Under the cover of darkness and with nothing but the light of flames to guide their way, master fishermen use trained cormorants to catch ayu sweetfish, a migratory fish native to Gifu’s pristine rivers. The cormorant fishermen in Gifu (6 in Gifu City, 3 in Seki City) are the only ones officially recognised as employees of Japan’s Imperial Household Agency.

Catch this spectacular, one-of-a-kind tradition up close and personal on an observation boat or from the riverbanks of the Nagara River. Fishing is held every evening from May 11th (Thursday) to October 15th (Monday) except on days of inclement weather and high water.

Please note that the Gifu City cormorant fishermen will not be fishing on the 21st of September (Thursday). Seki City cormorant fishermen will be working as per normal on that day.

Observation boat reservations can be made via the links below.

For more info: