• Location: Sapporo, Japan
  • Duration: 4.5 hrs (approx.) - Morning Tour 4 hrs (approx.) - Afternoon Tour
From USD $ 69.28 View price calendar

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Try your hand at ice fishing, one of Hokkaido’s most popular activities, as you fish for smelt during this 4- or 4.5-hour excursion on the ice-covered Barato River. Drop a lure through the thick ice hoping to pull in a catch that you’ll then cook as a tasty snack using Japanese tempura batter. This seasonal ice-fishing excursion includes entrance fees, lunch (for morning tour only) a guide and fishing instructor, all necessary equipment and optional rental of winter gear if requested.
Please note: This tour is seasonal and runs yearly between January and March. The date is subject to change.


  • Smelt ice fishing on the Barato River of Hokkaido
  • Spend a winter morning or afternoon fishing for smelt on the frozen river
  • Follow a guide’s instructions while dropping a fishing line into a hole in the ice
  • See fresh fish transformed into a delicious tempura snack
  • Enjoy a Japanese-style lunch at a local restaurant (if morning option selected)
  • Snow pants and snow boots available upon request
  • Coach or taxi transport from Sapporo with optional drop-off at an onsen

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

What You Can Expect

Ice Fishing on Barato River from Sapporo

Ice Fishing on Barato River from Sapporo

Test your skills at one of Hokkaido’s favorite winter pastimes as you try ice fishing for smelt on the Barato River near Sapporo. Depending on your fishing skill (and luck) you’ll also get to cook up your catch in Japanese tempura, allowing you to enjoy a delicious snack.
Start your ice fishing adventure at the Kaneno Hiroba exit from Sapporo station. Your start time will vary depending on if you selected the morning or afternoon excursion. A coach will then transport you 30 minutes to the frozen landscape of Barato River, a sizable body of water that completely freezes solid during the cold winter months.
Head with your guide across the icy landscape to your fishing tent to begin the fun. Get lessons from your instructor to help you catch as many smelt as possible, the grab a stool, cut your hole in the ice and throw in a lure. Depending on your luck, you’ll snag a few of these tiny fish, dropping them into a waiting pan for immediate deep frying.  Your guide will handle the duties for the wakasagi (tempura) cooking, allowing you to grab this now-delicious morsel right out of the hot oil.
For those that select the morning, tool, continue on from your fishing excursion to a local restaurant for lunch of local Hokkaido cuisine.
Finish your ice-fishing trip with drop-off back at Sapporo station. Alternatively, those wishing to continue the fun can proceed on to Gateaux Kingdom Sapporo Hotel, site of luxurious spa, which you can choose to visit at your own expense. The spa’s luxe onsen (hot baths) include a salt saunas and a choice of 9 different soaking areas, including a spacious outdoor bath fed by natural springs. For those selecting this option, a free shuttle will transfer you back to Sapporo station when you’re done.
Click on View Additional Info for the meeting location.

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Customer Reviews

Premendran P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2018

The pick up was efficient and easy. The staff were very friendly and made sure we would catch some fish. we caught about 15 smelts. Was good fun. Double socks to be warm on the ice.

Nikki W Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

I booked this for my father and brother on a family holiday. They thoroughly enjoyed it.
Keep in mind that you are not guaranteed to catch any fish - but isn't that the whole fun of fishing
The tents allow for families to participate as a group this wasn't clear to me on booking - but four people can fit into a tent and the tour company was very friendly and professional

Brenda F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2015

Great tour guides, very patient and enthusiastic, they would not rest without helping everyone catch at least one smelt, very fun activity for all ages, i would definitely recommend!

Adam S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2015

This was a heck of a lot of fun while aimed at a more Japanese audience the guide was very helpful in explaining what was going on in English after the main group. The fisherman that where doing the demonstrations where very helpful and enthusiastic. And the day was interesting and fun. I recommend this to everyone as an experience to try. One recommendation bring an extra pair of socks or maybe two or three..... that ice is cold.

haihi Singapore

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2015

Great experience. Friendly tour guide.

David G

4 star rating: Recommended March 2016

A really fun activity and happy we did it. Being the only English speakers meant that we missed out on the detailed instruction and tips for the rookie fisherpeople that we are. We worked it out eventually and had a great day, topped off by a tasty fish lunch.

Lewis Lexter Y

4 star rating: Recommended February 2016

Had fun trying ice fishing. The staff are very helpful! even though they couldn't speak english when I booked an english tour. The language barrier didn't matter, in the end we caught 4 fish, and we had fun with our local tour group.


4 star rating: Recommended February 2016

it was really cold but fun if you catch any. us and our friends only ended up catching 5 fishes out of 8 people during 1.5hrs duration. so we all got bored after all. the restaurant where you change into geard also provide very basic meal. dont use downstairs toilet very smelly. overall ok.

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