Ten Landscapes of Maze: Appreciate the Mountain Scenery in One of the Most Beautiful Villages in Japan
The Maze area of Gero City, boasting excellent local resources and beautiful landscapes, is a member of the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages in Japan. Here you can find expansive mountain scenery typical of Japan, with a rich natural environment created by mountains and rivers. Also, this tiny mountain area features scattered scenic spots called “The Ten Landscapes of Maze.” It’s fun to take a walk around it. Here is a brief description of the landscapes in the Maze area of Gero City and how to enjoy them.
Contact with Affluent Nature and Tradition: Mountain Life Experience in Maze, One of the Most Beautiful Villages in Japan
View the wild landscape of Japan that should be handed down to future generations, or experience traditional practices and customs. If that is the kind of trip you are looking for, the Maze area in Gero City, Gifu Prefecture is definitely the place to go. On the map, you can see that this area, virtually located at the center of Japan, is a village covered almost 95% by mountain forests, with a population of only 1,200.
A Seasonal Tradition on Summer Nights: Hiburi Fishing in Maze
During the short period from late August to early September, a traditional fish-catching method is practiced on the Maze River, a limpid stream running through the Maze area of Gero City. When darkness falls at the end of a long summer day, fishermen surprise sweetfish, or ayu, with torches, fires and sounds to drive them out of their resting places so they can be caught by nets. This fishing technique is known as hiburi-ryo. After an interruption due to various changes, the hiburi fishing technique, which used to be one of the seasonal traditions in the Maze area, was resuscitated by local residents in 2012.
The Finest Ayu Cuisine, using Fish from One of the Most Beautiful Clear Streams in Japan
Have you ever heard of sweetfish, or ayu in Japanese, which is a very popular Japanese dish? Sweetfish is a delicious fish that you must try when visiting Japan, though there are few places remaining where you can eat it. Wild sweetfish is precious as it can thrive only in clean, clear streams. The Maze region in Gero is one such place where you can taste top-quality wild sweetfish. Would you like to enjoy rich Japanese food culture in Maze?
Maze, one of the most beautiful villages in Japan
Region： Maze, Gero
The ayu, or sweetfish, is prized in Japan for its sweet flavor. Residents of Maze (pronounced “mah-zay”) have spared no effort to conserve the natural environment of the sweetfish as an important part of the Maze culinary heritage. The sweetfish is sensitive to its living conditions, and volunteers have been working since the 1940s to maintain the pure water of the Maze River. They have even designated surrounding forests as “fish conservation forests.”