Ayu Sweetfish Festival

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Page ID1009842  Last update July 30, 2019

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About the Ayu Sweetfish Festival

Each August, Hino City holds the annual Ayu Sweetfish Festival on the banks of the Asakawa River. This relatively new festival started as a way for locals to get to know Hino’s rivers and the rich ecosystem they support – all while enjoying a summer afternoon in the great outdoors. Since then, the festival has consistantly “reeled in” thousands of guests each year with its lineup of family-friendly aquatic activities, such as demonstrations of traditional Japanese fishing techniques and beginning fishing lessons for kids. It's even been registered as an official part of the Tokyo 2020 Nationwide Participation Programme. Of course, it wouldn't be the Ayu Sweetfish Festival without ayu, though! Each year, grilled ayu sweetfish are distributed to guests for free. Grab your hat and some sunscreen and come get a taste of Hino's wild side!

Children learning to fish in the Asakawa River at the 2017 Ayu Sweetfish Festival

General Information about the 2019 Ayu Sweetfish Festival

Time and Place

When: 9:30 am through 2:30 pm

Date: August 11, 2019 (Sunday)

Where: Along the banks of the Asakawa River next to the Fureai Bridge and Asakawa Sports Park

Getting There:

The festival grounds are a short ten-minute walk north from Takahatafudo Station, accessible via the Keio and Tama Monorail train lines.

There will not be parking for cars near the event, so guests are encouraged to use public transportation. If you come by bicycle, please park your bicycle only in the designated bike lot.

Map of route from Takahatafudo Station to the Ayu Sweetfish Festival

Outdoor Safety

The festival is located outdoors, so please be sure to bring hats, water bottles, and anything else you may need to stay hydrated and prevent heatstroke. If you think you or someone else may be dehydrated or experiencing heatstroke, please notify event staff.

The festival will be held along the banks of a river, so wear appropriate shoes to avoid slipping. Close-toed shoes that can get wet are recommended.

In the event of rain or minor flooding along the riverbank, there may be changes to the program or relocation to the neighboring Asakawa Sports Park.

Event Program for the 2019 Ayu Sweetfish Festival

The events listed on this page are open to all guests regardless of Japanese fluency, but we recommend language-learners bring a Japanese-speaking friend or family member to understand and enjoy the festival fully.

For a complete listing of all festival events including those which may require Japanese proficiency, please refer to the Japanese-language event page linked below.

Free Salt-grilled Ayu

2,000 salt-grilled ayu will be distributed free of charge throughout the day. Vouchers with pick-up times will be given out on a first-come first-served basis at the Asakawa Sports Park starting at 9:00 am. Please note that ayu will not be available without a voucher, and that you cannot choose the pick-up time window for your voucher.

Pick-up times are as follows:

  • 10:00 am
  • 11:00 am
  • 午後0時30分 pm
  • 1:30 pm

Location: Asakawa Sports Park (voucher pick-up) and Asakawa Riverbank Festival Area (grilled ayu pick-up)

Photograph of a cooked ayu fish at the Ayu Sweetfish Festival

Food Stalls

There will be a variety of food stalls around the Asakawa Riverbank Festival Area. Foods for sale will include:

  • Yakisoba, yakitori, crepes, dango skewers, ayu shaped monaka cakes, shaved ice, kebabs, hot dogs, soft drinks

There will be shaded seating in the area under Fureai Bridge.

Demonstration of Traditional Fishing Techniques

A show of various traditional fishing techniques by the Tamagawa Fisheries Cooperative Association.

Starts 10:50 am in the Asakawa River.

Fly Fishing Lesson

Learn how to use a lure to fly fish.

Open to the first 100 participants. General Japanese proficiency is recommended.

Location: Tent #13

Stamp Rally

Collect stamps from all participating booths for a chance to win fun prizes.

Activities and Games for Children

There will be various activities for small children around the Asakawa Riverbank Festival Area, including various fishing-inspired games, playing with local mascot characters, and a tarzan rope swing.

Children playing with Hino mascot characters

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