The Nagara River in Gifu Prefecture is associated with a local banquet culture called “funa asobi” (literally, “boat play,” meaning a type of boating excursion). This Nagara River boating experience combines the area’s 1300-year-old tradition of cormorant fishing with Gifu Prefecture's culture of geisha and maiko.
During this Nagara River Boating and Banquet with Geisha Experience, guests can enjoy a Japanese sake tasting and course meal with Japan’s professional entertainers. So, climb aboard the river boat and feel the breeze on your skin, marveling at the beautiful dances of maiko and geisha, and taste premium varieties of Japanese sake alongside your meal. The menu is seasonal and puts a spotlight on the natural bounty of the Nagara River. The casual course meal features several dishes using the local ayu sweetfish that the region is known for.
Besides the stunning geisha, another once-in-a-lifetime view awaits. Up ahead, you can watch as fishermen practice the ancient method of cormorant fishing, known as “Ukai” in Japanese. This traditional style of fishing uses trained birds to catch ayu sweetfish. The cormorants are tied to the fishermen’s boat with leashes, and dive into the water in pursuit of fish. In the hands of the skilled fishermen, they give up their catch. These ayu sweetfish end up on the tables of lucky diners in Gifu, and even Michelin-starred restaurants in Tokyo.
Witness the action for yourself during this exclusive dining experience in Gifu!
Lunch with seasonal, local specialty dishes
Drinks: tea, beer, sake
Ukai viewing boat
Meeting Point and Meeting Time
Please meet at the cormorant viewing boat waiting area (Address: 1-2, Minatocho, Gifu-shi, Gifu), a 2-minute walk from Nagarabashi (Nagara Bridge) Bus Stop.
This tour is available every day from June 1 to October 15, 2020
The number of geisha depends on the boat and number of guests
Boats will depart even in the rain, except in cases of storms and flooding
If coming by car, please use the parking lot near Gifu Park (300 yen) or the riverbed parking lot (free)