NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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津江川の清流 Tsuekawa-no-seiryuu The Clear Tsue River

Jp En

The Tsue River, which flows in Nakatsuemura, in Hita, Oita Prefecture, is one of the headwaters of the Chikugo River. It forms a natural border between Fukuoka Prefecture to the west and Kumamoto Prefecture to the south. Along with its neighboring village, Kamitsuemura in Hita-shi, the river is positioned in the deepest part of the mountains in all of Oita.

The Tsue River, which runs through the center of Nakatsuemura, is clear and translucent, and the stream is crisp and slightly sweet. Nine tributaries flow into the river, and there are many beautiful and wonderful ravines along its course. The river fills Shimoke Dam whose scenery captivates spectators with the beauty of nature at special moments during the four seasons.

The dam is also the uppermost section of the Chikugo River and is an ideal place for catching the most delicious ayu (sweetfish). The ayu from the Tsue River is known to be first-class because of its strong, delectable scent and firm body, which has just the right amount of fat on it. Tsue River, which also satisfies anglers, is extraordinary for its clear streams.
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大分 鵜飼い Ooita Ukai Oita Cormorant Fishing

Jp En

Hita in Oita Prefecture is one of the few places where fishing using cormorants takes place. The history of cormorant fishing is very long and is even mentioned in the 'Nihon-shoki' (second-oldest record of Japanese ancient history) and the 'Kojiki' (oldest extant chronicle).

Chinese records from the Sui Dynasty also mention the visit of an ambassador to Japan at that time and the unusual fishing method he saw using cormorants. Fish caught this way are flawless, without a scratch and very fresh, and especially prized as gifts is the sweet 'ayu' fish. After the Meiji period, however, when many cormorant fishers lost the support of their daimyo lords, this method of fishing gradually died out and today surivives as a tourist industry only.

In Hita, cormorant fishing can be seen accompanying the opening of the ayu season on the Mikuma River, from 20 May to 31 October. The sight of 62 houseboats softly lighting up the river has become a graceful symbol of the town. In 1966, cormorant fishing was designated as an Important Intangible Cultural Heritage of Oita.
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NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉 - 日本語に切り替える NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉 - to english

"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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