Showing posts from February, 2017

Cormorant Fishing in Arashiyama

In Arashiyama I stepped into a dream. It began with the bus ride from Kyoto: waiting in the moonlight at a deserted stop, winding through empty streets, past tiny restaurants and bars big enough for only a few locals. The world of a Japanese anime lay outside my window. Some half hour later I reached Arashiyama. A fat orange moon climbed into view as I crossed the Togersu-kyo, or Moon Bridge. Coloured lights lit the narrow streets, and lanterns hung amongst the trees down by the water. Small balls of fire floated across the bay: the cormorant fishing had begun. Watching these boats I felt witness to a world of fairy-tales. Marco Polo witnessed the fishing in China, but I didn’t believe it still existed. I remember sitting cross-legged on the floor as my kindergarten teacher recounted her exotic tales of travel. She had spoken of seeing the fisherman and their cormorants, and at the age of five I wondered if I would ever be witness to such wonders. On a warm summer's night in Japan,…