15 Nov Lake Chuzenji – Nikko, Tochigi
Fish in Lake Chuzenji has been identified with exceeding amount of radiation caused by nuclear meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi in 2011 (brown trout 240 bql/kg). Until further notice, no fish is allowed to be kept.
Only catch & release fishing by lure or fly fishing permitted.
Lake Chuzenji is the highest elevated natural lake in Japan located in the Highland of Nikko, 120km north of Tokyo. This crater lake formed at the the foot of Mt. Nantai didn’t have any fish at first then stocking programme began in the 19th century with white-spotted char by local fishermen which was later followed by brook trout and brown trout by famous Scotsman, Thomas Glover. Glover whose summerhouse was later converted into the lodge for Tokyo Angling & Country Club founded by British and Japanese angling gentlemen including diplomatic community of European countries, Imperial family, and upperclass society. Imperial Hatchery soon took over the stocking programmes in the lake and surrounding rivers which later turned into Fisheries Research Agency stocking with both commercially important species and experimental recreational species including cherry salmon, sockeye salmon, rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout and lake trout.
After the fall of Empire, Lake Chuzenji became popular fishing lake amongst sports fishing community not just because of its legacy, but also for the great reputation of wild trouts topped by the Japan record lake trout (105cm, 16.3kg).
Clarity of the lake is quite high having multiple rivers bringing in spring water from nearby mountains which makes fish to be very cautious during day time. Best chance for fishing is at dawn or dusk on sunny day, otherwise, stormy day provides great chance. Some anglers take this clarity into advantage by making the right presentation to lure fish from the depth into attacking fly.
GPS: N 36.734410, E 139.482013
Open Season & Hours
- Bank fishing: first Saturday of April to 19th of September
- Boat fishing: thrid Saturday of April to 19th of September
- Fishing is allowed from dawn to dusk
Fishing License & Regulations
– Only catch & release fishing with lure and fly fishing tackle with barbless hook
– Please do not release upon catch on lake trout
– No floater or cannoes allowed to be brought in for safety purpose
Lake Chuzenji Gyokyo
Boat Rental / Trasnport
3,000-15,000JPY/day from row boat to engine boat
Lake Okajin: provides ferry to fishery on mountain side
Train + Bus
1. From Shinjuku Station, get a ticket (3,900JPY)and ride Nikko Go Express (direct train connecting between JR and Tobu railway) to Shimo Imaichi.
2. At Shimo Imaichi, hold on to the same ticket and get next train to Tobu Nikko. Altogether, the ride is about 2hours.
3. At Tobu Nikko Station, take Tobu Bus bound “Yumoto”. Get off at Chuzenji Onsen stop.
* You can take the same bus to Yukawa River and Lake Yunoko
– Take Tohoku Highway to Urawa IC.
– Switch to Nikko-Utsunomiya Highway to Kiyotaki IC (all the way to the end) that will lead you to National Route 120
– Take National Route 120 until you hit the first lake that is Lake Chuzenjiko
– You can continue, if you like on Route 120 to Yukawa River and Lake Yunoko