JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when in crowds.

Image search results - "bird"
032-IMG_2357.jpg
An egret stalking insects. It did not mind us photographers only meters away.
033-IMG_2355.jpg
The only egret which never flew away when I approached.
034-IMG_2352.jpg
Notice the black legs and yellow feet.
051-IMG_2618.jpg
Bird
ha017-20090208_2823.jpg
Migratory birds in Feb.
ha018-20090208_2836.jpg
Ducks seek the protection of the reeds.
ha019-20090208_2831.jpg
Meanwhile above, a black kite soars above looking for fish. The bird is a common site at Lake Biwa.
hb338-20101121_8471.jpg
This crow was unafraid of humans. It was right in front of me and seemed to wait for food.
hc313-10c-IMG_3857.jpg
These heron birds make nests in Genkyu-en's trees.
hc314-10e-IMG_3845.jpg
A heron bringing back a branch to make a nest at Genkyuen Garden in Hikone, Shiga.
hc315-10d-IMG_3840.jpg
Nesting herons can be quite noisy in spring.
hc333-IMG_4001.jpg
Black swan in Hikone Castle's moat, a gift from Mito in Ibraraki Prefecture.
hd128-9125Aug4Hakodate6.jpg
Sea gulls in Hokkaido all face the same direction. They must be Japanese birds who like to conform to the group.
hd129-9125Aug3Hakodate8.jpg
hr405-DSC00641.jpg
After the aikido, falconry demonstrations were held at Hama-Rikyu Gardens on Jan. 3 as a New Year's event. (放鷹術実演) Hama-Rikyu Garden used to be where the Tokugawa shoguns and the Imperial family practiced falconry.
hr406-DSC00648.jpg
There were several falconers each with his or her own hawk. They are members of a falconry preservation group. They've been holding this event for 23 years here.
hr407-P1100060.jpg
They don't use the same type of falconry birds that were used by Tokugawa shoguns. They now use Harris' hawks or red-tailed hawks imported to Japan. They are highly intelligent birds and can recognize human faces.
hr408-P1100070.jpg
Notice that falconer wears a small pouch on his waist. It contains bird food. The bird is rewarded each time it does a trick.
hr409-P1100076.jpg
Magnificent birds. The local crows were quite alarmed by the presence of these hawks.
hr410-ScreenShot.png
Falconry demo was held twice in the day. The first demo had the hawks released from the top of a nearby skyscraper and they flew down to their falconers in the garden.For the demo, they showed the hawks swoop low from one falconer to another. They also showed a live capture (kill?) of a released pigeon. Very fast.
hr411-DSC00645.jpg
They allowed a few people from the audience to try falconry. This is an Italian who was lucky enough to be chosen to hold and release this hawk.
hr412-P1100080.jpg
After the demo, they showed off the hawks for photos.
hr413-P1100085.jpg
hr414-P1100091.jpg
hr416-P1100097.jpg
hr417-P1100099.jpg
hr418-P1100102.jpg
hr419-P1100107.jpg
hr420-P1100112.jpg
Falconry demonstrations held at Hama-Rikyu Gardens on Jan. 3 in Tokyo.
hr421-P1100130.jpg
hr422-P1100135a.jpg
Falconry demonstrations held at Hama-Rikyu Gardens on Jan. 3 in Tokyo.
hr423-P1100140.jpg
im435-IMG_1890.jpg
Black kite going fishing トビ
kb020-20090208_2843.jpg
Sign welcoming you to the Kohoku Town Waterfowl Park along the northeastern shore of Lake Biwa, directly north of Nagahama. MAPThis is slightly north of Hayasaki Biotope.
kb021-20090208_2766.jpg
Map of Kohoku-cho Waterfowl Park that includes a bird-watching center called Kohoku Wild Bird Center and the Biwako Waterfowl and Wetland Center.
kb023-20090208_2877.jpg
Kohoku Wild Bird Center, admission 200 yen. This center was established by Shiga Prefecture in Nov. 1988 and it is operated by Kohoku town. 湖北野鳥センター
kb024-20090208_2845.jpg
Inside Kohoku Wild Bird Center. It has large picture windows facing Lake Biwa and high-powered binoculars enabling you to clearly see the waterfowl. 湖北野鳥センター
kb025-20090208_2849.jpg
View from the Kohoku Wild Bird Center.
kb026-20090208_2852.jpg
The birds rest on a small island close to the shore.
kb027-20090208_2854.jpg
On this day in Feb., I saw ducks and gray heron (ao-sagi).
kb028-20090208_2853.jpg
Ducks
kb028a-20140103-0412.jpg
Tundra swans from Siberia at Lake Biwa.
kb028b-20140103-0417.jpg
kb028c-20140103-0436.jpg
Bean geese at Lake Biwa.
kb028d-20140103-0442.jpg
kb028e-20140103-0443.jpg
Amateur photographers, birdwatchers, and sightseers along the shore during winter is a common sight.
kb029-20090208_2859.jpg
The Kohoku Wild Bird Center is well equipped for bird-watching and also features exhibits of stuffed birds.
kb030-20090208_2861.jpg
Bulletin board indicating the bird species observed that day and where they were seen in the area. The center keeps track of bird locations in Lake Biwa, Hayasaki Naiko Biotope, and Mt. Yamamoto-yama.
kb031-20090208_2869.jpg
Display of various bird nests.
kb032-20090208_2864.jpg
On the opposite side of the center is Mt. Yamamoto-yama. On this day in Feb., we saw the Steller's sea eagle perched on a tree on this mountain.
kb033-20090208_2865.jpg
Actual-size cutout of Steller's sea eagle. The center has two telescopes aimed at the bird for a clear view. It is a very large bird with a wingspan of over 2 meters. You need a very large telephoto lens to photograph the bird on the mountain.オオワシ
kb034-20090208_2867.jpg
Explanation of Steller's sea eagle and its movement in the area.
kb035-20090208_2863.jpg
Migratory patterns in the Kohoku area.
kb036-20090208_2873.jpg
Connected via a passageway to the Kohoku Wildbird Center is the Biwako Waterfowl and Wetland Center set up by the Ministry of the Environment in 1997. It is also operated by Kohoku town.
kb037-20090208_2872.jpg
Viewing room in the Biwako Waterfowl and Wetland Center.
kb038-20090208_2876.jpg
Autographs of various prominent people who visited the Kohoku Wild Bird Center.
km334-P1050163.jpg
It soon snagged a baby carp from the pond. Poor innocent fish. It must be traumatic to be caught in a bird's beak and be swallowed whole.
mi036-20090107_0320.jpg
Ducks in winter. Mishima Pond is one destination in Shiga for migratory birds.
mi037-20090107_0328.jpg
mi038-20090107_0322.jpg
Mishima Pond, Maibara, Shiga.
mi039-20090107_0324.jpg
Mishima Pond, Maibara, Shiga.
mi040-20090107_0346.jpg
mi041-20090107_0343.jpg
The ducks welcome feeding by humans. Cat food works well.
mi042-20090107_0351.jpg
mi043-20090107_0342.jpg
mi044-20090107_0364.jpg
mi045-20090107_0361.jpg
All these ducks love me.
mi046-20090107_0357.jpg
mi047-20090107_0356.jpg
mi300-P1020078.jpg
A long line of people wait to enter the museum in Sept. 2013 on the last day of the Thunderbirds exhibition. This is before the museum's opening time.
mi301-P1020079.jpg
mi302-P1020080.jpg
Inside Miraikan at ticket vending machines.
mi304-P1020083.jpg
mi305-P1020087.jpg
Parker and Lady Penelope. The puppets are about as tall as the length between your fingertips and elbow.
mi306-P1020089.jpg
Lady Penelope
mi307-P1020090.jpg
Lady Penelope undressed (!), but headless.
mi308-P1020092.jpg
Thunderbird 1
mi309-P1020095.jpg
The background paper moved to create the illusion of flight.
mi310-P1020099.jpg
mi311-P1020102.jpg
Thunderbird 2
mi312-P1020103.jpg
mi313-P1020106.jpg
Mole
mi314-P1020113.jpg
Thunderbird 3
mi315-P1020114.jpg
mi316-P1020124.jpg
Thunderbird 4
mi317-P1020116.jpg
mi318-P1020117.jpg
Thunderbird 5
mi319-P1020118.jpg
Lady Penelope's pink Rolls Royce
mi320-P1020121.jpg
mi321-P1020127.jpg
Plastic model of Thunderbird 1
mi322-P1020128.jpg
Plastic model of Thunderbird 2
mi323-P1020130.jpg
Plastic model of Mole
mi324-P1020126.jpg
Plastic model of Thunderbird 4
mi325-P1020134.jpg
mi326-P1020129.jpg
mi327-P1020131.jpg
Thunderbird 2 show
mi328-P1020133.jpg
mi329-P1020146.jpg
Model of the island base and home.
mi330-P1020145.jpg
mt107-20090805_0163.jpg
As each boat leaves, sea gulls follow.
mt108-20090805_0556.jpg
The sea gulls follow where there's food, and the tourists are happy to toss junk food at them.
mt109-20090805_0566.jpg
They even sell bird food on the boat.
mt110-20090805_0569.jpg
These birds fly very close, within arm's reach.
mt111-20090805_0596.jpg
Face to face with a bird. "Hey, any food for me??"
mt125-20090805_0712.jpg
n020-IMG_9114.jpg
Display of stuffed toki or crested ibis, an endangered species. Official bird of Niigata and raised on Sado island.
on038-20090213_2570.jpg
tc037-IMG_5017.jpg
Sea gull on the lake.
th375-20120410_9240.jpg
White heron and cherry blossoms.
th376-20120410_9243.jpg
White heron and cherry blossoms.
th377-20120410_9261.jpg
Grey heron and cherry blossoms.
th378-20120410_9249.jpg
Heron finds a snack.
th401-20120410_9329.jpg
Grey heron
tn038-IMG_00040.jpg
The lake shore behind the Toya Mizunoeki also has swans.
tn039-IMG_00043.jpg
Nakajima islands and swan, Lake Toya, Hokkaido
tn040-IMG_00046.jpg
Lake Toya and swan, Hokkaido
tn041-IMG_00050.jpg
Lake Toya and swans, Hokkaido
tn070-IMG_00128.jpg
Another nesting swan.
tn071-IMG_00131.jpg
Nesting swan
tt606-20120528_0865.jpg
Swan in Tatatranuma park, Tatebayashi.
ty208-20181026-0048.jpg
Hyogo Park of the Oriental White Stork has a few buildings amid large rice paddies and mountains.
ty220-20181026-0377.jpg
Toyooka Oriental White Stork Culture Center's open cage for Oriental white storks. It includes paddies used for feeding. The cage is "open" because it only hasa fence and no roof.
ty221-20181026-0137.jpg
Toyooka Oriental White Stork Culture Center's open cage for Oriental white storks. There are about nine storks in the open cage. Their wings have been clipped to they cannot fly.
ty222-20181026-0145.jpg
So if you go to Hyogo Park of the Oriental White Stork, you can see real Oriental white storks.
ty223-20181026-0132.jpg
About the Oriental white stork open cage.
ty224-20181026-0348.jpg
Around 9:30 am to 10 am, they feed the storks. This is the best time to visit the park. And the best chances of seeing storks flying around.
ty225-20181026-0354.jpg
They are throwing small dead fish into the paddies.
ty226-20181026-0405.jpg
The storks are carnivores, feeding on fish, frogs, snakes, rabbits, mice, etc.
ty227-20181026-0315.jpg
The Oriental white stork has black and white wings and a black bill.
ty228-20181026-0165.jpg
The Oriental white stork is a big, beautiful bird often mistaken as the Japanese crane. Wingspan is 2 meters.
ty229-20181026-0174.jpg
Once found all over Japan, the Oriental white stork ("kounotori" in Japanese) became extinct in the wild in Japan in 1971 despite preservation efforts since 1955.
ty230-20181026-0176.jpg
Toyooka was where the last living Oriental white stork in Japan died in 1986. Pesticides in rice paddies (where they feed) and other environmental problems caused their demise.
ty231-20181026-0179.jpg
In 1985, six wild Oriental white stork chicks from the USSR (Khabarovsk) were acquired to be raised in Toyooka. From 1989, the birds from Russia started to breed successfully in captivity in Toyooka every year.
ty232-20181026-0189.jpg
From 2005, the park started releasing Oriental white storks into the wild in Toyooka, which was a great celebration. The birds then started to breed and reproduce in the wild.They've been releasing only a few birds (fewer than 5) almost every year.
ty233-20181026-0220.jpg
As of Oct. 2018, Japan has over 140 Oriental white storks in the wild. They are also successfully breeding in Tokushima, Shimane, and Kyoto Prefectures. It's still an endangered species, with only slightly over 2,000 of them in the Far East.
ty234-20181026-0233.jpg
I didn't expect to see the storks flying around, so I was thrilled when a few of them flew overhead while I was in the park. They flew in during feeding time.
ty235-20181026-0216.jpg
ty236-20181026-0238.jpg
ty237-20181026-0240.jpg
ty238-20181026-0242.jpg
ty239-20181026-0243.jpg
ty240-20181026-0244.jpg
ty241-20181026-0246.jpg
ty242-20181026-0248.jpg
ty243-20181026-0293.jpg
They make a loud clacking noise with their bills.
ty244-20181026-0425.jpg
ty245-20181026-0427.jpg
ty246-20181026-0428.jpg
ty247-20181026-0464.jpg
White stork landing in the paddy during feeding time.
ty248-20181026-0456.jpg
Feeding time for the storks also attracts unwanted birds like black kites. They swoop in and steal a fish, then don't come back.
ty249-20181026-0472.jpg
Grey herons also drop by, but they are always fighting each other.
ty250-20181026-0340.jpg
Crows also drop by.
ty251-20181026-0447.jpg
Storks swallow the fish whole.
ty252-20181026-0507.jpg
ty253-20181026-0510.jpg
Oriental white stork eating a fish.
ty254-20181026-0258.jpg
Landing on a nesting platform.
ty255-20181026-0301a.jpg
Two Oriental white storks on a nesting platform. Each nesting platform has a video camera monitoring it 24/7 especially during the egg-laying and hatching season in spring.The park is likely crowded during this time until the babies leave the nest in June/July.
ty256-20181026-0528.jpg
Oriental white stork nests are large, about 2 meters diameter, made of tree branches and straw.
ty257-20181026-0564.jpg
Back inside the Oriental White Stork Culture Center. On the left is the European white stork with a red bill, on the right is the Oriental white stork with a black bill. Very similar.
ty258-20181026-0581.jpg
The hanafuda card with the "crane" is actually an Oriental white stork. It actually looks like a cross between the two birds...
ty259-20181026-0578.jpg
Exhibits.
ty260-20181026-0575.jpg
ty261-20181026-0572.jpg
ty262-20181026-0120.jpg
ty263-20181026-0117.jpg
ty264-20181026-0119.jpg
ty265-20181026-0568.jpg
ty266-20181026-0563.jpg
ty267-20181026-0569.jpg
Screening room.
ty268-20181026-0570.jpg
Aquariums with fish.
ty269-20181026-0571.jpg
Even insects.
ty270-20181026-0095.jpg
Part of the park is a large biotope used as a stork sanctuary and research facility. Only part of it is open to the public.
ty271-20181026-0099.jpg
ty272-20181026-0537.jpg
Nesting platform.
ty273-20181026-0545.jpg
About the biotope.
ty274-20181026-0546.jpg
Large biotope used as a stork sanctuary and research facility.
ty275-20181026-0549.jpg
Park's website: http://www.stork.u-hyogo.ac.jp/en/
ty276-20181026-0064.jpg
Gift shops in this building next to the parking lot.
ty277-20181026-0588.jpg
Confection shaped like stork eggs.
ty278-20181026-0006.jpg
Oriental White Stork manhole in Toyooka, Hyogo Prefecture.
ty279-20181026-0007.jpg
Oriental White Stork manhole in Toyooka, Hyogo Prefecture.
ty280-20181026-0592.jpg
Airline with a plane donning an Oriental White Stork motif.
uk010-20080822_8871.jpg
The Nagaragawa River ukai cormorant fishing is held nightly from May 11 to Oct. 15 except during the Full Moon and if the river overflows. You can buy tickets and board the viewing boats here, next to Nagarabashi Bridge. 鵜飼観覧船のりば
uk011-IMG_3854.jpg
Although there is cormorant fishing in other parts of Japan, Gifu's Nagara River ukai cormorant fishing is most famous because it is connected to the Imperial family. Statue of a ukai cormorant fishing master called an "usho." 鵜匠の像
uk012-20080822_8876.jpg
Ticket office for ukai cormorant fishing viewing boats. Behind it is Nagara River and boat dock. You can buy tickets on the day you want to view the cormorant fishing. Pamphlets in English are available. 鵜飼観覧船事務所
uk013-20080822_8877.jpg
You have several options: Course/Cruise A is slightly more expensive (3300 yen) than Course B (3000 yen) since it allows you to be on the boat for a longer time. The 6:15 pm departure time is earlier, so it gives you time to eat dinner on the boat.On weekends and holidays, the 3300 yen price is the same for both Course A and B.
uk014-20080822_8879.jpg
You can bring your own food and drinks on the boat. Next to the ticket office is this stone moument for a TV program which declared a song about Nagara River ukai cormorant fishing to be a national favorite for many years.
uk015-20080822_8880.jpg
Ukai-related poems. There's even one composed by Basho: おもしろうて やがて悲しき 鵜飼かな。 Gifu's Nagara River ukai cormorant fishing has a 1300-year history. It is recorded in the Nihon Shoki (Chronicle of Japan) and Kojiki
uk016-20080822_8885.jpg
Boat harbor for ukai viewing boats. The two boats in the foreground are restroom boats. Ukai cormorant fishing is a traditional fishing technique all but replaced by more advanced fishing methods. So it is now mainly for tourists.
uk017-20080822_8890.jpg
Restroom boat. During the cormorant fishing, this toilet boat is parked near the viewing boats for your convenience.
uk018-20080822_8895.jpg
Ukai cormorant fishing viewing boat. You don't need to go as a group. You can go by yourself and just ride with other passengers. There are also boats for women only, families only, and couples only.
uk019-20080822_8896.jpg
If you have a group of 15 or more, it would be cheaper to charter a boat to view the cormorant fishing. Some of the viewing boats are also handicapped-accessible.
uk020-20080822_8897.jpg
Dancing boat where dancers entertain people before the ukai fishing. 踊り舟
uk021-20080822_8923.jpg
At the boat dock (next to Nagarabashi Bridge) at 5:45 pm, one of the six ukai cormorant fishing masters give a short talk about ukai fishing. The crowd gathers for the talk.
uk022-20080822_8928.jpg
Ukai cormorant fishing master Sugiyama Ichisaburo comes to give the ukai talk. The basket has two cormorant birds. Nagara River in Gifu has six ukai cormorant fishing masters. All of them appear nightly. 杉山市三郎
uk023-20080822_8931.jpg
First he explains about the fishing master's costume, starting with his cap (kazaori-eboshi) made of hemp cloth. It's actually a flat piece of black or navy blue cloth wrapped around his head to protect his hair from the fire. 風折烏帽子
uk024-20080822_8934.jpg
The cap protrudes upward to make room for the topknot which the men used to have in the old days. His shirt (ryofuku) is made of cotton. He also has a fire-protection vest (muneate) that has a pocket. 漁服(りょうふく)胸あて(むあて)
uk025-20080822_8937.jpg
His footwear is a pair of half-slippers (ashinaka) made of straw (handmade by the fishing master). It is half the usual length. It prevents him from slipping on the fish oil and water. 足半(あしなか)
uk026-20080822_8943.jpg
He took out one of the cormorants from the basket cage. In Japanese, the bird is called umi'u. They normally fish in the ocean as opposed to the kawa'u river cormorant which are smaller and have been devastating to the fish in Lake Biwa.
uk027-20080822_8948.jpg
He puts in ayu sweetfish into the cormorant's mouth. Nagara River's six cormorant fishing masters are employees of the Imperial Household Agency (Ceremonies Dept.). They are national government employees. 海鵜
uk028-20080822_8950.jpg
There is a ring around the bird's throat, preventing it from swallowing the fish. (The bird can still swallow smaller fish.) The cormorants are caught in the wild in Hitachi, Ibaraki Prefecture and trained for ukai fishing in Gifu. 鵜
uk029-20080822_8951.jpg
The bird then spits out the fish. The person on the right is the fishing master's son being groomed to take over his father's job. The fishing master has been doing this for 50 years. It is a hereditary position and occupation. 鮎
uk030-20080822_8954.jpg
The fishing master's handmade skirt (koshimino) is made of straw. It functions as a raincoat and provides warmth. He makes and wears out four or five skirts each year. Underneath is just shorts. 腰蓑(こしみの)
uk031-20080822_8957.jpg
The ukai fishing master's ukai cormorant fishing boat is called ubune. Accompanied by an assistant (middle) called the nakanori and the steerer (at rear) called tomonori. About 13 meters long. 鵜舟(うぶね)= 鵜匠+供乗り(とものり)
uk032-20080822_8955.jpg
After the ukai talk, passengers start to board the ukai viewing boats at 6:15 pm. Course B passengers will board at 6:45 pm or 7:15 pm. Course B is for people who just want to see the cormorant fishing, and don't care to spend much time on the boat.
uk033-20080822_8965.jpg
With passengers aboard, the boats depart one after another, heading upstream.
uk034-20080822_8969.jpg
The viewing boats are called yakata-bune. They come in different sizes. 屋形船
uk035-20080822_8977.jpg
The smaller yakata-bune, like this one, is human-powered.
uk036-20080822_8979.jpg
The larger yakata-bune has a silent, battery-powered outboard motor. Notice the solar panels on the roof. 屋形船
uk037-20080822_8975.jpg
Ukai viewing boats head upstream to where the boats are parked next to the river shore.
ul010-20080819_8662.jpg
If you're staying at a hotel or ryokan in Gifu city, it's possible to have your hotel arrange the viewing of the cormorant fishing. I went to see ukai cormorant fishing through a luxury hotel on the river. The dock was a short walk from the hotel.
ul011-20080819_8663.jpg
Mt. Kinkazan, topped with Gifu Castle, is a prominent sight on Nagara River. 金華山
ul012-20080819_8664.jpg
Ukai viewing boats going upstream with Mt. Kinkazan in the background. The castle is also lit at night.
ul013-20080819_8665.jpg
Nagara River 長良川
ul014-20080819_8666.jpg
Boats awaiting passengers. We call them yakata-bune. The roof is shaped like a house roof. 屋形船
ul015-20080819_8668.jpg
Inside one boat. The floor has tatami mats. A low table is also provided. No dinner provided on this boat.
ul016-20080819_8671.jpg
This is our ukai viewing boat called Dosan Maru, named after the famous lord of Gifu. All the ukai viewing boats have a name related to the Gifu area, Nagara River or ukai fishing. Notice the bento boxes. 道三丸
ul017-20080819_8673.jpg
After they took our picture in front of the boat (and later charged 1,000 yen for a 5x7 in. print), we started to board the large boat.
ul018-20080819_8679.jpg
Nagara River, looking upstream. We departed at about 6:30 pm. 長良川
ul019-20080819_8678.jpg
Our boat was semi-human powered. I think this guy should be wearing a happi coat and a Chinaman's hat for better atmosphere and aesthetics.
ul020-20080819_8684.jpg
Mt. Kinkazan
ul021-20080819_8691.jpg
We approach the parking place along with the other boats already parked next to the river shore.
ul022-20080819_8688.jpg
We had ordered bento box lunches from the hotel. This kind of cruise probably cost 5,000 yen per person. Smoking is not allowed on the boat.
ul023-20080819_8693.jpg
Bento box lunch. It was pretty good. We also had a variety of soft drinks. Before the ukai fishing began, we had time to eat dinner.
ul024-20080819_8694.jpg
Also before the ukai fishing began, this little boat came round to sell beer and fireworks. My relatives, being rich, bought some fireworks for the kids.
ul025-20080819_8720.jpg
The lanterns in the boat were covered with bugs. Apparently harmless, but it got the girls and women squeamish.
ul026-20080819_8700.jpg
A neighboring boat shoot some fireworks.
ul027-20080819_8711.jpg
The light of the fireworks immediately attracted a swarm of bugs which died from the fire and dropped into the river. Stupid bugs.
ul028-20080819_8810.jpg
The ukai viewing boats are parked like so as they watch the ukai fishing boats pass by.
ul029-20080819_8723.jpg
The ukai viewing boats were parked right next to shore, so we could easily get out and go on land. We could walk to the toilet boat parked nearby.
ul030-20080819_8765.jpg
So we finished eating dinner, and at around 7:45 pm, the first ukai cormorant fishing boat passed by. The order in which the fishing masters pass by and fish is decided by drawing lots. The fish catch varies depending on what order you fish.
ul031-20080819_8766.jpg
The burning torch provides light and attracts the sweetfish. The cormorants dive into the water to catch the fish. The bird then is pulled to the boat to spit out the fish. The ukai cormorant fishing master holds the leash to 10 to 12 birds.
ul032-20080819_8761.jpg
The torch fire is called kagaribi 篝火, the pine wood used for the fire is called matsuwariki 松割木, and the metal basket holding the burning wood is called kagari 篝. The pole holding the torch is called kagaribo 篝棒.
ul033-20080819_8763.jpg
The 122 tools (including the cormorant fishing boat) used by the fishing master are Important Tangible Properties. If you want to take pictures, flash and a high ISO speed are essential. Video is great too.
ul034-20080819_8755.jpg
The cormorants go out on these fishing trips on an empty stomach. They are starving, and therefore motivated to hunt for fish. The six ukai fishing boats pass by, so you get ample chance to take pictures and videos.
ul035-20080819_8758.jpg
After spitting out its catch, the bird goes back into the water. The title of usho 鵜匠 (cormorant fishing master) was created by Oda Nobunaga. Only the Nagara River ukai fishing masters have this title. Other cormorant fishermen are u-zukai 鵜使い.
ul036-20080819_8745.jpg
Amazing how the strings don't get tangled. The fishing master can quickly cut the rope in case it gets caught on rock underwater so the bird does not drown. Also see my YouTube video here.
ul037-20080819_8747.jpg
The usho (cormorant fishing master) and nakanori (assistant). The fishing master has about 20 cormorants at his home. Since they live together, he and the birds are able to work well together. 鵜匠、なか乗り
ul038-20080819_8794.jpg
For the climax, called sogarami (joint-formation fishing), all six ukai cormorant fishing boats line up and proceed downriver together while they chase the fish to the shallows. 総がらみ
ul039-20080819_8798.jpg
Sogarami, all six ukai cormorant fishing boats line up and chase the fish downriver together while the fishing masters shout "Hou-Hou." I. Photographing this is difficult since your flash cannot reach the boats. 総がらみ
ul040-20080819_8802.jpg
The cormorant fishing boats then parked near the viewing boats and showed us how they feed/reward the starving birds with fish and then put back the birds in the basket cages.
ul041-20080819_8806.jpg
They also showed us a sample of the ayu sweetfish that were caught. These are larger than normal ayu. Those caught by the cormorants are expensive. The fish die quickly in the bird's beak, preserving freshness. You can see the beak marks on the fish.
um010-20080822_8861.jpg
Near Nagara River is the homes of the cormorant fishing masters.
um011-20080822_8839.jpg
Ukai cormorant fishing boats docked near the cormorant fishing masters' homes. At the right time, you can watch them carry the birds to the boats as they prepare for the ukai fishing.
um012-20080822_8842.jpg
Homes of the cormorant fishing masters. It may be possible to see their birds if you ask politely and if they are not busy.
um013-20080822_8841.jpg
Sign at one home of a cormorant fishing master. The fishing masters also perform cormorant fishing for the Imperial family 8 times a year at designated areas on Nagara River. The fish is offered to the Imperial family, Ise Shrine, and Meiji Shrine. 御料
um014-20080822_8844.jpg
Pine wood stored at one cormorant fishing master's home.
um015-20080822_8845.jpg
There is also a small park called the Ukai Hiroba 鵜飼ひろば。
um016-20080822_8848.jpg
From this park, you can also watch the nightly ukai fishing on the river.
um017-20080822_8854.jpg
Statue in Ukai Hiroba. Also see my YouTube ukai video here.
um018-20160103_2432.jpg
Gifu city manhole showing cormorants
 
251 files on 1 page(s)