Looking for fishing spots near Tokyo? There are lots to choose from — including the bay, lakes, rivers, and streams. This means anglers have plenty of saltwater and freshwater options to dip their toes (and lines) into.

Here, we’ve listed favorite fishing spots that are within three hours of Tokyo by train, and are publicly accessible. They’re grouped by area, for ease of planning. We’ve also included information on where you can get the necessary fishing permits.

Pro tip: Bass Fishing Japan is a great resource to check out, too.

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Central Tokyo — Inner-city fresh and saltwater fishing

There are two popular places to go fishing in Tokyo itself. You can also book a fishing day tour, which might just be the most convenient option.

Benkeibashi Boat Pier

Chiyoda Ward
Ginza/Marunouchi/Hanzomon/Yurakucho/Namboku lines
Under 1 hour from Shinjuku

Maybe you’re in the mood for a quick spot of inner-city freshwater fishing? Benkeibashi Boat Pier is the place for you. A small former moat of Edo Castle, this facility has been converted into a close-to-home fishing spot. Kept restocked by the Benkei Fishing Club, you can fish for trout, bass, and carp at this fisher’s haven in Asakusa.

The club charges a fee based on the amount of time you spend fishing, and their full fee list is on their website. Dockside fishing is ¥490 per 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can head out on a boat for ¥1,700 an hour, or ¥3,500 for a full day. They also have a wide selection of rods, bait, and lures available for rent. If you want to be sure you’ll have space to fish, you can also call and reserve, which we recommend for busy weekends.

Photo by Greg Lane

Getting there

Getting to the Benkeibashi Boat Pier is easy for any Tokyoite. You can take the Ginza or Marunouchi metro lines to Akasaka-Mitsuke Station, and from there, it’s a five-minute walk. Alternatively, take the Hanzomon, Yurakucho, or Namboku Metro Lines to Nagatacho Station, then it’s a six-minute walk.

Tokyo Bay

Tokyo
JR lines or Tokyo Metro
Under 1 hour from Shinjuku

If you want to do saltwater fishing, you don’t have to go far — you can fish right in Tokyo Bay. It’s been a hub for fishermen for at least the last 300 years, and probably longer. Since you’re in the city, there’s easy access to fishing stores, and most piers are easily accessible by public transport. If you’re feeling extra motivated, you can also charter a boat to take you out into the bay and fish with less competition.

There’s no permit fee needed to fish in Tokyo Bay, although individual piers may charge for access. You can also pay for boat charters or fishing tours — there are plenty available and you can choose what extras you want.

One thing to note is that the bay is regulated to keep commercial operations safe and to preserve wildlife. You are asked to keep away from commercial fishing operations, and not to overfish, among other things. You can check the full list of fishing regulations on the Tokyo municipal website.

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Getting there

If you’d like to fish in Tokyo Bay, just head to the waterside. This can be anywhere from Shinagawa to Odaiba, or even near-ish Tokyo Station. Finding an available pier can be difficult, especially in crowded areas, so we recommend planning in advance. If you’re going with a chartered boat or on a fishing tour, they will provide instructions on where to meet and what to bring.

Fishing the Kuroshio current off the Chiba coast. | Photo by Gregory Lane

Chiba Prefecture — Mountain surrounds and Pacific Ocean angling

There are three main fishing spots we recommend in Chiba.

Lake Kameyama

Kimitsu, Chiba Prefecture
JR Sobu Line, then local bus
2 hours, 30 minutes from Shinjuku

Heading east from Tokyo to the other side of Toyo Bay takes you out to Chiba Prefecture and Lake Kameyama. A must-see in autumn for the vivid reds and oranges of its lush natural setting, it’s also a popular fishing spot. As it’s a mountain-fed lake, you can expect to catch bass, carp, and trout.

Lake Kameyama has no fishing permit fees to pay. However, since the surrounding area is mostly woodland, anglers tend to take boats on the lake to fish. The city website has a list of local businesses that offer both boat hire and equipment rentals. Most of them have no English support, so it’s worth arranging and reserving your boat and equipment before you leave home.

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Lake Kameyama. | Photo by Getty Images

Getting there

Driving is the most direct way of getting to Lake Kameyama. The drive takes around one and a half hours on National Highway 468, and you can find parking at one of the many rental stores.

For public transport, the fastest way is taking the JR Sobu Line out to Chiba Station, then one of the local buses that serve Lake Kameyama. Expect your trip to take about two and a half hours, and cost around ¥2,500.

Ōhara Fishing Port

Isumi, Chiba Prefecture
JR Wakashio Limited Express
2 hours, 30 minutes from Shinjuku

A well-known fishing spot in Chiba, Ōhara Fishing Port is on the eastern edge of Japan. This means you’ll be dipping into the Pacific Ocean and its unique array of fish. Red snapper, horse mackerel, and Japan’s famous spiny lobsters are all lurking under the waves of the port. With a regular seafood market and plenty of fishing stores, it’s the perfect angler’s day-trip away.

Like most saltwater fishing in Japan, you don’t need a permit to fish in the area. However, as a popular fishing location, you may have trouble finding a spot. Several local businesses offer trips further out into the sea and provide all necessary equipment. And like Tokyo Bay, you’re asked by the municipal government to keep away from commercial operations. If you’re new to all this, we’d recommend arranging a tour to ensure a safe, pleasant trip.

Getting there

Getting to Ōhara Fishing Port is a two-hour drive, or two and a half hours by train. The quickest train route involves taking the JR Wakashio Limited Express directly to Ōhara Station. You can catch the Limited Express directly from Tokyo, or take local lines out to Chiba Station to connect. Expect your journey to cost around ¥3,200 one way.

Katsuura Port

Katsuura, Chiba Prefecture
JR Sobu Line, then JR Sotobo Line
2 hours, 30 minutes from Shinjuku

Katsuura is another Pacific port that offers a glimpse into ocean fishing. It is not to be confused with the port of the same name in Wakayama Prefecture, which also has large fish markets and auctions. Tuna, snapper, and sea bream are all popular catches here, and you can try some of the freshest sushi in Japan at the local markets. If you’re a sea-to-table enthusiast, this is your dream getaway.

The big one got away! | Photo by Gregory Lane

Katsuura is another busy port, and it can be hard to find space amidst the bustle of regulars and commercial operations. We’d recommend having a plan laid out, and one useful English-speaking tour group is Seafari Japan. Their four-hour fishing course teaches you about the local fish populations and techniques for catching them, and it gives you plenty of time with the line yourself. They provide all needed equipment, but experienced anglers are encouraged to bring their own. Tours start at ¥13,000 per person.

Getting there

Katsuura is around a two-hour drive from central Tokyo through three national highways, ending at 297. If using public transport, the fastest route involves taking the JR Sobu Line Rapid service to Kazusa-Ichinomiya Station. Once you arrive, take the local JR Sotobō Line to Katsuura Station, and the waterfront is a 15-minute walk away. A one-way trip on those lines will set you back approximately ¥2,000, and will take around two and a half hours.

Kawaguchiko  — Pristine water and Mt. Fuji views

Kawaguchiko, Yamanashi Prefecture
Highway bus, or JR Chuo Line, then Fujikyūkō Line
2 hours, 30 minutes from Shinjuku

Want to fish in the shadow of Mt. Fuji? This is the spot for you. Not only are the pristine waters of Lake Kawaguchi famous for their beauty, they are also heaven for bass fishers. The lake is renowned for its population of black bass, trout, and smelt, and on weekends the shores are full of eager anglers. The lake has bass reintroduced regularly, and you can find information about the kinds of fish released at the Kawaguchiko Fisheries Association Website.

To fish at Kawaguchiko, you’ll need to buy a recreational fishing ticket, and also pay a fishing tax. The Fisheries Association website has a full list of prices, but expect to pay ¥1,100 for the ticket in advance, or ¥1,600 on the day. This covers both your ticket and the tax. This fee can be paid at any of the 30+ fishing stores along the lakeshore marked with red flags, or local convenience stores. There are also two vending machines listed where you can buy them if it’s particularly early.

Photo by Getty Images

Getting there

Getting to Kawaguchiko is a pretty smooth trip. If driving, the Chuo Expressway from Shinjuku is a direct route to the lakeside, with parking nearby.

You can also take one of several expressway buses from Shibuya or Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko for around ¥2,100. Depending on traffic, the trip will take around two hours.

Finally, if you’re not carrying too much, you can also take the JR Chuo Line from Tokyo or Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko Station. This will either be a single journey, or you might have to change to the local Fujikyūkō Line at Ōtsuki Station. Train journeys to Kawaguchiko will take around two and a half hours and cost about ¥2,500.

Read more about taking a day trip to Kawaguchiko.

Lake Kasumigaura — Unspoiled nature near the ocean

Tsuchiura, Ibaraki Prefecture
Ueno-Tokyo Line, then Joban Line
1 hour 10 minutes from Shinjuku

Japan’s second-largest lake is only an hour and a half away from Tokyo, and a frequent getaway for anglers. Located in Ibaraki Prefecture, it’s known for its population of cultivated carp, icefish, prawns, and eels. This unique mix comes from its history — originally a brackish lagoon that was dammed from the ocean, dropping its salinity to freshwater levels.

Lake Kasumigaura also has no fishing permit fees, and the size of the lake means there are dozens of spots for you to drop your line. We’d recommend starting near Tsuchiura since it’s both easily accessible from Tokyo and near loads of fishing shops. Local stores offer everything you might need to start, along with lessons and rentals for beginners. One shop, Tackle Mac, even specializes in international fishing products, if you’ve got some preferences from home.

Photo by Getty Images

Getting there

If driving, the route to Tsuchiura is an hour and 15 minutes by taking toll roads and the expressway. Exit National Highway 354 nearby and you should be able to find local parking quite easily.

If taking public transport, this is an even easier trip. You can take the JR Ueno-Tokyo Line from Shinagawa, Tokyo, or Ueno directly to Tsuchiura Station. This will only be a direct trip if it’s the Special Rapid service to Tsuchiura. Otherwise, you’ll need to change to the Jōban Line at Toride Station and continue to Tsuchiura Station. The journey should take around one hour and 10 minutes, and it will cost ¥1,170.

Kanagawa — Mountain lakes and easy beaches

There are numerous places to fish in Kanagawa, but these are two perennial favorites.

Lake Sagami

Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture
JR Chuo Line
1 hour from Shinjuku

This lake in Kanagawa is the result of damming the Sagami River and is one of the prefecture’s most scenic spots. Fed by the river running from the mountain, it’s home to plenty of freshwater fish. Among the main ones are bass, trout, carp, and smelt, with a smelt boat being one of the nearby Sagami Pleasure Forest’s most popular attractions.

Like Lake Kameyama, this place might also be appealing to casual fishers as you don’t need to pay anything to fish here. However, if you’re looking to get the most out of your trip, it’s worth considering hiring a boat to take you out onto the water. There are a few tour companies and boat-rental stores located between Sagamiko Station and the waterfront.

Getting there

Lake Sagami is a quick trip away from central Tokyo. By car, it’s around a 45-minute drive with no expressways involved. Paid parking is available in the area at various parking depots.

If you’re planning on taking public transport, the JR Chuo Line from Shinjuku or Tokyo goes directly to JR Sagamiko Station. We’d recommend taking a limited express from Tokyo to Ōtsuki and then transferring onto a local train to Sagamiko Station. This journey takes around an hour and will cost around ¥1,000.

Enoshima. | Photo by Getty Images

Enoshima

Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture
Odakyu Line, then Enoshima Line
1 hour 30 minutes from Shinjuku

Where better to fish than Tokyo’s mini island getaway? Enoshima is a popular day-trip spot for its beautiful beaches, natural flora, and iconic lighthouse. While most people frolic in the middle of the island, dedicated fishermen head to the rocky outcroppings at the far end. There, you can fish for sea bream, flounder, and even the odd squid or octopus.

There are several free fishing locations around Enoshima Island, and several fishing stores both on and surrounding it. Experienced fishermen tend to use the rocky southern end of the island to fish undisturbed in the shallow pools. However, for newbies, we’d recommend the waterfront leading up to the island. Not only are there several free piers to fish from, but also plenty of stores that specialize in helping beginners get started. You can rent everything from rods to cooler boxes, and some even offer lessons. Boats are also available for charter if you feel like fishing further out to sea.

Getting there

Getting to Enoshima from Tokyo is a hassle-free trip. If driving, the journey will take about one hour and 20 minutes by toll roads, and you’ll arrive on National Highway 134. Parking is available, but will likely be crowded on weekends.

If taking public transport, the fastest way is to take the Odakyu Line from Shinjuku to Fujisawa Station. Once there, change to the Enoshima Line and take that to Katase-Enoshima Station. The island is a 20-minute walk away, and the journey will cost ¥860 one way. It will take around one and a half hours to get there.

Izu Peninsula — Sparkling waters and tropical beauty

Shimoda, Shizuoka Prefecture
JR Tōkaidō Line or Tōkaidō Shinkansen to Atami, then JR Ito Line
3 hours from Shinjuku

The Izu Peninsula is one of the most breathtaking locations in Japan. It’s famous for its tropical beauty and sparkling waters. If that sounds like the perfect trip, pack your fishing rod, too. The Izu Peninsula is full of fishers picking up sea bream, flounders, and groupers.

With the popularity of fishing in the area, the shoreline is dotted with fishing stores and tour operators. You can do everything from enjoying a lazy day on the beach minding your line to sailing out to the Izu islands for some intense fishing.

Among the boats you can charter is one run by Hyosukeya, a local boat inn. The captain of the boat speaks English and offers a fishing experience for beginners and experienced anglers alike. You can bring your own gear, or rent for an additional fee. The trip cost is determined by the fish you want to catch and is around ¥15,500 for charter, bait, and the captain’s lessons.

Shimoda. | Photo by Getty Images

Getting there

Getting to the Izu Peninsula takes a little work. If you’d like to fish at the tip, it’s about three hours of travel. To drive down, you’ll be taking the toll road south into Shizuoka. There’ll be four highway changes, and you may have trouble finding parking.

If you’re taking the train, the fastest way is the Tōkaidō Shinkansen to JR Atami Station. From there, take the Ito Line to JR Izukyu-Shimoda Station. Finally, take a bus or taxi to your fishing spot. This will cost you about ¥6,300.

For those who want to travel on a budget, you can also take the local JR Tokaido Line to Atami instead of the Shinkansen. This lowers the price to ¥4,600, but adds an hour to your travel time.

Photo by Getty Images

Frequently asked questions

Do I need a fishing license in Japan?

In most cases, you don’t need a license to fish in Japan unless you’re fishing for commercial reasons. However, some fishing areas will ask you to buy permits to fish there. If you’re not sure, it’s worth looking up the body of water — you should be able to find the business in charge of permits for it. We’ve provided the permit information for each of our recommended areas in this article.

I’m not sure if my fishing spot needs a permit. What should I do?

If your online search hasn’t helped, we recommend finding a fishing store nearby. They should be able to let you know if you need a permit, and will likely sell it too. They’ll also tell you about any regulations or rules that the local fishing areas have.

What freshwater fish can I catch around Tokyo?

With the abundance of lakes and rivers in the areas surrounding Tokyo, you don’t need to travel far for freshwater fishing. Among the fish you can catch are bass, trout, and carp of various species. While buying your fishing permit, it’s a good idea to ask about the local fish and if restrictions are in place.

What saltwater fish can I catch around Tokyo?

As an island, Japan has always had a strong saltwater fishing culture. Fish is a staple in the Japanese diet, and commercial fishing operations have been run off the coast for centuries. Among the saltwater fish you can catch are various tuna, sea bream, flounder, mackerel, and even octopus or squid. Most saltwater fishing locations don’t need a permit, although you’ll have more restrictions since you’ll be fishing around commercial operations.

Can I take my fishing gear on public transport?

The short answer is maybe. Apart from the Shinkansen, there are no defined rules on what you can’t take on public transport. Generally, as long as you have nothing bigger than a suitcase, you shouldn’t have any issues. Try and make sure that any strong smells are masked, and that nothing intrudes into other people’s space.

Do I need to charter a boat for saltwater fishing? Can I just fish off a pier?

It depends on the fishing spot. Some will not have publicly accessible piers or will charge fees to access them. Others are so popular that by the time you arrive, the best spots will be full of local fishermen. To avoid disappointment, we’d recommend booking your fishing spot before you arrive — whether that’s through a tour or chartering a boat.

While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change.

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