vol55:Fireflies put on those spectacular summer display in Kyoto

Have you ever seen fireflies in Kyoto?
The image of flying fireflies is typical summer night for Japanese.
They usually inhabit only near the clean stream so it gets hard to see them these days.
However Kyoto is exceptional!
You can enjoy to see blinking light even stay in the city.
Fireflies fly from June to the early July, especially around the end of June.
It is the good time to see them from sunset to 8:00 p.m.
The number of them get fallen over 9:00 p.m.
This time we’d like to share about the culture of fireflies.

Japanese adore insects and bugs

Needless to say, bug haters are everywhere in the world including Japan, but there’s another
side of Japanese culture where we actually adore insects and bugs.
Guess how much we adore insects.
For typical Japanese summer holiday fun, boys go into the bush to catch crickets and beetles to
bring them home as pets.
On Internet auction sites, some rare beetles and stag beetles are priced from about 800 dollars
to sometimes 2.5 million dollars!
Even though adult insect collectors most often buy these bugs, beetles and stag beetles enchant
both the young and old. (Mothers often hope that these bugs will not become permanent
residents in their houses)
Not only for boys and men, for most Japanese, summer hasn’t officially begun until the songs
of the cicadas are heard.
Neither has begun without song of the bell crickets.
Japanese people enjoy insect noises as “soothing” or “comfortable” in their culture.

Fireflies in Japan

Often described in Japanese literature and used in song themes imitating of a soul out from a
body or the image of love because of their beautiful light.
One researcher said there is a story those who perished became fireflies, so for Japanese,
fireflies are cultural insects for both people’s memories and records.
We thought people at that time sympathized easily because fireflies inhabited near the village
same as butterflies and dragonflies.
However, today, more than just firefly “watching” has been harming.
Pollution and urban development are a big threat to these luminescent insects,added to the new
business of reselling fireflies for private gardens in hotels and restaurants.
It might be a good chance to see them if you have chance to see.

3 Good Spot to See Fireflies in Kyoto

1.The Path of Philosophy

The Path of Philosophy is well known for watching cherry blossoms though, it is easy to access
location for visitors. However the path along the river is nalow and unclear.
Please be careful to explore the path.

Shikagaya Honenin Nishimachi, Sakyō-ku, Kyoto
6 minute walk from Ginkakujidō bus stop on City bus #5 or #17 from JR Kyoto st.
Admission Fee:
From early June to middle

2.Shimogamo Shrine

The Hotarubi no Chakai, or “Tea Ceremony by Firefly Light”, has been held aat Shimogamo
Shrine eaach June since 1991.
On this night hundreds of the blinking insects are released over the stream in the Tadasu no
Mori, allowing visitors to enjoy a classic summer night filled with the soft glow of fireflies.

59 Shimogamo Izumigawa-chō, Sakyō-ku,Kyoto
Near Shimogamo jinja mae bus stop on City bus #5 or #17 from JR Kyoto st.
Day & Time of Tea Ceremony by Firefly Light:
June 9th (Sat.) 13:00~21:00
Admission Fee:
From early June to end

3.Uji City Botanical Park

The 14th Hotaru Night will held from early June.
The park houses many specimens and plan to release over the stream.
It offers free shuttle bus from Uji City Hall to the park on Saturdays and Sundays during the

25-1, Hironochō hachikenyadani, Uji city, Kyoto
Near “Shokubutsu Kōen (Botanical Park)” bus stop on Ōbaku Uji Ōkubo 240 line by Keihan
Bus from Keihan Uji St.
15-minute walk from JR Uji St. to North Side Parking Lot at Uji City Hall, then take the free
shuttle bus from there
Admission Fee (Park):
Adult 360 yen (Older than 15), Junior High School and Elementary School Student 180 yen
May 24th(Fri.) ~June 9th(Sun.) 16:00~21:30 (Entrance available until 21:00)
*Mondays Off

Do you need more information?

You should receive such local information of Kyoto by an application “KoI APP”.
With this application, even if you don’t have Wi-Fi, you can find nearby stores and so on.
You can install the application from the following URL.

Android app「KoI Service」

iPhone app「KoI Service」

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