Ukai (traditional Cormorant fishing) in Arashiyama

From July 1, 2008 until September 15, 2008
7pm to 9pm

Ukai (known as cormorant fishing in English) is a traditional Japanese fishing method using lantern-lit boats and tamed cormorants for catching fish. Although this fishing method is not used widely any more, it is a unique and beautiful tradition that continues as a popular tourist attraction in Arashiyama, Kyoto each year. Cormorant fishing is believed to have been used in Arashiyama since the Heian Period (794-1185), which means it dates back to the 8th century.

If you travel to Arashiyama during summer, you can watch this amazing spectacle from the shore of the Oigawa (Oi River) or get a little closer for a small fee (from 1,700 yen for adults) in an ukai sightseeing boat. The boats depart at 6:30pm and 7:30pm during September. There are extra events happening this year to celebrate the 1,000th anniversary of the Tale of Genji – the world’s first novel to be written during the Heian period. An incredible Imperial-style ukai boat has been replicated for the first time in 1,000 years and will be used for ukai fishing during the celebrations by people dressed in elegant Heian period costumes.

1. 嵐山 Arashiyama, 2. 鵜飼 Cormorant Fishing, 3. 鵜飼 Cormorant Fishing

You can get to Arashiyama by taking the Keifuku Railway: Arashiyama Line to Arashiyama Station or the Hankyu Railway: Arashiyama Line to Hankyu Arashiyama Station.

(*Please Note: These images by EYLC have been used under the Creative Commons license)

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