Festivals & Events
A lively nighttime demonstration of traditional fishing techniques on the Nagara River in Gifu City, with cormorants doing most of the work.
Buses and taxis to the venue take about 15 minutes from JR Gifu Station.
For over 1300 years expert fishermen have worked the Nagara River using trained cormorants to nab the fish. A snare around the bird’s neck stops it from eating the catch, although it is allowed to keep every eighth fish as a reward.
As the fishing takes place at dusk, each of the long wooden boats is equipped with a fire hanging from the prow. You watch from covered boats that drift alongside.
Other boats offer dinner for an extra fee, serving fish caught on the river. It’s also possible to watch for free from the riverbanks, but you miss out on the richness of the experience.
The season runs from May to October, with sightseeing boats departing from the Nagara Bridge several times during the evening. The trip lasts a little over an hour. A reservation is required. Dinner reservations are usually arranged through your hotel.