For several months now julius had voiced his wish of going fishing sometime (for his birthday) and Ritsu located this great place in the not too distant ‘mountains’.
A bit more than an hour by several trains and then 20 minutes on a local bus and we reached Akigawa International Trout Fishing, which is fishery located in a bend in the river dedicated to releasing smallish trouts for capture. They (the trout) kindly stay in the natural basins instead of quickly vanishing downstream. Getting a ‘permit’ and a a rod costs 33$ p.p. And pretty much everything else is extra, like the bait, 5$ for 20 juicy maggots or 3$ for a mini tin of ikura, which is for some people easier to handle, but also gets off the hook easier.
We got very lucky that besides us there was only one other party. As we heard later, on a high season Sunday the visitor number goes up to 700! We also got super lucky with the weather. Currently everyone is talking about the typhoon and there was even talk of canceling the whole trip (and still pay 50% for nothing) fearing that the storm would shut down the trains. But nothing like that happened, during our time we had 2 minimal showers that were more refreshing than annoying and only after we had left, a short torrential rain came.
The actual fishing was a lot of fun, especially for Julius. They had dropped some new fish in just for us, before the scheduled time of 1pm and so there was no long wait and everyone had some success (Utako and Obachan were with us). The natural setting is wonderful and we got to see huge birds and a mama monkey with her little ones.
When we had plenty of fish, the friendly fish people cleaned them for us and rented us a pretty barebones grill for 30$ plus would and coal for another 10$ and we started the fire.
Julius obviously had some kind of epiphany, being so close to the process of catching, killing, eating that initially he did not want to eat. But I could convince him that the fish are doing their lives’ purpose and that their mind will simply move on to a new vessel. I knew that because I was talking to one of the fish when I thanked him for being our meal. Ritsu had also talked to him when he was sulking on a big rock.
This whole activity was a huge success and we were happy and ready to get to our ryokan. The kind manager of the fish place offered us a ride in his shiny new SUV, even made a stop for us at a place that still makes paper the old fashioned way, which was a nice distraction (and we had nothing else scheduled for this afternoon).
Very curious when we will get to fish again.