Catch and Eat Ayu Sweetfish on the Nagara River in Gifu

Overview

Ayu have been prized for their sweet taste and refreshing scent. These fish are a valuable protein source and live only in clear streams. On the pristine Nagara River, catch your lunch and cook it with locally-grown vegetables in this experience.

Highlights

  • Discover the "Ayu of the Nagara River System," a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS)
  • Try catching ayu in the traditional “tomozuri” (live decoy fishing) style
  • Enjoy the fish’s unique taste with locally grown vegetables
  • Learn how to skewer and cook ayu

Key Information

Description

Ayu sweetfish are beloved for their sweet taste and commonly cooked on a skewer over an open fire. On this activity, you’ll visit Ayu Park on Gifu’s Nagara River and try your hand at catching one of these delicious fish the traditional way. The area is recognized by the UN as the "Ayu of the Nagara River System," a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS). This designation reflects the efforts of local people to use traditional, sustainable farming methods and preserve the river's diverse ecosystem and crystal-clear waters for generations to come. Ayu Park was awarded the Sasutena Award for sustainable practices by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries for 2020. The “tomozuri” fishing style involves using a live ayu fish to attract others. If you’re successful, you’ll have earned your lunch! Even if you don’t manage to catch a fish, you’ll be able to eat a farmed one from the park. Next, you’ll skewer your fish, watch it cook over a charcoal fire, then enjoy its unique taste alongside locally-grown produce. This activity is available daily from June 15–October 30, starting at either 10:00 or 11:00. A sample schedule is as follows. 11:00 – Meet at Ayu Park 11:15 – Watch a video about the Nagara River and ayu fish 11:35 – Tomozuri fishing. Approx. 20 minutes per person 12:25 – Skewer and prepare ayu 13:00 – Lunch 13:45 – Activity ends