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Traditional Fishing in Hokkaido: Immersing in the Local Fishing Culture

The Traditional Fishing Practices in Hokkaido

Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan, offers a plethora of fishing opportunities, both for locals and tourists. The island has a rich fishing culture that is deeply intertwined in the history and lifestyle of the local people. One of the most popular traditional fishing practices in Hokkaido is Ayu fishing, which involves using a baited bamboo hook and fishing line to catch Ayu fish. Another famous technique is fly fishing, which is used to catch trout and other freshwater fish in the area’s many rivers. Crab and sea urchin fishing is also prevalent in Hokkaido, and many local fishermen still use traditional methods to catch these delicacies.

Immersion in the Local Fishing Culture

For tourists who wish to experience the local fishing culture, there are many fishing tours and experiences available. These tours allow visitors to learn traditional fishing techniques from the locals and take part in the daily life of Hokkaido’s fishing communities. One unique experience is the “ori-goto” or the traditional “net-setting” technique used by the fishermen in Hokkaido. Visitors can learn how to set up a net and fish like a local. Another popular experience is the “Zangi fishing” technique, which involves deep-frying fish while still attached to the hook. This method is quite popular in Hokkaido, and you can find a street stall selling zangi in nearly every town.


In conclusion, Hokkaido’s fishing culture is an essential part of the island’s identity, history, and local lifestyle. Participating in traditional fishing experiences in Hokkaido provides an immersive cultural experience that visitors cannot find anywhere else. So, when you visit Hokkaido, be sure to try one of these traditional fishing practices and feel the connection to the local people and nature.
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