From May 11 to October 15 of every year, in the small village of Oze on the bank of the Nagara River, the cormorant fishing masters of Oze practice their craft, which is a rich tradition with roughly 1000 years of history. Its most compelling draw is the raw simplicity and emotion hidden within the technique. Rather than being performed as a kind of show for visitors, the masters in Oze continue to practice it purely as a means of fishing, making it one of the few places you can see cormorant fishing as it was long, long ago. Neither the fishing boats nor the viewing boats are powered by motors, keeping the practice as close to its traditional form as possible.
Using torches as their only source of light, the way in which the cormorant fishing masters of Oze maneuver the strings connecting them to their birds in order to fish in the dark of night is nothing short of stunning. The three distinguished cormorant fishing masters of Oze have protected the tradition of their art, and those who come to see them at work will almost certainly not leave disappointed.
- Tradition & History
- Life & Culture
May 11th - October 15th Every Year
※Boarding times differ depending on the season
Oze Cormorant Fishing Docks
Oze 76-376-3, Seki City, Gifu 501-3265
From JR Gifu Station or Meitetsu Gifu Station, take the Gifu Bus Seki Itadori Line to the “Oze Yusen-mae” stop
■From 5/11 to 6/14
Boat reservation: 28,000 yen for group of 10, 51,000 yen for group of 20
Fishing may be canceled during extreme conditions, such as stormy weather or high tide