Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Birthday In Nagoya

A few days before my birthday, I was invited by another Fulbrighter, Shawn, who lives in Nagoya (which is the closest big city), to go on a boat tour of a river in Nagoya... on my birthday! The area is shadowed by a castle, which is the oldest fully intact castle in all of Japan, and a mountain by the name of Inuyama, which translates to Dog Mountain.

The tour was mainly to watch traditional Cormorant fishing. I had no idea what to expect, but was pretty impressed! Instead of using the typical fishing rods or nets to catch fish, these fishermen use birds... birds on leashes. It sounds pretty crazy but it seemed to work well! It sounds inhumane, these birds have a leash on their neck that won't allow them to swallow the fish they catch. Once a bird catches a fish, the fishermen pulls the bird in and takes the fish from the birds mouth. I thought that the birds would be pretty miserable, but they seemed pretty well taken care of. Unusual for sure!

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