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Bounty of Nagara River Tour With Multi-Course Ayu Sweetfish Meal
Ukaiya Future Council • Gifu
"Bridging Japanese indigenous ingredients and Western cuisine, this Nagara River eco-tour ends with a five-course Italian meal that celebrates local Ayu sweetfish, which only thrive in the clearest waters."
Renowned as one of Japan’s Three Clear-Flowing Rivers, the Nagara River’s pristine waters are inhabited by all manner of freshwater fish. The migratory Ayu sweetfish is one such species that thrives in only the cleanest waters and is the local pride and joy of Gifu prefecture, named as its official prefectural fish.

This eco-tour of the Nagara River takes visitors on a journey down the Nagaragawa with a local fisherman aboard his traditional Japanese boat. Along the way, he will demonstrate a couple of fishing techniques, including hand-cast net fishing. Visitors may even be lucky enough to witness a bountiful catch of shrimp, unagi (eel), or even turtle when he hauls up his fishing traps. Then, on the way back to land, guests can take turns steering and rowing the boat with the long traditional paddle.

For dinner, a five-course meal awaits at La Lucanda, an Italian restaurant that playfully and skillfully combines both local Japanese and imported Italian ingredients. The ayu is the star of the show here, and three distinct styles of the sweetfish are prepared: fried, roasted, and komochi (filled with eggs). With an open kitchen concept, get a view of the action as chef Luca Lattuada rolls out fresh pasta and creatively plates up each dish, highlighting the versatility of the Nagara River’s local delicacy.

Menu:
Mitten Crab and Potato Soup
Fried Nagara River Ayu with Tomato and Couscous
Fresh Tagliatelle with Ayu and Broccoli
Roasted Komochi Ayu with Polenta and Parmesan
Rum Baba with Yogurt Gelato, Coconut Crumble, and Bee Pollen

Highlights

  • Discover the Nagara River’s beauty on a scenic boat tour
  • See typical fishing techniques firsthand and get a close-up view of native species
  • Taste a creative Italian course meal that utilizes the area’s beloved Ayu sweetfish
  • (Optional) View ukai fishing from the promenade in the evening (climax at 20:00)

Inclusions

  • Boat tour of the Nagara River with a local fisherman
  • Demonstration of traditional fishing techniques
  • Commemorative photo with the scenic Gifu Castle in the background
  • Five-course Italian meal that features local ayu sweetfish