by one sunny day and was too considerate (or embarrassed) to take photos of the old men as they enjoyed their weekend fishing. Here’s a pic from a relatively quiet day at the pond (source):
And a sneaky Streetview pic:
3) Tsuribori Musashinoen (Suginami-ku, map)
Tsuribori Musashinoen つり堀 武蔵野園 / 釣り堀 武蔵野園 / ツリボリムサシノエン sits on a bend of the Zenpukijigawa river that is particularly lush due to the river’s history of flooding and natural shape. Look at maps from 1948 and you’ll see a wider, meandering river with multiple channels. The river was “tamed”, pushing the water into a single path, and turning the surrounding channels and marshes into park land, including Wadabori Park. As a result, the river’s banks are serene and uncrowded, without the buildings that normally crowd Tokyo’s rivers and canals. We are 30-35 minutes to Shibuya station by train, but you wouldn’t guess it.
The buildings of Tsuribori Musashinoen sit on the banks of the former river, and look like they’ve been here for quite some time:
The fishing area can be seen from north side of the building, out back:
Fishing price chart:
In addition to fishing facilities, there is a restaurant/food court with decent reviews on Tabelog.
I had forgotten about this place until I recently watched the 2011 film, About the Pink Sky ももいろそらを. An important early scene is filmed at the fishing spot…
…the scene continues in front of the store, with a clear view of the ninja popcorn vending machine 忍者型のポップコーン自販機:
I was so excited about the ninja, I had to buy some. It was very buttery.
4. Ukima fishing moat park 浮間つり堀公園
Located on a bend of the Sumida River, the Ukima fishing moat park is an oasis of trees amidst the generally greyer streets of Kita-ku (map).
5. Benkei Fishing Club 弁慶フィッシングクラブ (website)
See more about this location: Times have changed: Akasaka Mitsuke (1949, 1963, 2013) 赤坂見附 交差点
6. Amuse Park Adachi Amazing Square store アミューズパーク足立 アメージングスクエア店
- Managed fishing spots in Japan: http://www.turinavi.info/tech/
- Shurakuen: one of the last remaining Tsuribori in Tokyo (つりぼり衆楽園)
Glossary & Definitons:
- 釣り場 = fishing spot / fishing location
- 釣り堀 / つり堀 = fishing hole, fishing moat, fishing spot, fishing pool (pronounced つりぼり, tsuribori)
- 管理釣り = managed fishing / management fishing;
- The following description of ‘Management Fishing’ is translated from a helpful blog (link): “Management fishing refers to a fishing spot in an artificially created pond or river, or with regularly released fish in a separated section of the river, with a fishing fee. There are facilities such as toilets and rest house, shop, fish processing plant…The customers have a variety of skill-sets and the environment is sufficient for first-time fishers. These sites are also used as a site for company barbecues.”
- Another picture of Sendaiborigawa Park (source):
- Zenpukuji-gawa – green belt along an urban stream
- つり堀武蔵野園 （杉並区） Fishing moat Musashino Park (Suginami) (blog with pictures)
- Tabelog listing for Tsuribori Musashinoen つり堀 武蔵野園
- Walking on water: the underground rivers of Tokyo 東京の地下河川や運河の地図 (history of Tokyo’s former rivers)
Fishing in Tokyo:
- 東京の魚釣りが出来る公園 Tokyo Fishing Parks (this seems like the most comprehensive list)
- 管理釣り場 Managed fishing in Tokyo
- 釣り堀 Fishing holes in Tokyo
- “Urban Fishing” (Unmissable Japan)
- “Fishing in Tokyo: Where to drop your line in the city” (CNN)
- Tokyo Fly Fishing & Country Club
- 【東京近郊】都会で魚釣り！？東京で！横浜で！釣りができる穴場スポット10選！ [Tokyo suburbs] fishing in the city! ? In Tokyo! In Yokohama! Little-known spot spot 10 election can fishing!
- An old man fishing in the Hanami River in Chiba (source):