The one-day side-trip to Nagoya was short but surely one of the highlights of my stay in Japan. Not only since my first visit in August last year, I feel overwhelmed by the positive response and ongoing support I’m receiving from Japan’s Topwater scene. Meeting with Taizo Shimazaki of Handsome Lures and Masahiro Hotta – creative head behind Abdeal – was just another inspirational example. I got picked up at Nagoya station by Shimazaki-san and fellow friend Ryuichi who did a great job as translator and entertainer all afternoon and night. Really enjoyed his humor paired with a charming cockney accent.
After dropping by at the famous Husky Musky shop and marveling at some hard to find special colors of favorite lure builders, I got invited to visit the workshop of Shimazaki-san. I felt quite honored to visit the ‘birthplace’ of Handsome‘s lures and enjoyed good talks about inspiration, my own approach to Topwater Style Angling and of course about other none-fishing-related topics.
It was quite interesting to see tools and different states of the lure building process and having a intensive hands-on-session with Shimazaki-san’s creations was just great. While talking about creativity and inspiration, the name “Budd & Joey” was dropped a few times. Budd & Joey Company can truly be described as one of the most influential lure builders in Japan and even if he closed business some years ago, you can still feel his presence and influence.
Quite hungry from our afternoon talks we went to a really good Sushi restaurant in Nagoya. Following the kind invitation of Masahiro Hotta we enjoyed delicious Sashimi, Tempura and other tasty Japanese dishes. One – if not – the best Japanese food I had so far.
I’m happy that I finally had the chance to meet Hotta-san in person. Abdeal‘s lure designs and elaborate color patterns are big favorites of mine and I was lucky enough to add more of his creations to my box during the trip. Unfortunately we didn’t found the time to go fishing together, but I really hope we can meet again sometime soon. Thanks again for your support and of course for this delicious dinner and for taking really good care of your guests.
I also would like to mention a special guest we had that night. Kondo-san already joined us on our way to the restaurant and we enjoyed his cheerful disposition and passionate conversations. As a lure builder himself he is creating highly unique handmade lures from aluminium tubes.
When I first saw one of Good Morning Invader‘s lures popping up at Rotton, I was quite surprised by chosen material and stoked by perfect execution. We had a brief talk about the creation process and special characteristics of the material and I was able to get a brief glimpse at some of his lures. Great stuff, but see for yourself!
I would like to wrap-up this post with a big “Thank you Nagoya!”. I really enjoyed this side-trip and the great company during my stay. Good times full of inspiring conversations and (yes I have to mention it again) exceptionally tasty gems of Japanese cuisine. ありがとうございます。
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