Obtaining a fishing license (aka hituri ken  日釣 券 ) in Japan can be easy, as long as you know how to go about acquiring one.

  • First make sure the river is actually open for fishing. For more information seeing Keiryu Fishing Season


  • Next you need to find the place to acquire your hituri ken. Sometimes they are sold at convenience stores other times you buy them from a co-op volunteers home. Keep your eyes peeled for a yellow flag called yūryōken hanbaisyo (遊漁券 販売所).

  • Before purchasing a hituri ken you need to make sure it is for the section of the river you want to fish. Often times a river can be “owned” by several co-ops or Fisheries Cooperative Associations (aka 内水面漁業協同組合). For each section of the river you will need to buy a separate hituri ken.


  • A hituri ken typically cost anywhere from ¥500 – ¥4,400 per person per day and often have a restriction on how many fish you can keep.


  • Only rivers that are stocked by Fisheries Cooperative Association require a hituri ken. If you are fishing genryu and keiryu deep in the mountains you typically do not need one.


  • If you are supposed to have a hituri ken but do not know where to purchase one, do not despair often times you can buy them on the spot when asked by a volunteer.

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