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Japan Diaries 2: Day 18

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Day 18 (June 3, 2018)
It's a beautiful day here in Gifu City. We are on our last leg of our Gifu-Nagano Road trip. As usual, I decided to wake up very early to take a dip at our hotel's onsen. By this time, I could proudly say that I have unlocked several achievements... First of which is the "Nude Man Walking" which means I have lost the sense of shame, walking naked around other men and the "Grandslam Boiled Eggs " which means I have boiled my you-know-what in an onsen for three straight days already.
Achievements aside, after my dip I went to meet my family at the dining area for breakfast. The buffet breakfast was amazing. There were so many dishes to choose from. I particularly enjoyed watching the "pancake master" create artistic pancakes that resemble animals, things, and even cartoon characters.


Ukai (Cormorant Fishing) 2018: Cultural Adventure

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Ukai is a traditional fishing method in Japan wherein instead of using fishing rods and nets, the usho or cormorant fishing master uses an aquatic bird known as the cormorant to catch fish. 

This traditional fishing method can be traced back more than 1300 years ago.  It was mentioned in the Chronicles of Japan (Nihon Shoki) which was originally published 720 AD and the Records of Ancient Matters (Kojiki) which was originally published in 712AD. Due to its long history and its traditional value to Japan, the Ukai in Nagara River is designated as an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan.


Not only is the Ukai and important cultural event, but it is also one of the main tourist magnets of Gifu City. Thousands of local and foreign tourists visit the city during the cormorant fishing season (May 11- October 15) to witness the thousand-year tradition. Among those who had witnessed the ukai was the great comedian Charlie Chaplin who witnessed it not only once but twice in his li…

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