Tackle Island Cizzi in the Kichijoji area of Tokyo offers quite a lot in a small package. The shop, which is easily accessible by public transportation, is stocked full with a wide variety of lures, gear and terminal tackle.
While there seems to be a bit more attention given to lures geared for trout, there is also a good selection of bass lures (most of which would also work well for snakehead).
The bass section is filled with numerous soft plastics, crankbaits, spinnerbaits and topwater lures. Many of these lures can be found in the United States (and often at a much lower price), but there are also quite a few exclusive to Japan.
It’s a similar story in the multiple rows of trout lures. While the focus here leans more toward “homegrown” lures, there are also a few familiar European and American products available. There is a conspicuous absence of soft plastics in the section, but a few packs of trout worms do appear on the shelves. Many of the Japanese lures available here are unlike anything you will see elsewhere in the world. Usually holding a single light wire hook, they are constructed of various metals and plastics, and come in a wide variety of shapes, from straight sticks to spiral bead-chains to circles. Several of these appear to be geared toward the ubiquitous “fishing parks.” There is a huge selection of spoons in nearly every shape and color you could ask for. Many of the trout lures here come in micro sizes, much smaller than most anything you’d see in the States, that would probably prove effective in trout and salmon waters the world over.
A variety of terminal tackle, equipment and tools is stocked. There is an especially good variety of lure cases. There is little to no fly fishing stock, though you may be able to find a few flies and ultralight jigs.
There is also a small selection of spin fishing rods, mainly of ultralight and light action, but the prices on these poles are truly outrageous.
In my experience, fishing equipment carries a much higher cost in Japan than it does in other countries, especially the United States. This has to do not only with the strength of the Yen, the higher rent, or even the general expensiveness of life in Japan, but also the general state and specialization of the industry and hobby of fishing there. One indication of this is the existence of “special” and “collectible” lures, like $85 custom topwater plugs or the mother of pearl inlaid spoons. Clearly these are made more for fishers than fish.
Perhaps most valuable at Tackle Island Cizzi is the wide range of information available here. A wide bottom shelf of one of the rows is filled with dozens of brochures for fishing parks and near-river rentals in and around Tokyo. Whatever your feelings about fishing parks, there are a part of life in Japan, especially in the Tokyo area. At the very least, they are no worse than the pay lakes in the States.
The employees at this shop very relaxed. They won’t follow you around or try to pitch sales offers at you. At the same time, they are available if you need them.
Seated in Tokyo, Tackle Island Cizzi is a small shop. But though it’s no match for the selection at a place like Hita’s Matsuo Fishing Shop, it does pack quite a lot inside its four walls. And while expensive, it doesn’t seem to be any worse than other shops I’ve visited in Japan. If you’re in the area, it’s worth a visit.
Tackle Island Cizzi is located a few meters from the Kichijoji train station at Kichijoji Minami-cho 2-5-9, Musashino-shi, Tokyo, 180-0003. A Google map of the shop’s location can be found here. The shop’s website is http://cizzi.shop-pro.jp and it also maintains a website geared toward trout fishing at http://kitiya.jp