Many Tokyoites caught up in the hustle and bustle of the city life would like nothing more than to kick back and spend the day fishing. Yet while fishing can be a very rejuvenating sport, preparation and travelling can require a lot of effort, especially for city-slickers exhausted by long work weeks.
Well don’t cut your line just! It just so happens that there is an Izakaya (Japanese pub) in the heart of Tokyo where customers can fish for their own dinner!
The restaurant is Tsuribune Jaya Zaou, located on the first floor of the Washington Hotel in Nishi-Shinjuku.
Customers are seated at tables built into the side of a traditional Japanese fishing boat hull and are given rods and some shrimp for bait to catch their fish of choice—sea bream, flounder or horse mackerel—from a large tank that runs around the perimeter of the boat. Once caught, the fish is handed over to the chef who can prepare it as tempura, sushi, sashimi or boiled per request.
The fish-it-yourself option does come at an extra charge and there is also a standard Japanese pub menu, also available in English, you can order from if you want the staff to do the dirty work for you.
Herring so much about it, we recently visited the restaurant to try and make a catch ourselves, but it proved to be a halibut time.
It seems these fish were well-attunad with their surrounds and had seen one too many of their comrades hoisted violently out of the water and krilled. However, we were well aware that fishing is a war of attrition and we need only spend a few minutes dangling the bait in front of them before they swam against the current of better judgment.
One of our female reporters, Chie Nomura (pictured above), had never been fishing before and, just when she was about to give up after 15 minutes of waiting, she managed to hooke a sea bream. Needless to say, the rest of the night Chie’s face was breaming with joy.
We asked the chef to prepare it as sashimi and boiled with soy sauce and vinegar and the taste was absolutely brilliant! After that, we caught a flounder for round 2 and had it deep fried, which tasted just as delicious—we’re not even squidding!
Being able to enjoy the thrill of fishing in downtown Tokyo and having our catch prepared and served to us on the spot was definitely a unique entertainment experience.
For those of you in other parts of the country, Tsuribune Jaya Zaou has stores in Fukuoka, Saitama, Kanagawa, Osaka and Mie as whale.
(Translators note: if you know of any other locations not listed, be sure to let minnow.)
Tsuribune Jaya Zaou (Japanese Only)
Address: Shinjuku Washington Hotel 1F, 3-2-9 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo-to
Weekday Hours: Lunch 11:30-14:00 (L.O. 13:30), Dinner 17:00-23:00 (L.O. 22:00)
Weekend Hours: 11:30-23:00 (L.O. 22:00)
Photos, Video & Puns: RocketNews24.
Special thanks to Chie Nomura for her cooperation
[ Read in Japanese ]