During the summer Toshimaen Amusement Park is a favorite spot for Tokyo’s residents to cool off. With a water park and an amusement park side by side it is kind of like Six Flags or Busch Gardens, just with not as many max adrenaline roller coaster rides. It’s a family friendly place. However, during the winter when it is much too cold to attract any business, Toshimaen converts many of its water park attractions into habitat for Rainbow, Yamame, Iwana, Amago, Brown Trout, Brook Trout, and Albino Trout! The fish are grown in the waters flowing from Mount Fuji and then trucked into Tokyo where they live out the winter in the ultra unique Toshimaen Fishing Park!
When I first read about this place on Kawasaki Fly Fishing I couldn’t believe it and had to go see it for myself.
The water park is a very short walk from the Toshimaen Station (there are actually two Toshimaen Stations – one for the Oedo Line and the other for the Seibu-Toshima Line. They are right next to each other so no matter which one you arrive at it is a very short walk to the park entrance). Follow the signs of the happy fishing family, surrounded by huge trout, then walk under the massive steel I-beam structure supporting a vast network of water-slide fiberglass pipes. Once you’re on the other side you are greeted by rather large man made “natural current” river, a surf wave pool, and a kiddie pool filled with murky brown water and loaded with happy splashing fish…
It is pretty wild to be fishing in the middle of an amusement park. Just on the other side of the fence was an outdoor ice skating rink and a giant swing called “Flying Pirates!”. There was also a pack of feral cats wandering the premises “meowing” incessantly for a fish (or maybe an onigiri). I picked up a 1 hour fishing ticket for ¥1,100 and rigged my Tenkara rod. I began working my way around the man made river with the sounds of the oxygenation fountains, meowing cats,hip hop from the ice skating rink, and the occasional rising fish soothing me into a nice rhythm.
I visited mid week and the place was surprisingly a little crowded. Luckily I was one of six fly anglers and the rest were bait and lure so I didn’t have to finagle my way into a spot.
I did manage to catch one fly in a nearby tree (just like out in the mountains!) but I quickly retrieved it. I blamed one of the cats for the mishap and it quickly scampered away.
After working the fly section for a full hour and only getting two strong bites I decided to wander around a bit and see the rest of the fishing park.
Fishing in a surf wave pool! Crazy, and certainly not something you see everyday. On the left it was lure anglers only, on the right fly anglers only. The three fly anglers who were there made it pretty clear that they didn’t want a Tenkara angler encroaching on the space they needed for their 20+ meter casts so I just watched them from the sidelines for awhile…
I hadn’t brought any waders and didn’t want to deal with the turf war so I opted not to pay for another hour and headed back to the train station. There was a carp river I had heard about that wasn’t too far away and I wanted to check it out…
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