UKAI - CORMORANT FISHING

Nagara River

From 11/05/2015 to 15/10/2015

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For which desire?

  • Nature
  • Festival & Tradition
  • Art & Culture

Ukai is a fishing method to catch small trout with Japanese seabird called u (cormorants) Nagaragawa River, known for its clear water, in the prefecture of Gifu. Master trainers, dressed in ancient costumes, handle between 10 and 12 wild cormorants to catch fish skillfully. This fishery takes place each night between May 11 and October 15, except the full moon or during heavy rains. You can admire the spectacle from small wooden boats, while dining and drinking sake. This practice of 1300 years old, is protected by the Japanese government. Cormorant fishing starts at 19:30. The only lights are torches lit pine wood on boats. The boats sail gently master trainers on the river. When all sets of cormorants swallow small trout to the cry of the trainer, the audience applause and cheering. The evening ends with six boats sailing side by side to corner the fish in the shallows, which is itself a very good show. It is said that Charlie Chaplin, who visited twice on the river to attend Nagaragawa cormorant fishing, kept exclaiming "Wonderful! "Throughout the show. The master trainers of cormorants belong to a national agency (the Agency of the imperial house), and one of their important duties is to provide trout to the Emperor. It is customary that in every generation, the eldest son succeeds his father. These men are living with the cormorants to lead from day to day. A Ukai-no-Sato, home of cormorants near the river, you can closely observe the lifestyle of these fishers individuals. Feel free to speak freely, they will be happy to answer your questions. Nagaragawa River, Minato-machi, Gifu Prefecture

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From 11-05-2015 to 15-10-2015

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