Our Visit at Murakami, Nunobe River in Niigata, Japan

It was always our son’s idea to go fishing, and the nearest fishing location to our place is the Yanaba Murakami Nunobe River. You need to have a car to reach this place. It takes almost two hours of travel from our home before we reach the river in Niigata Japan that still practices the traditional way of catching fish. The “Yana-ba” method began about 400 years ago back to the Edo period when a Japanese man constructed a place for irrigating rice fields. Then it evolved during 1633 which sought to find ways to catch the swimming fish nearby the sand pool. A Japanese man used to go on the river and set up a trapping apparatus to catch the fish. The name of the fish that they usually catch from the river is Ayu fish (sweetfish). The Yanaba is a method of fishing used to put the scaffolding made of bamboo platform laid down on the river. From then on and in the present day many are using the YANA method on the different rivers here in Japan to catch the fish and to attract tourists.

The Yanaba is a traditional way of catching fish from the river in Japan. Japanese people used the wooden floor to catch the fish, arranging it with in-between spaces to let the water flow in the middle of the wooden floor. The wooden box placed in the middle is used to store the trapped collected fish.
Murakami Tunnel, Japan.
Passing through this tunnel just before we arrived at Murakami Nunobe river.

We arrived at the Nunobe river around 12 noon in the afternoon. The entrance is free. With clean comfort room in the area and a place for parking the car. We decided to eat first right after we arrived at the River. We bought onigiri from the convenient store we passed by on the way to the Nunobe river. There is a store operating just near-by the river but the store sells very minimal items. The store specialty is selling grilled Ayu fish. Mineral water is available in the store too.

Grilling of fish from Nunobe river.
This is how they grill the Ayu fish from Nunobe River.

One Ayu fish sells at 600 Yen. Cottages are free for visitors. We don’t know where they caught the Ayu fish that they are selling, but maybe they are catching fish from the Nunobe river as well as long as they do have a license to operate fishing at the river.

The store just nearby the Nunobe river.
The store selling grilled fish nearby the Nunobe river.
Cottages from Nunobe river.
Visitors can choose free Cottages just nearby the Nunobe river.
Caught Ayu fish from Nunobe river.
This is the ayu fish we caught that was trapped from the yana-ba.

We noticed that the fish trapped from the Yana-ba are still in the small and medium sizes.

Wood container from Nunobe River.
The wooden container for trapped fish from the Yanaba.

The wooden box for trapped live fish. Inside are a small fishes swimming from the water of the river.

Grilled Ayu fish from Nunobe River.
We ordered four pieces of Ayu fish for our lunch. Cottages have this sand like-table in the middle of every cottage that are use for the fish sticks to stand.
Onigiri we brought at Nunobe River.
The Onigiri we bought from the convenient store we passed-by on the way to Nunobe river. Eaten it with the grilled Ayu fish.

Our lunch is so simple yet so memorable as we enjoy the beautiful mountainous view of the river. We enjoyed as well the refreshing air of the riverside.

Based on our observation, the trapped fish from the Yanaba is being transferred in this container like aquarium to give a chance for the small fishes to still grow in size.

There is a safe place to go swimming as well if visitors want to have a bath in the river, but the water is so cold even in July, the summer season in Japan.

Nunobe river, Japan.
Kids may play on the water of the Nunobe river. There is a designated part
of the river that is safe for kids and adults to soak in the water.

The surroundings of the river are full of trees that are so pleasant to the eyes. You can also feel the fresh air. We visited the river during weekdays, so there are very few tourists in the area.

We left the Nunobe River at 2PM. When we are just a few meters away from the Nunobe river, we saw a group of monkeys crossing the road.

Monkeys we saw crossed the road just a few minutes we left the Nunobe River.

Overall everyone enjoyed our experience of visiting the Nunobe river. Kids learned a lot about the traditional way of catching fish in Japan. Experience the unique style of eating together beside the river while watching the beautiful forested view of Japan.I cant wait to explore more of Japans traditional unique way of living.