Wakasagi Fishing at Lake Akan
There are many great ways to enjoy winter in Hokkaido, from skiing to snowmobiling and soaking in a steamy outdoor hot spring bath. Another popular activity is ice fishing.
Wakasagi (Japanese smelt) can be found in large shoals under frozen lakes, and Lake Akan in eastern Hokkaido is the right place to experience wakasagi fishing from January to March. There are many guided ice fishing tours of Lake Akan – guides will teach you how to drill through the thick ice and how to catch wakasagi using specially-designed ice fishing rods. To reward yourself after the catch, you can even enjoy freshly fried wakasagi tempura on the spot!
You can also rent all the equipment needed – including chair and tent – and go fishing on your own. Just cut a hole in the ice, put your bait in, and wait for these easy-to-catch fish to bite. You can bring the fish you caught to a local shop to have it cooked.
In addition to Lake Akan, other great places to try ice fishing in Hokkaido include Barato River (near Sapporo), Lake Kanayama (near Furano), and Lake Mashu (near Kushiro).
Check out https://en.visit-hokkaido.jp/ to find out more winter activities in Hokkaido.