Traditional fishing method is performed in Arashiyama
Ukai (cormorant fishing) is a traditional fishing method which uses trained cormorants called ‘Umiu’ to catch river fish such as freshwater trouts. It is said that this type of fishing has been carried out from around Heian period. Therefore, ukai has a very long history. Ukai is practiced on a wooden boat which is attached large fire. Cormorants dive under the water to catch fish by swallowing them whole, and the fish are kept in the cormorant’s throat. The fish are retrieved later by fish man. This traditional fishing method was almost disappeared, and these days, ukai is held mainly as an attraction for tourists.
Ukai cruises for tourists are offered to watch the ukai fishing. It is a rare cruise which maintains a traditional style from the Heian period up to now. When the wooden boat approaching toward us, we can see the fishing performance by fisherman and cormorants at a close range. Ukai cruises are similar to the gorgeous atmosphere of aristocracy in Heian period.
Arashiyama ukai offers dinner cruises as well. You can enjoy a ukai cruise while eating and drinking. You can choose from 5 kinds of dinner sets such as bento or sukiyaki when you make the reservation and you can bring your favorite drinks to the dinner cruise. Since the dinner cruise is a chartered boat, you can enjoy ukai and dinner in private atmosphere.
*Reservation is required with over 10 people, 5 days prior to the event date.
*The maximum boarding occupancy is 20 people
Watch the cormorant
Cormorants which are used in ukai are a kind of birds, and these are called “Umiu”. Cormorants of Arashiyama ukai are grown up in Ibaraki prefecture located in north Japan.