Fishing and Angling in Tokyo

Information on fishing, angling sea fishing around Tokyo, including contacts for local fishing associations and information about permits...

The aquatic life in Tokyo bay and the surrounding waters is abundant and diverse. The sea and fishing is an important aspect of day-to-day life in Japan. The government has always set a high priority on maintaining fisheries and fishery resources.

This page provides information on locations, species of fish and rules and regulations for sea fishing and fresh-water fishing, as well as fishing clubs and associations in Tokyo.

It is important to check weather reports before setting out to fish as weather conditions can change rapidly.

Sea Fishing

No fishing licence is required for saltwater fishing in Japan, except for commercial fishing operations.

Sea fish species

The three most prevalent fish in Tokyo Bay are the Japanese sea perch, sea bream and flounder. Other fish commonly caught in Tokyo Bay include albacore tuna, skipjack tuna, yellowtail tuna, sea bass, mahi mahi, mackerel, octopus, squid and horse mackerel.

Freshwater Fishing

No fishing licence is required for freshwater fishing in Japan; however, a fishing permit must be purchased to fish most lakes or rivers. The fee for the permit goes to the local fishery cooperative of each area. The cooperative maintains the fishery and usually stocks it with fish. Permits can be purchased at tackle shops and at some convenience stores. Some rivers have several different cooperatives depending on the section of the river, and require a separate permit for each section. The best source of information is a local tackle shop or convenience store.

The fishing season is generally from the first weekend in March until the end of September. Prices vary greatly depending on the river or area.

Freshwater fish species

Most fresh water fishing in Tokyo is done in stocked ponds. The species are usually bass, bluegill, carp and trout. There are two species of trout that are native to Japan - the Yamame trout and Iwana trout (also known as Japanese char). They can be found in the streams and rivers of Japan's mountains.

Catch restrictions

Most areas have catch restrictions that vary depending on the area. The best source of information is the local tackle shop. In addition, most fisheries consider bass (both largemouth and smallmouth bass) to be harmful to the ecosystem. Therefore, the catching and releasing of bass is usually prohibited. Normally, if you catch a bass you cannot return it to the water.

Tackle shops and fishing stores

There are numerous tackle and fishing shops in the Tokyo area.

Local Fishing Areas

There are a number of charter companies offering small group fishing tours and fishing over the weekend, for example in the Izu islands.

Benkei Fishing Club: This fishing club is located on the river just below the expressway in central Tokyo. It uses a section of what used to be a secondary moat for the Imperial Palace and is stocked with largemouth bass and rainbow trout.

  • Benkei Fishing Club (website in Japanese)
    : 4-26 Kioi-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
    Tel: 03 3238 0012
    Open: Every day 09:00-18:00

Ichigaya Fishing Centre: There are two ponds available - one for adults stocked with carp, and the other pond is for children stocked with carp and goldfish. Rod rentals are available and there is also an aquarium to view different fish species.

  • Ichigaya Fishing Centre (website in Japanese)
    : 1-1 Ichigaya Tamachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-0843
    Tel: 03 3260 1324
    Open: Every day 09:00-20:00

Ongata Bass Fishing Pond: Small spring-fed pond stocked with bass and rainbow trout.

  • Ongata Bass Fishing Pond (website in Japanese)
    : 923 Nishiterakata-cho, Hachioji-ku, Tokyo
    Tel: 042 651 3218
    Open: Every day 09:00-17:00

Shinagawa Fishing Garden: Carp fishing pond nearby the Shinagawa train station with fishing pole rental available.

  • Shinagawa Fishing Garden (website in Japanese)
    : 3-13-3 Shinagawa Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0074
    Tel: 03 6915 4460
    Open: Monday to Friday 11:00-21:00, Saturday and Sunday 09:00-21:00

Fishing around the Odaiba and Ariake area: There are several designated fishing spots around Odaiba and Ariake that are free of charge.

  • For a map of the area: Click here (fishing areas not displayed here, but a good overview map)

Fishing Clubs and Associations