August 28 2012
Margaret and I decided to sit-out the 90 degree heat at a cafe, after an enjoyable day in Tokyo. It was an easy day, beginning with visiting one of my favorite shops in Japan – no, not a fishing store, but rather an excellent tea shop: Cha Ginza. They have the best tea I have ever tried and are a mandatory stop for when I visit Tokyo.
Bags of delightful sencha and new tea pots purchased as gifts, it was then time to head to our next stop: Hachiko’s statue at the Shibuya station.
The plan was to meet a longtime customer who started tenkara after finding our site a couple of years ago. He has since found in tenkara a new passion; “something that changed his and many other lives” as he says.
Our last stop were the Sansui fishing stores near the station. Sansui is a 110 year old fishing store, and they have 3 stores in the area, one dedicated to fixed-line fishing methods (tenkara, Hera, tanago, keiryu, and Ayu fishing), one for lure fishing and fly-fishing and one more focused on bass fishing. The visit was very pleasant. As I browsed the tenkara section, one of the sales clerks got very excited when he recognized my shirt, “Ahhh, Tenkara USA! Danieru?!?!”. He talked about how he had our site bookmarked an followed this blog. We talked about Dr Ishigaki and Mr Amano, whom he and another person at the store knew.
I held a tiny tanago rod in my hand, it was beautiful, about 12 inches when collapsed and 2.2 meters opened. I asked if I could use that for tenkara, they laughed heartily, shaking their heads and probably amused with the question.
We talked about all the telescopic rods available under that one roof. They sell rods of all lengths, sizes, weights and for several specific purposes. I mentioned how people tend to see any telescopic rods as tenkara rods, or assume tenkara rods are the same as bait-fishing cane poles. They asked if telescopic rods were not common and seemed to understand the difficulty in the task of teaching the differences.
Then, two “gaijin” (foreigners) entered the store looking for tenkara rods. They were from Italy and had been hearing about tenkara in recent times, a method similar to their own Pesca alla Valsesiana. They recognized me and I proceeded to teach them the bits of tenkara I could at the confined space.