Area ▶︎ GIFU
A river cruise banquet hosted by geisha performers
NAGARA RIVER BOAT TOURS
The best way to enjoy cormorant fishing along the Nagara River is by taking a boating tour, or “funa-asobi（舟遊び）” in Japanese. “Funa-asobi” boating tours are enjoyable activities for adults that can only be found here in Gifu. Guests aboard the boats are entertained by a hōkan (a man who entertains and amuses the passengers), geigi (geisha ladies who entertain with singing, dancing and shamisen playing) and maiko dancers.
The boats depart accompanied by the sounds of flutes and taiko drums, and moor at the riverbank a short distance upstream. On the boat, passengers can savor Gifu’s unique cuisine and saké while feeling the river breeze.
Dancing performances are accompanied by shamisen—another unique Gifu experience. The gentle gurgling of the flowing river along with the geisha dances against the backdrop of Mt. Kinka is a sight you won’t see anywhere else.
The cormorant fishing commences with the start of the
Guests aboard this tour will marvel at how the bonfire is reflected on the surface of the water, and will be captivated by how the cormorant masters on their fishing boats wield their ropes as the cormorants swim along. The fantastic climactic sight of the fishing boats lined up across the width of the river as they cast their nets in unison (the so-garami) is certain to be a memory you won’t forget.
The luxury cruise ship, which set sail in 2022 has also been praised with positive reviews.
180 minutes (generally from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.)
*Time listed are approximate.
17:20 Visitors welcomed by the geisha
17:30 Boat departs, accompanied by taiko drum and flutes
17:45 Guests and hosts enjoy convivial chats while savoring the
cuisine and saké
18:30 “O-zatsuki（お座附）”: dance performance by the geisha
18:45 “O-zatsuki”: various entertainment acts by Kikuji, Gifu’s
19:00 “O-zashiki o-asobi（お座敷お遊び）”: games such as “mugi-tsunde（麦つんで）”
19:30 Fireworks set off, signaling the start of cormorant
19:35 “Karikudari”: tour boat joins the other boats, going
downstream for watching the fishing
20:00 “So-garami”: six cormorant fishing boats line up side by
side to draw the ayu (sweetfish) into one place
20:20 “Hayashi”: the end of the onboard tour in Gifu is welcomed with the folk song, “O-baba”
20:30 Guests disembark from boat; geisha see the visitors off
¥18,000–30,000 per person
(total of around ¥180,000–500,000)
Cormorant fishing tour boat charter, “hana-dai” (geisha fees), lunch box, drinks * The number of geisha depend on the number of customers participating in the tour.
We will promptly provide an estimate for the tour fees based on the capacity of the boat, the number of people in the group and the desired cuisine.
Gifu City cormorant fishing tour boat waiting area 425-7 Kamizaimokucho, Gifu City, Gifu Prefecture 500-8005
7days prior to your scheduled arrival date
Approx. five to 30 people per tour boat(different boat sizes are used, depending on the number of people)
■ What to bring
1.The unique location with magnificent mountains and beautiful
rivers in the background.
2.Outstanding virtuosity in the tradition of Gifu's unique hospitality.
3.A fantastic sight of cormorant fishing bonfires.
The Hosen-Giren is a geisha organization which has inherited the traditions of Hanamachi from the old town of Gifu. These traditions include the o-zashiki games that are played on the cormorant fishing boats that carry the tourists along Nagara River, among other activities. This is the only such organization in west Japan that includes a male geisha, the hōkan. Aside from o-zashiki, the organization is also involved in other activities such as maiko training, community plays (ji-shibai) and carrying on the traditions related to Japanese traditional musical instruments.
1. Cormorant fishing may be canceled due to inclement weather or
If the tour is canceled due to a cancellation of cormorant fishing on that day, your fees will be refunded.
・ Experience tours may be cancelled in the event of bad weather
such as typhoons or heavy rain, in consideration of your
・ The tour may be cancelled in the event of unforeseen circumstances on the part of the facilities accepting visitors or the craftworkers.
・ Cancellations will be decided by 5p.m. prior to the tour day. Be sure to provide an e-mail address where we can get a hold of you on the day before the tour.