Chikuma River Fish Cuisine
Do you like eating river fish? I mean really, really like it? And does the idea of eating river fish in a simple shack along side the river from where the fish came sound appealing? Then perhaps you should try one of the “Tsukeba” fish shacks along the Chikuma River where you can eat a course featuring local fish like "haya" and "ayu".
"Unique Nagano" Recommendation
Tsukeba fish shacks are a unique feature of the region along the Chikuma River. They dot the river from as far upstream as Saku, and downstream as far as Matsushiro. Traditionally, ‘tsukeba’ describes a place (‘ba’), actually a rocky mound in the river, where a river fish called ‘haya’ comes (‘tsuke’) to nest. They are caught by a net and typically skewered and grilled over a flame. Tsukeba have evolved to also include bait and other services for people fishing for ‘ayu’ sweetfish later in the season, and some Tsukeba also operate as restaurants where guests can enjoy a multiple-course meal featuring river fish prepared in various ways. Be warned: because permanent structures are not allowed to be built along the river bank, by necessity Tsukeba fish shacks tend to be just that — simple, unglamorous shacks
"I love going down to the tsukeba fish shacks along the banks of the Chikuma River in front of onsen town Togura-Kamiyamada. The cuisine was excellent — you can’t get any more ‘local’ or ‘seasonal’ than river fish — and the setting there along the river took us to a different dimension. Enjoying the haya and ayu delicacies while watching the river steadily flow by and feeling the breeze on your face is something you can only experience here at the Chikuma River and during the haya and ayu season. (T.L., America)
By car, from the Sakaki IC on the Joshin'etsu Expressway follow Route 91 down 1.4km to Route 18 and turn left. Proceed north 6.4km to the Togura Signal and turn left onto Route 55. Go west 500m to the levee road (Taisho Bashi signal) and turn right. Tsukeba shack is on the left. By Train, from Togura Station on the Shinano Railway Line, walk out to Route 18 (Togura Station signal) and turn left. Walk south 250m to the Togura signal and turn right onto Route 55. Follow as per above. (Approx. 15 min. on foot) **Note: Levee road is narrow so walk with caution.
The owner, Miyairi-san, doesn't speak English is will enthusiastically use body language. During spring, Miyairi-san uses a net to catch 'haya' in the river alongside his shack. If the timing is right, guests can experience throwing the net, too. NOTE: Above address is Miyairi-san's permanent address. His fish shack is located 400 meters north along the levee road, across the levee from the middle school.
- address :
- 2360-10 Togura, Chikuma City, Nagano Pref. 389-0804
- tel :
- url :
- hours :
- Lunch 11:00-14:30, Dinner 17:00-20:00 April 1st thru June 30th
- closed :
- Mid-April to late October
- cost :
- Courses start at 2,500 yen
- reservations :
- Only required for groups of 5+ (min. 1 day in advance)
- participants :
- 1 or more