Oe-machi Tourist Weir
Located on the bank of the Mogami River adjacent to Terme Hakuryo Health Spa and Hakuryo-so, this weir was built in 1992. A great volume of sweetfishes is caught every year during their spawning season when they head downstream, and freshly caught fish are sold on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays in October. Some of the catches are immediately frozen to keep the freshness and are available for purchase throughout the year. Oe-machi Furusato Tourism Co., Ltd. is in charge of management and operation.
Location:〒990-1144 18-7 Oaza Juhassaiko, Oe-machi, Nishimurayama-gun, Yamagata
Closed:December 29th to January 4th
Open hours:9 AM to 5 PM
Sweetfish in Imogawa Valley
The Imogawa Valley (the area between Arato, Shirataka-machi and Aterazawa, Oe-machi) is known to have a large habitat of sphagnum adhering to the surface of rocks exposed at many parts of the river bottom, providing a great feeding ground for sweetfishes. In addition, the stream of Mogami River is counted among Japan’s three fastest streams, believed to be making the sweetfish that grow in it bigger in size and more muscular.
Ochi Ayu (Sweetfish heading downstream to spawn)
Sweetfish, born at the river-mouth close to the ocean, head out to the sea as fry, then when spring comes, go back upstream of the river to grow. When autumn comes, they head downstream towards the ocean again for spawning, and lay eggs around the river-mouth. The term “ochi ayu” refers to such sweetfish going down the river in autumn during their spawning season. Though sweetfish are generally considered as the iconic taste of summer, female ochi ayu is known to have the unique texture of roe that cannot be enjoyed during the summer, whereas males also are known to have “more matured flavor to the firmness and sweetness of the flesh.”