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Ukai (Fishing with Cormorants)

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"Ukai" is an evocative summer spectacle. Through the amazingly skilled use of leashes, each fisherman controls ten to twelve cormorants. This method of sending birds into the depths over and over to catch ayu (sweetfish) is a traditional fishing method unique to Japan since Heian Period (794-1185).
The fishermen display wonderful artistry when fishing with their trained birds. Over the river surface, which is shrouded in darkness, the cormorant boats slowly emerge. They are lit by baskets of fire and you can hear the commands of the handlers to the birds to commence fishing. This traditional spectacle can be viewed from the river banks or on a boat.


Arashiyama Ukai (Fishing with Cormorants)

Dates: July 1 - September 15 (boat service suspended on August 16)
Place: Oi-gawa River, Arashiyama
Access: "Arashiyama" Station on the Keifuku Arashiyama Line
"Arashiyama-koen" bus stop on City Bus 28
Admission: 1,700 yen *viewing from the riverbank is free
Contact: 075-861-1627 (Arashiyama Tusen)
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