Saturday, 15 February 2014

Japan Trip 2014 - Day 8, creative juices

Today we had planned on going jigging for all sorts with Chubei', alas the wind God was most definately present and the skipper of the boat had called the day off.

No jigging meant that we would have the oppurtunity to visit some tackle stores, sounds like a plan, only to find that record snow falls have closed the main roads, back to the Gan Cave to have a play with some toys, There is no shortage of toys to play with here with tackle from the common market place tackles to the never before seen before fishing gear and this is what I wanted to play with.

We filmed a short clip of putting together a jointed claw zepro - the next, there is a lot that goes into these thing's a lot more than there is credit given for, I had a crack at a test one first and then with the camera's rolling we did one for real. I cant remember if I was speaking English or Engrish but it was fun all the same.

To keep the creative minds working we headed to Shirahama where I again did some pottery, this time round I made an ash tray to go with the sake set from last time.

We did not finish making the pottery till quite late so after a quick stop back at the office we made our way to oeconomi yaki (spelling) its like a pancake cooked on a hotplate at your table - very cool and very tasty. During dinner we had a few drinks to warm up and ended up at a tiny little bar in Tanabe, small, unique atmosphere, one you could comfortably sit for hours and drink if we were not falling alseep.

Tomorrow is tackle hunting.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Japan trip 2014 - Day 7, Bulli

The schedule we have run with while I have been here has been some what hectic, seven days in I had an awesome sleep in  before preparing to go out in the afternoon casting stick baits around.

You could say the last 6 days had worn me out a bit so like most people on vacation I had a nice sleep in and easy start to the day, I was not being picked up till 1130 so there was no rushing just a nice easy start to the day.

Our first stop was to the office to tie up a few things up and to pick up some stick bait rods as the plan was to go to Shirihama later in the day to chase a fish they call locally a Bulli. The Bulli is a member of the seriola family and looks very similar to a Yellow Tail King Fish. They also have a fish here called Hiramasa which again is very similar to our Kingies.

We left the office to get a feed and a was very happy to have a Katsu Don with double the Kats (pork fillets in panko crumbs). It was awesome we caught up with some other staff at lunch also. Where we discussed what we would be doing tomorrow. We were meant to be going jigging but the weather man was talking about heavy snow fall, for those not aware Tanabe is the warmest part of the Wakayama Prefecture and does not get snow often - the weather man was predicting 2 inches of snow in the warmest part so there was a chance that the jigging could be called off.

Chockers full after lunch we made the 30 minute trip to Shirihama where we met up with the boat man Shogun Maru, some may remember the boat man colors in the Gan Craft egi - jya range, these are named from this man, we were also joined by Hata San a friend of every one in these parts and a very funny man. The wind was blowing its arse off but the boat is about 35 feet so no worries in the conditions.

Leaving the harbour the wind increased and conditions were less than ideal for casting stick baits as getting your footing on the boat would be hard work, we travelled about 30 minutes from the harbour and started to cast, Shogun Maru was concerned about the water temp as it had dropped dramatically and with the wind he was not expecting to catch any fish. We made a few drifts with nothing  and a slight move was in order.

We had only moved about 200 meters and on my second cast I got smashed. These things much like our kings pull like trains. I was fishing a Yamaga Blue Sniper PE3 Rod with a Saltiga 4000 which was perfectly suited for the fish we were chasing, the captain made his way up to where I was fishing and in a short time we had the fish in a net. the fish measured 85cm, looking at the fish to see if I could find where they differ from our kings the only noticeable difference was they are not as slender, this thing was fat. Shortly after Hata San also landed a slightly smaller model. Kotaro managed to hook up to a good fish but it did not stay connected.

We were all very cold tired and wet so we made the decision to head back and go again to Syuraku Restaurant to get Akio to prepare the fish for eating. Less than 3 hours after being caught this fish was served up as sushimi on a plate in a restaurant - now that's fresh.

I had an awesome day and caught up with some more friend's both on the water and having a feed, the people have been so good to me I have again got the complex of knowing what its like to be king.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Japan Trip 2014 - Day 6, Kyoto


So far this trip has been non stop fishing and as much as I love that it was time to be a tourist for a day.

I met Kotaro an Noriko in the hotel lobby to check out at about 0900 before making our way to Starbucks for my first real coffee since arriving here, now last night we had consumed our fair share of drinks at the bar and my head was not quite feeling up to the task but the coffee had me in my normal head space in no time.

Now when some one says to you lets go and have a look at some temples I for some reason thought we would drive up and park look at them and then leave, I hate to say it but I actually walked up hill to see the first one, I dont normally do walking but on this occasion it was well worth the walk. Looking at the work put into these building some 400 years ago its amazing to see the engineering accomplishments of the people in this era.

The road to the temple is full of shops that sell goods local to the area, along the walk I found plenty of food
and drink to keep me going including a cinnamon kind of doughnut that was filled with vanilla custard, it was like nothing else I had eaten and I could have quite happily sat there just eating them all day but had to keep moving to catch everything that was on display.

The walk back down the hill was much more to my liking as I carry enough weight for momentum without having to worry about climbing. We left the temple and then headed to the 400 year old Nijo castle that remains very unchanged since it was built in 1603 as the official residence of the Tokugawa Shogun. It was finally completed in 1626 under the control of the third Shogun. In 1867 the 15th Tokugawa Shogun returned sovreignty to the Emporor and became the property of the imperial family. This Castle was donated to the City of Kyoto in 1939 and has been a popular tourist location since that time. Very cool place.

Hungry after all the walking and hangover we stopped at a curry house for a quick feed need to keep the energy levels up with one more temple to go. Another short walk up yet

another hill we arrived at a temple that was by far the coolest one of the day, this one was covered in Gold, looked awesome with the sun bouncing off it and just when I thought that was it we continued along the track passing many old ceremonial buildings until we came to a clearing where I tried a traditional tea and sweet that that would have been part of a tea ceremony back in the day and I must say it was bloody awful.

By now we were all fairly shagged so it was time to make the journey back to Tanabe for dinner, we arrived at the office of Gan Craft for a much needed coffee. It was now dinner time and the suggestion was that we should head to Syraku for a feed. This is my fave restaurant in Japan, the people here are simply
awesome and cater to my heavy meat dietary wants, I did try a fish egg block that had a layer of nori roll sandwiched in the middle, I was lucky that I had beer on hand to wash it down with - yuk... 

All in all today was awesome and I am looking forward to what tomorrow brings.