Discover cormorant fishing while dining in style

05 Jul 2017 in Just Relax

Get a close-up view of the Japanese tradition of cormorant fishing while enjoying fine dining on a private boat!


In the summer months, the ancient tradition of fishing with cormorant birds is revived on the River Oi in Kyoto. Every evening, fishermen navigate long wooden boats by the light of a fire hanging from the bow. Once in position, their trained cormorant birds are released to catch freshwater fish and bring back their haul.

Japanese fishers

Known as ukai, the art of cormorant fishing is an engrossing sight – and guests at HOSHINOYA Kyoto can get a close-up view of the practice while dining on a private boat.

Romantic diner in Kyoto

From 10th July to 10th September 2017, HOSHINOYA Kyoto is offering boat trips to sail close to the action and see the cormorant boats.

Japanese music instrument

Every evening, the resort’s houseboat is reserved for a single group of diners (from 2 to 8 people) and includes champagne, a specially-prepared summer menu, and a performance of the Japanese shamisen.

Japanese chef

From the comfort of your private boat, you’ll be invited to sip champagne with summer appetizers carefully crafted by chef Ichiro Kubota. Delicacies include smoked biwa trout and tortoise shell eggs marinated in miso.

Japanese meal

kaiseki menu

The main meal features the chef’s “five flavours freely” cuisine, a reinvention of summer freshness allied with the traditions of Kyoto cuisine. And to complete your evening, you’ll enjoy a performance of the three-stringed shamisen onboard.

All the while, you’ll be close to the cormorant fishermen, dressed in the classic kazaore eboshi (hat) and koshimino (straw skirt), keeping alive a technique that is thought to date back over 1000 years.

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