Cormorant Fishing on the Nagara River A staple of summertime in Gifu: a traditional fishing ceremony that unfolds just like an ancient Japanese picture scroll Ukai is an ancient fishing method that has been performed in Gifu for 1,300 years in which the fishing master uses cormorants to catch sweetfish. With Gifu Castle looming in the background, in the dark of night the masters and the cormorants set about their work, guided by the flaming torchlights at the helms of their boats. Though short in duration, this ceremony transports you back in time with its subtle yet profound beauty. Charlie Chaplin himself came to watch ukai, and he loved it so much that he even came back to see the spectacle again!
Gujo's lively dance festival in the heat of the summer--open to anyone and everyone! Every year, more than 300,000 people converge on Gujo from all over the country, dressed in traditional yukata (summer kimono) and clacking their geta (traditional wooden clogs) on the ground. Both locals and tourists come together in circles to interact with each other through dance. Participation is key, and indeed, the Gujo Dance is known as, not a "dance that you watch," but rather a "dance that you DANCE!" Taking place during around 30 nights from mid-July to early September, it is the longest-running dance in Japan; the climax, between August 13th and 16th, sees four days of all-night dancing that go on well into the morning hours!