Hello and welcome to the Usho-Iwasa Fish Restaurant. Our restaurant is a river specialty restaurant run by “Usho”. Usho inherits the Japanese traditional culture “Ukai”, which is handed down through generations of our ancestors. The tradition is specialize in using birds, namely “cormorant” or “Usho” birds to catch the fish.
The type of fish we specialize is called
“Ayu” or “sweetfish” and also known as the “Queen of the River” in
Japan and there are two types of ayu; natural ayu and cultured ayu. We
specialize mainly on natural ayu in our restaurant, which is a course style
Natural ayu growing in the wild eats algae
that grows on the rocks and stones in the river. Cultured ayu is grown in
“farms” and fed by the fisherman.
The aroma of the fish is intoxicating and
taste is fulfilling.
This difference is clearly noticeable when
eaten compared to cultured ayu. Also, natural ayu is sold as a high-end fish in
the local fish market.
After meals, you can see “Ukai” on a houseboat.
Price of a course meal : 7200 yen
So, what is Ukai?
Ukai is a traditional Japanese fishing
method using birds called “cormorants”. This method has been used since the
At sunset, when the movement of the fish
slowed down, the two boatmen operated a wooden “un boat”, and at the
tip of the boat bonfire torch is lit so that the cormorants could find the
In the past, cormorants were used to catch
many fish and sold to the local fish markets. Cormorants were handled by the
boatmen to retrieve the bird and fish.
At present, we are keeping that vibrant
traditional fishing method, more as sightseeing.
So when experiencing you’ll see the flaming
floats on the surface in the darkness, the reins handling the cormorants by the
cormorant boatmen, the skill of the boatman themselves maneuvers the cormorant
boats, and the cormorant fishing on the river flow are both artistic and
When you come to Japan, please enjoy the
delicious taste of “natural ayu” at our restaurant and get a real
life experience of cormorant fishing that can only be experienced here at the
Iwasa Cormorant Fish Restaurant.