Sunday, September 05, 2010

A Temple, Some Tea and Fishing

September 4, 2010

We went on a day trip to Uji, a town just 15 minutes outside of Kyoto. When we left on Saturday morning, the forecast said it would be very hot. It was great because my friends are relaxed about sightseeing, so we spent half of our time in air conditioned restaurants, shops, tea houses and museums and the other half visiting sights.
When we arrived, we got lunch and hung out in an air conditioned restaurant. I had cold soba noodles, pickles, rice, seaweed and vegetables.
We visited Byodoin Temple, which is featured on the back of the 10 yen coin (about a dime).
Julian, Yumi, Lauren and me

Uji is also famous for green tea. After hanging out in the sun for a while, we decided to go to a beautiful tea shop and eat green tea shaved ice and ice cream with azuki bean.

Yumi and Julian

One of the main reasons we went to Uji was to see their traditional and unusual way of fishing. It's called Ukai. We bought tickets for a riverboat and walked around.
Shinya met up with us
The cormorants

When it got dark, 3 people lit a fire and got in a boat. The fire helps attract fish .
They put a metal ring around the cormorant's neck which is attached to rope. There were 5 or 6 comorants. They put the birds in the water. The birds dove in to try to catch fish.
It takes a lot of skill to keep their ropes from tangling. They were darting every which way. The metal ring prevents the birds from swallowing the fish they catch. The fisherman takes the bird out of the river and takes the fish from the bird and puts the bird back in the water again.

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