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A Year in Review - Two Thousand Sixteen

January 20, 2017

2016 was a great year with big trips every month of the fishing season and some phenomenal hikes, rock climbs, mountain bike rides, and of course skiing thrown in the mix too. Here are a few of the highlights.

The New Year was kicked off with the incomparable Nozawa Onsen Fire Festival. What could possibly be more Japanese then turning a water theme park into a fishing resort? I kitted out my kei van with a swank camper interior that came in quite handy. My friend Junpei and I experienced true yugen during a fabulous ski trip to Akita and Iwate Prefectures. Probably my most favorite rock climbing crag in Japan has to be Ogawayama, and for good reason. I introduced my good friend to Tenkara in the headwaters of the Tone River. Then a month later we visited the old stomping grounds of the shokurayosha beneath the shadow of the impressive Torikabutosan. I discovered a fabulous fishing coop in my backyard at the TaniTaro River. I pursued the elusive Blue and White Flycatcher deep in the Tanzawa Mountains and discovered an ultra-remote stream loaded with ghost Iwana. My wife and I explored Hachijojima and the seldom visited Aogashima islands a few hundred kilometers off the coast of Japan. My good friend Kado-san and Wan-san and I finished off the fishing season with a bang by camping on the banks of a remote genryu deep in Oze National Park. Last, and certainly not least, I had the distinct honor of learning how to make bamboo Tenkara rods with Yamano-sensei and Ishii-san.

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Written by Isaac Tait who now lives in San Diego but dreams of returning, one day, to Japan. You should follow him on Twitter