Tokyobling's Blog

Fishing at Enoshima

Posted in Animals, Nature, Places by tokyobling on January 23, 2014

In the 1970s Japan experienced a boom in sport fishing. All over the country men (and some women) would spend all weekends, for years and years, on fishing in rivers, lakes and on the oceans. Walk into any Japanese book store and try to count the dozens of dozens of fishing related magazines and you will start to understand the scope of the national interest in fishing. You are also likely to find fishing goods stores in any town in Japan. As the saying goes in the US, “it is a one horse town”, the saying in Japan might possibly be “it is a one fishing good store town”. If you are ever trying to bond with a Japanese man over 50, talking about either fishing or golf is almost certain to be a hit. These days the fishing craze has subdued a little. Young people are not so interested in it anymore, a fact which is visible in the recent demise of one of Japan’s longest running movie series, the Tsuribaka Nisshi (“The Fishing Maniac’s Diary”) of 21 movies (starring Toshiyuki Nishida, in my humble opinion one of the finest Japanese actors of all time and fantastically underrated abroad).

Even though, go to any body of water in the country and you’re bound to see a bunch of fishermen, around the clock. Some are doing it to relax, others as a way to spend their retirement and to get out of the house, others are doing it to put food on the table (the unemployed and homeless). I saw these well equipped sports fishermen at the far shore of Enoshima Island in Kanagawa Prefecture south-west of Tokyo. I saw them catch all kinds of fish, some squids and once even a large octopus. I hope to join one of my fishing friends some day for a proper boat trip out on the ocean!

The last photo is just a lucky shot of one of the original fishers of Japan – the bird of prey circling over the ocean with Mount Fuji in the background.

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19 Responses

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  1. Hangaku Gozen said, on January 23, 2014 at 4:55 am

    The photo of the older man with the long pole reminded me of my father, who used to love “rock poking,” fishing from rocks set next to tidal pools and pockets of seashore where fish liked to swim and feed. Unfortunately, he stopped fishing years ago, largely because many of his “fishing buddies” had died or were no longer able to go out due to health problems. I think the decline in his health and mental faculties are due to not fishing—it used to get him out of the house and to the beautiful ocean, where he would socialize with other fisherfolk and sometimes catch a fish or two. So do go out to sea and try some fishing. You’ll probably enjoy it!

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    • tokyobling said, on January 29, 2014 at 5:32 am

      Rock poking! Thanks for teaching me the vocabulary for it! I hope I get the chance to experience it first hand some day, although I would probably feel sorry for the fish… (^-^;)

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  2. iloveyoutoos said, on January 23, 2014 at 4:59 am

    I love your writing on this experience and your affinity for these fishermen. Hopefully you do go out on a boat one day, I’m sure your photographs would be amazing. I’m especially drawn to #1,3, and 6 in the series. (I really enjoy how the poles seem to be drawn together at a central point in 6.)

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    • tokyobling said, on January 29, 2014 at 5:35 am

      Thank you! You are much too kind. I have no trouble sitting for hours just watching them. Watching fishing is probably very similar to actually doing it. And I don’t have to worry about the catch! I agree also, these situations are very photogenic with the large groups of shadows and color as well as straight lines and movement…!

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  3. Shelli@howsitgoingeh? said, on January 23, 2014 at 5:05 am

    Those are some serious fishing rods! My grandfather + grandmother’s families immigrated to America from Wakayama. Now that I’m in Vancouver, I’ve discovered a huge Wakayama community that shaped British Columbia’s fishing industry!

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    • tokyobling said, on January 29, 2014 at 5:35 am

      I had no idea! All those Wakayamians in British Columbia?! It would be great to hear them speak Japanese. They must have kept the old dialect alive! (^-^)

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  4. dragonlife said, on January 23, 2014 at 5:09 am

    Great pics as usual, especially the monochrome!
    I often travel to Enoshima!
    Have you ever noticed these bi-lingual board notices telling people to beware of kites, and not feedingthem?

    Like

  5. maikaefer said, on January 23, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Hat dies auf Maikaefer's Weblog rebloggt.

    Like

  6. Yousei Hime said, on January 23, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Even knowing how silly anime can be, I found this one http://youtu.be/CQBw_XrZWkw to be quite charming. Its a story about fishing, friendship, and saving the world . . . all in Enoshima. Love your pictures.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on January 29, 2014 at 5:41 am

      How cute! High school kids into fishing in Enoshima. I must try and see at least part of it (^-^) Thank you for the link and for the kind comment!

      Like

  7. Barbra & Jack Donachy said, on January 23, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    What a great-looking fishing venue. Thanks for this post. Reminds me of some of my old stomping grounds fishing from the rocks in coastal Japan! Jack

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on January 29, 2014 at 5:42 am

      Thank you for the kind comment Jack! Where did you fish? Your cooking must have been amazing over here! (^-^)

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      • Barbra & Jack Donachy said, on January 31, 2014 at 2:16 am

        I was only a middling cook back in my Japan days, but the love I developed for Japanese food has influenced my cooking (not to mention our table settings) ever since. I used to fish the sandy beaches and sea walls near Hiratsuka for suzuki (sea bass) and other species. I also lived in Nanao for a while and fished the rocky coasts (and Nanao Bay) for various rockfish species as well as porgy (kurodai). And I lived on the shores of Kasumigaura where the bass & bluegill fishing was very good. I also traveled to the mountains of Mie Prefecture to fish for trout, to Lake Biwa and other places for bass, and fished several places for carp. I loved all of it!

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        • tokyobling said, on January 31, 2014 at 5:48 am

          You are well traveled – and probably an excellent fisherman by now! (^-^;)

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  8. Dina Farmer said, on January 23, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    All of this are amazing! I love this shots!

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    • tokyobling said, on January 29, 2014 at 5:43 am

      Thank you Dina! You must visit the next time you come to Japan! (^-^)/

      Like

  9. romainboitier said, on January 24, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Black and white pictures are surrealistic, think one of the best b&w you done.

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