Avoiding the summer heat by the Heian nobles Enjoy the traditional Cormorant-fishing
Avoiding the summer heat by the Heian nobles
Enjoy the traditional Cormorant-fishing
In the steamy Japanese summer, especially Kyoto, where is a basin, is too steamy.
But, because of this weather, people in Kyoto has tried to be cooler in this hotness.
One of them is the river.
During the Heian Period, more than 1,000 years ago, nobles rode on the boat to feel cool by a river breeze.
Drinking, eating, and playing musical instruments on the boat, they spent a special moment to forget this hotness of the summer.
This fun is remaining as Yakanafune (houseboat).
Yakanafune has the tatami or wooden floor and the roof, and looks like the garden terrace.
In Kyoto, you are able to ride on the ship in Arashiyama and Uji.
And then, how do you think that adding the amazing tourism to that Yakanafune?
It’s a mysterious performance that catches river fishes like the sweet fish by the bird.
Why does it do with the bird?
The bird is cormorant that is good to catch fishes.
When cormorants find fishes, they swallow whole.
Fishes are fainted in the cormorant’s gullet in a flash, so that they are clean and fresh; it has no scratches by fishhooks or nets.
While fishes are fainting in the cormorant’s gullet, people are able to open its mouth and get the perfect fish.
This mysterious fishing has been done since ancient days.
In “Nihon-shoki (the oldest chronicles of Japan)”, that Japanese myths were written in the Nara Period (around A.D.700), it’s written that emperors in the mythical age did the cormorant fishing.
Fishes caught by cormorants are precious, so that it was used to present to the emperor or nobles.
People who do the cormorant fishing is called “U-tsukai” or “U-jou”, and they wear the unique cloth.
It’s the sacred ritual to catch fishes for nobles.
The cormorant fishing is said “Ukai” in Japanese, and it’s done during the night.
When a fishing fire is made on the bow, the fire reflects the surface of the water.
Fishes are amazed and moved.
When the fire reflects the body of fishes, the cormorant swallows whole!
Well, people eat only big fishes, and small fishes are for cormorants.
There is the very mysterious fishing.
If you ride on the boat in the river during the summer, why don’t you see the cormorant fishing?
Then, there are great accommodations in Arashiyama.
So please check them.
【Photos】Yakatafune in Arashiyama http://arashiyama-yakatabune.com/