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Traditional Ayu Fishing with Fire on the Maze River
Maze General Tourism Co., Ltd. • Gifu
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"See how this fantastical fire fishing produces fragrant sweetfish from the clear waters of the Maze River."
The Maze River is renowned for its high-quality fresh water and natural beauty. The surrounding mountains and emerald river make this town a truly hidden natural gem. It’s home to many ayu, or sweetfish, that are praised for their delicious taste and aroma.

Here in Gifu prefecture, you’ll enjoy a dining experience focused on this sweetfish. This eight-dish course meal highlights every style of ayu preparation. Using local ingredients and cooking techniques, this multi-course meal is an excellent introduction to the local delicacy.

After the dining experience, you’ll take a walk down to the riverside to visit the local ayu museum. There you will learn about the history of hiburi fishing, a unique and pyrotechnic style of fishing, and even get a full performance of the technique!

When the mature ayu come to lay eggs at night, hiburi fishing takes advantage of their gathering. By using fire torches, the fishermen are able to corral the fish together and into the nets. They whip the fire torches over the river while shouting, to startle the fish. This technique creates a stunning display of fire flashing through the darkness, reflecting on the surface of the water.

After the demonstration, you’ll get a chance to help the fisherman gather the ayu from their fishing nets. These ayu have an almost fruity-fresh smell, similar to watermelon. The locals take pride in their high-quality sweetfish, and aim to keep the traditional culture of hiburi fishing alive.

Highlights

  • Enjoy a multi-course meal featuring the local river sweetfish
  • View the fiery hiburi fishing demonstration
  • Help the fisherman bring in the nets of freshly caught ayu

Inclusions

  • Ayu dining experience
  • Admission to the ayu fishing museum and presentation
  • Hiburi fishing performance