When my sons were younger and still in grade school one experience I really wanted them to have was fishing. I found myself in a dilemma since I didn’t own any fishing equipment and hadn’t gone fishing in over 15 years.
About 20 minutes from where I live in Odawara city is the sleepy little town of Kaisei. Kaisei is located northeast of Odawara and south west of the town of Matsuda in the southwestern part of Kanagawa prefecture. While it is the smallest town in Kanagawa Prefecture it is also conveniently located less than two hours from central Tokyo via the Odakyu Railway Line (Kaisei Station) or the Ooi-Matsuda Exit of the Tomei Expressway by car. You can also follow Route 246 from central Tokyo and avoid paying expensive tolls, but traffic is almost always backed up on Route 246 whatever time of day it is.
Conveniently located in this pleasant little town is a fishing park called Forest Springs Kaisei. There are three ponds stocked with over 10 species of trout such as rainbow trout and steal head and even several salmon species. Since the ponds are stocked you are pretty much guaranteed to catch something even if you are a novice fisherman.
For 1500 yen (1000 yen for children) you can rent fishing tackle for the day with a choice of fly or lure tackle. This may seem a bit expensive but if you plan to only fish a few times a year it can be considered a bargain when compared to the cost of purchasing your own equipment.
Forest Springs Kaisei is open year round from 6 AM in the summer (April-September) and 7 AM in the winter (October-March) and closes at 8 PM in the summer and 5 PM in the winter. In order to fish you are required to purchase a fishing license which range from 2,500 yen for 3 hours to 4,500 for the day for adults and 1,500 yen to 2,000 yen for children. There are several discount plans available for short-term fishing (half day, evening, etc.) and group plans (father-son). While these prices may seem a bit high, you have to consider that the ponds are stocked and they have staff available to provide novice fishermen assistance which is a plus especially if you have never tried casting a fly fishing reel before.
If you decide to make your trip an all day event there is a rest house next to the tackle shop that serves snack foods and can even prepare any fish you were lucky enough to catch that day. Also nearby along the Sakawa River is a sports park that offers fun activities such as miniature golf.
Fishing Park Forest Springs Kaisei can be seen from the Odakyu Line between Shin-Matsuda Station and Kaisei Station along the Sakawa River adjacent to the Sakawa River Cycling Road. It is about a 15 minute walk from the east exit of Kaisei Station and a 10 minute walk from Shin-Matsuda Station. There is also plenty of parking available for customers next to the fishing park.
If you are looking to experience fishing while in Japan but do not want to invest in purchasing your own fishing equipment, Fishing Park Forest Springs may be the place for you, considering the convenient location and the serene atmosphere the local area offers.