Kintai Bridge Cormorant Fishing (錦帯橋の鵜飼い)

At the Kintai Bridge in Yamaguchi Prefecture, cormorant fishing–a practice that flourished some 400 years ago wherein cormorants were used to catch sweetfish–has been loved for centuries as a characteristic feature of summer. The technique of cormorant fishing continues into the present day, where people can enjoy “cormorant fishing tourism,” which happens between June and September. Tourists board a small, roofed wooden boat and can watch the cormorant masters from close up as they send off the cormorants one by one to enact the legendary hunting of sweetfish.

Tourists are watching a style of cormorant fishing that has remained unchanged since it started roughly 400 years ago. Each wooden dinghy is equipped with iron bonfire baskets and seats only two occupants: the birdkeeper who sends off his cormorants, and the captain who navigates the waters. Upon looking closely at the surface of the water lit by the baskets of fire, one can see the cormorants swimming along the river and chasing the sweetfish underneath. In July and August, there are events where tourists can rent a yukata while watching cormorant fishing on a boat or where spectators can witness cormorant fishing with fireworks being set off the in the background; such events are crowded with tourists every year.

1-2 Iwakuni, Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture, JAPAN
19:00 - 21:00
September 11th - May 31st