Maze River sweetfish are highly regarded for being delicious.
The reason for this is that the delicious sweetfish are protected by local inhabitants. Since the 1940s, they have systematically stocked and managed the sweetfish, while also proactively engaging in volunteer activities, such as river cleaning activities and assigning surrounding forests as "fish-protecting forests." The inhabitants of this area have spared no effort in order to protect the flavor of the sweetfish.
There are many ways to cook the beautiful and delicious sweetfish, and it is an essential ingredient in Japanese cooking. Maze River sweetfish have won the main prize in the "Sweetfish Taste Test Contest" that gathers sweetfish from all over Japan, so the deliciousness is guaranteed. The charcoal-cooked "salt-baked" sweetfish are particularly highly regarded.
Hoba-zushi (magnolia leaf sushi) (left); River fish dishes (right)
In the Maze region, there are countless dishes that utilize the rich food culture of the mountain villages. Hoba-zushi (sushi rice covered in a magnolia leaf), mountain river fish dishes, handmade miso using wheat husks, and pickles using turnip and other local vegetables are all dishes that you really must try.
The Maze Satoyama Museum is a model area for scenic preservation in the Maze region which is registered with the NPO "The Most Beautiful Villages in Japan." In the Sugou area and around the Soshima Hachiman Shrine, which are among the "Maze Ten Sights chosen as beautiful spots by local inhabitants, one can view a mountain village scene that will stay with you forever, including clear streams, forests that protect the living environment of fish, paddy fields, shrines, and temples.
Fire Fishing on the clear Maze River
The salt-baked sweetfish taste particularly good in the magical atmosphere at night while watching "fire fishing" on the Maze River, a traditional method of driving the fish into the net using bonfires and torches. Take the time to walk around the Satoyama Museum while gazing at the beautiful scenery and to enjoy a friendly conversation with the local people.
The Clear Maze River
Spa bathing facilities
It takes approximately 1 hour to get to the Maze region on the JR Takayama Line from Takayama City (train), and 30 minutes by car from Gero Station (Gero Onsen). It's about 1 hour from Gujo Hachiman by car. From all of these regions, you can enjoy Maze either as a brief stop, a day return or an overnight stay (hot spring hotels or ryokan).
Download the PDF version of the "Story Book" with tour itineraries filled with stories.[PDF/7MB]