For 1300 years, has been practiced in Japan cormorant fishing. It is a traditional method of fishing that comes from China. Today it is an activity that is no longer profitable in Japan and is no more than a tourist attraction. In fact, the fishermen raise and train cormorants so that they catch fish for them. Fishermen tie a rope around the throat of the cormorant, tight enough so that the bird can swallow the small fish and not the big one.
In Japan, the bird is attached by a string on which the fisherman pulls to return his animal, in contrast to China where cormorant, free, come back to the boat by themselves. Cormorant fishing is done in the dark because the fisherman must make a fire in the front of the boat, the fish are attracted to light and then the bird catches the fish in its throat. When the fish is in the groove of cormorant, fisherman brings his bird to the boat with the string attached to it and the bird spits fish. At Arashiyama, this fishing technique is still used but only as a tourist attraction. Indeed, the cormorant spit the fish in the river after the fishing. The fishing demonstration lasts 1 hour. There are 2 fishing boats with 5-6 cormorants. It's pretty impressive with fire and screams of fishermen to encourage their birds. There are two fishing sessions per evening, at 7 p.m. and at 8 p.m. There are fewer people in the 8 p.m. session (it's because they are trying to fill at maximum the first session of 7 p.m.) so you have more space and time to enjoy the show. The show costs 1800 yen per person. It is also possible to see the fishing boats for free but from far, from the shore at the Arashiyama park and at the bridge Togetsukyo./p>
It's a pretty amazing experience. We see quite close how the fishery takes place, we can take pictures of cormorants and the price of the ukai demonstration is pretty fair.