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Luxury raft in Japan’s Lake Hamana offers catch of the day experience

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Hamamatsu Mayor Yasutomo Suzuki, right, and Takeshi Kageyama, the mayor of Kosai, Shizuoka Prefecture, eat shrimp tempura on the refurbished raft Takiya Base on Lake Hamana.

The Yomiuri ShimbunHAMAMATSU — Visitors to Lake Hamana in Hamamatsu can now dine on freshly caught seafood on a newly renovated raft equipped with sofas and tables, after trying out a traditional fishing technique unique to the lake.

Tourists will have the opportunity to experience Takiya ryo night fishing before dining on the raft from May 15. Fishing operators hope the newly renovated raft will attract more foreign tourists.

Night fishing takes place in the spring to autumn period. Fishermen use spears to catch seafood including shrimp, crab and octopus using an underwater torch attached to a small boat.

After participants on the Takiya ryo tour have finished fishing they move to a raft about 4.5 meters wide and long, where they can try tempura and soup dishes cooked using freshly caught seafood.

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  • The Yomiuri Shimbun

    The raft, which small groups can rent, is shown to the media on April 20.

The older rafts are not equipped with tables and chairs, so most participants had to sit cross-legged on the floor while they ate, which may have made the tours less appealing for foreign and female tourists.

To attract more visitors to the tour, Hamamatsu and Lake Hamana Tourism Bureau among others decided to refurbish one of the rafts.

The refurbished raft, named Takiya Base, is covered with a blue awning and has a white floor. Participants can enjoy the bounty of Lake Hamana from the comfort of sofas, in an atmosphere akin to a city cafe or beachside restaurant.

“We’re hoping many overseas visitors will try our Takiya ryo fishing tours, and if we receive a positive response, we’d like to increase the number of refurbished rafts,” said Katsuji Kinpara, 69, who heads Takiya fishing operator Takiya Kumiai.

Hiring a conventional raft with a capacity of up to four people including dining costs ¥30,000. To hire Takiya Base costs an extra ¥6,000 on weekdays and ¥7,500 on Saturdays.

The tour departs from the Yuto branch of the Hamana fisheries cooperative association. For more information in English, visit the tourism bureau’s website (www.inhamamatsu.com/activity/takiya-fishing.php).Speech

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