My Tokyo Guide
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Updated: August 30, 2023
A guide to the best urban fishing spots in central Tokyo and beyond. Benkei Fishing Club and Ichigaya Fish Center are fishing centers in Tokyo for both novice and serious anglers, as well as a breath of fresh air amongst the urban sprawl of the Japanese capital. Hachijo Island and Miyake Island are perfect weekend getaways with tropical fish and stunning island scenery.
One of the most unusual points about the Benkei Fishing Club is that when you are sitting next to the water with your rod in hand, amongst other keen anglers, you can see the Metropolitan Expressway situated above. It's a curious site and one which is, perhaps, unique to Tokyo. The juxtaposition of fishing, nature and a main transportation thoroughfare is what makes Tokyo an interesting site for fishing. Benkei Fishing Club's water is full of black bass, rainbow trout, bluegill, snakehead and carp. Although it's a "club," it's open to the public for some very reasonable rates, with fishing on the deck only ¥520 for half an hour, or by boat for ¥1,700 an hour. Rods and bait are also available for rental and very helpful staff are on hand to assist novices or anyone who needs any support.
Strangely peaceful, despite being surrounded by hotels, office buildings and an expressway, it's a lovely way to enjoy some quiet time in the city. An oasis that's ideal for any fishing fanatics, it's also a pleasant way to enjoy fishing for first-timers or anyone with even a passing interest.
In operation since the 1950s, Ichigaya Fish Center is, much like its Akasaka cousin, a peculiar spot. Dwarfed by huge buildings and offices on one side and the Chuo/Sobu Line on the other, it's a magical pocket of Shinjuku which just so happens to lend itself to a bit of fishing. In addition to its goldfish pond for children and novices, the complex holds five larger carp-filled pools, a shop and an aquarium with fish for sale.
For kids and beginners, the goldfish area is a nice introduction to the world of angling. Visitors to this area are set a challenge to catch as many goldfish as possible in a set time period. These can be taken home for a small fee, however most customers release them back in the water. Prices for mini-fishing begin at ¥500 for a 30-minute session, with a ¥100 charge for taking up to two goldfish home.
The larger pools are mainly used by the more experienced and serious anglers. Using upturned crates as seats, the old-timers who congregate in these spaces are eager to get their hands on some of the huge carp which swim in these waters. The carp fishing fee for adults ranges from ¥780 for an hour to ¥2,910 for a whole-day session. On weekdays, the center opens at 11 am, and on the weekend it opens at 9 am. As business hours depend on the season, check the official website before you visit.
If you're looking for a fishing paradise outside of the city, visit Hachijo Island, one of 11 islands to the south of Tokyo Bay. It takes around 55 minutes by plane, or 10 hours and 20 minutes by ferry. With clear blue water and stunning scenery, it's the perfect spot for fishing, and attracts many keen anglers due to the variety of fish in the local sea. There are fishing stores (and rental options) aplenty on the island, and it's a lovely and peaceful break from the stresses of big city life. Sea fishing boats can also be rented in this spectacular setting.
Miyake Island can be reached in about 50 minutes by plane from Chofu Airport in Tokyo, or in about 6 and a half hours by passenger ship from Takeshiba Pier. Miyake Island boasts waters from the Kuroshio Current and you can enjoy fishing all year round. The dense schools of fish will ensure that even those who are new to fishing can enjoy battling with these aquatic creatures. You can even fish for large monster-class species that occasionally appear. Your heart will tremble with delight every time you visit Miyake Island. There are shops on the island where you can rent fishing gear, and even beginners can enjoy the fishing here.