Fishing and Himono Making in Manazuru

The Japanese Riviera, perfect for fishing and fresh food

By Nina Cataldo    - 3 min read

Just south of Odawara where the famous Odawara Castle stands tall, there is a quaint fishing village called Manazuru Town. The town is located along Sagami Bay and is part of the Hakone Geopark; this mountainous town with its hilltops aligned with colorful houses is often considered the 'Japanese Riviera.'

The people of Manazuru take pride in their rich history of mining the high-quality komatsu stone, most well known for its use in making Japanese gravestones. However, its coastal alignment makes the area an abundant fishing spot as well.

Catching a rockfish which has poisonous spikes. This one is about 30 years old, and if ordered at a restaurant for sashimi, costs about ¥6,000. We caught about 3 of these!
Catching a rockfish which has poisonous spikes. This one is about 30 years old, and if ordered at a restaurant for sashimi, costs about ¥6,000. We caught about 3 of these!

Fishing Experience in Manazuru

There are opportunities to experience fishing with local fishermen and enjoying the fresh catch, both in sashimi (sliced raw fish) and himono (dried fish) form. The morning begins with a private or semi-private hire of a fishing boat equipped with local fishermen guides, all fishing equipment and safety gear. The fishermen will take guests out to multiple spots around the bay for the fishing excursions.

Laying out our catch from the morning of fishing.
Laying out our catch from the morning of fishing.

Ride for a Chance to See Dolphins

Fishing here is available year-round, and so is the chance to see dolphins. On my particular visit in February, pods of six to eight dolphins circled nearby the chartered fishing boat. Over the three-hour fishing excursion, over 20 fish were caught by the group. From rockfish to mackerel, both rare treasures to the more everyday Japanese fish can be caught here.

Fresh sashimi served in a traditional and elaborate sashimi boat.
Fresh sashimi served in a traditional and elaborate sashimi boat.

Enjoy Himono Making and the Freshest Sashimi Around

After the excursion, head back to the village shores to learn how to many himono, a traditional Japanese method of gutting and drying fish. Learn about the history and significance of himono making from the local fifth generation master of the Uoden Himono shop while trying your hand at preparing the fish. Keep in mind that the preparation process isn’t for the faintest of hearts so be ready to get your hands dirty! Some may choose to opt out of the process to just enjoy a professionally prepared meal by the locals.

Grilling homemade himono.
Grilling homemade himono.

Whether it’s grilling the morning’s freshest catch over the fire or a beautifully decorated sashimi boat, there is more than one way to enjoy the fruits of your own labor. It’s hard to experience seafood that’s any fresher than this! Be sure to try other local ingredients such as the bay’s famous nori seaweed.

View of the peninsula featuring a rainbow!
View of the peninsula featuring a rainbow!

After an adventurous morning and a delicious meal, relax by enjoying the natural beauties of Manazuru. Take a walk around Kanagawa Kenritsu Manazuruhato Natural Park which stretches along the coast and through one of the oldest forests in the Kanto region. Be sure to stop by Cape Manazuru and check out the famous Mitsu-ishi sacred rocks. On a day with nice weather, be sure to stay for the sunset over the peninsula for some superb views.

For those looking for more water adventures, Manazuru Town is also known for scuba diving and snorkeling in the warmer months. If you’re interested in something a touch quirkier, try the original Japanese sport of Park Golf down at Ohayashitenbo Park.

Getting there

From Tokyo Shinjuku to Manazuru (two main routes):

  • Take the Shonan-Shinjuku Line to Yokohama then the Ueno-Tokyo Line to Manazuru Station. (total 2 hours; ¥1,690)
  • Take the Odakyu line to Odawara Station then the Tokaido Line to Manazuru Station. (total 1 hour 45 minutes; ¥2,050)

From Shinagawa to Manazuru:
Take the Ueno-Tokyo from Shinagawa Station to Manazuru Station. (total 1 hour 30 minutes; ¥1,520)

Note: There are shinkansen (bullet trains) down to Odawara Station as well.

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Nina Cataldo

Nina Cataldo @nina.cataldo

Nina is a Tokyo-based travel writer. Originally from Japan but growing up in the US, she rediscovered the beauty of Japan upon returning in 2015. Her favorite parts of traveling around Japan include collecting regional Hello Kitty keychains, meeting local people and cats, and trying unique cuisine, especially when they are served at mom and pop shops. 

Join the discussion

Susan Tumanon 3 weeks ago
I love the article! How much was whole fishing experience and how long was it?
Bonson Lam 4 weeks ago
Great article Nina! Would love to visit the Japanese Riviera one day!
Elena Lisina a month ago
Last summer I planned to visit Manazuru and its Museum of Shells. Hope to visit Manazuru in the future and try sashimi! As for fishing - on good weather it sounds great!
Kim a month ago
Love the first photo!
Kim a month ago
It definitely had me fooled!