MAZE RIVER & AYU Maze River & Ayu (sweetfish) Located in the middle of Gifu prefecture in central Japan, over 95% of the land in Maze village in Gero city is covered by forests. Forests provide a great source of water, making the Maze River the best fishing place for river fish, especially, ayu (sweetfish). MAZE’S FAMOUS SALT-GRILLED AYU. Variety of ayu dishes are served in regional cuisine restaurants and hotels around the Maze area. The most popular one is none other than the salt-grilled ayu. The entire fish is slightly salted, while a generous amount is pressed onto the head, backfin and tail.  It is then skewered and grilled over a charcoal fire. Ayu in the Maze River has dense flesh with a distinct sweet aroma. River fish dishes, including Hoba Sushi. The mountain village of Maze has a bountiful food culture that can be experienced through innumerable dishes, including salt-grilled sweetfish and hobazushi, sushi ingredients wrapped in a magnolia leaf. A local take on miso incorporates barley koji, a fermentation known for its gentle, sweet flavor, and dishes are often accompanied by a rich variety of pickled vegetables. THE OUTDOOR SATOYAMA MUSEUM The Maze Satoyama Museum is not a building, but an entire area of Maze where the rural scenery and culture are conserved for visitors. The museum has been designated as a member of the Most Beautiful Villages in Japan, a national non-profit association. Another great place to stop is the Sugo area, which was selected by local residents as one of the “10 Beautiful Views of Maze.” Near Sojima Hachiman-jinja Shrine, visitors can take in sweeping views of the rivers, rice paddies, shrines, temples, and forests that protect the natural habitat for the sweetfish. The panoramas of this verdant country will remain in your heart forever. FISHING ON THE MAZE RIVER BY TORCHLIGHT At night, watch the fishermen on the Maze River use a traditional fishing method in which the sweetfish are driven into nets with torchlight and fire. Viewing this mesmerizing traditional technique in action only enhances one’s appreciation of the salt-grilled fish. A TASTE OF RURAL LIVING In the daytime, take some time to walk around the great outdoors of Satoyama Museum and perhaps have a friendly chat with some of the locals.