Gifu #6: Gifu Lanterns (岐阜提灯)

Gifu’s 6th and most recent postcard are of Gifu chochin, paper lanterns lavishly decorated and often seen during summer festivals around the prefecture. Several workshops that make them are in Gifu City, but as my visit there was cut short by the rains, I was only able to see them displayed around town.

They can also be bought in souvenir shops, though they’re pretty expensive.

A simple example of one

And a slightly better picture of one

So that concludes my Gifu posts! You can read about my Gifu trip here.

Gifu #3: Cormorant Fishing (鵜飼)

This postcard is my biggest disappointment of the entire set. Gifu’s third postcard features ukai, or cormorant fishing on the Nagara River. Men train u, or cormorant birds, to fish for ayu, then bring the caught fish back to the boat instead of eating them. The men and birds go out on boats almost every evening from about May to October to fish the river, except when torrential and record-breaking rains sweep into Gifu RIGHT as I get there, thereby canceling the event and preventing me from seeing the ONE thing I was most excited to see! ARG! (As you can tell I am slightly disappointed. Slightly.)

As a result, the closest I came to actually seeing the cormorants or the river was this:

Yeah. Woo.

It might not be this year, or next year, but I WILL be back to Gifu City to actually see Ukai, and I will post about it them! Meanwhile, you can assuage your curiosity with a youtube video here, or this fantastic blog post about it here. And if you want to hear more whining about missing it, check over the rest of my Gifu visit at my personal blog here.