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1. Matsuokyo – Hotarudoyo Parkkankou.town.tatsuno.nagano.jp
Hotarudoyo is a beautiful scenic area on the right bank of the Tenryu River. It’s full of Luciola fireflies. It’s a breeding ground for fireflies that was designated in 1926 as a prefectural natural monument. Ever June they hold the Tatsuno Firefly Festival, so it becomes a lively spot.
Best viewing period: mid-late June
HP: kankou.town.tatsuno.nagano.jp/firefly/info/hotaru-doyo-koen.html (Japanese Only)
Address: 1006-1 Oaza-Hiraide, Tatsuno-cho, Kamiina-gun, Nagano (Google Map)
2. Tennou Hachimangu Shrine
You can see a type of firefly called Hotaria parvula at Tennou Hachimangu Shrine. They’re known in Japanese as “kinbotaru” or “himebotaru,” and they’re a very rare type of firefly in Japan, so they’re classified as a prefectural national monument. The golden light expressing the firefly’s love creates such a beautiful sight that you’ll sigh without realizing it.
Best viewing period: early-mid July
HP: www.kinbotaru.jp/ (Japanese Only)
Address: Kounoie, Tetta-cho, Niimi-shi, Okayama (Google Map)
3. Okawa Onsen Takegasawa Parkbousui.comshizuoka.mytabi.net
Takegasawa Park is home to the Higashi-Izu-machi Onsenkyo Hotaru Kanshou no Yuube, a major event of the summer in Higashi-Izu. It’s a festival held from June 5th to June 15th. It’s said there are more than 5000 fireflies dancing around the natural garden called by the clear water of the pond, and the beautiful sight is extremely mystical.
Best viewing period: early-mid June
Address: Okawa, Higashi-Izu-machi, Kamo-gun, Shizuoka (Google Map)
4. Hakoshima Hotaru no Sato
Higashi-Agatsuma, where Hakoshima springs well, has 3 different protected areas so it’s been known as a place for fireflies since ancient times. In recent years different types of butterflies including Hotaria parvula have come together here, and their boisterous dance is a must-see.
Best viewing period: mid-June to early July
HP: www1.town.higashiagatsuma.gunma.jp/ (Japanese Only)
Address: Hakoshima, Higashi-Agatsuma-cho, Agatsuma-gun, Gunma (Google Map)
5. Hotarumi Park
Hotarumi Park, on the banks of the Takechi River, is a little-known spot where you can camp with your family while enjoying the fireflies. The fireflies look like a Christmas lights as they dance through the air. This is a place recommended for those that want to create special memories with your family.
Best viewing period: mid-late June
HP: www.kankou.pref.hiroshima.jp/sys/data?page-id=4171 (Japanese Only)
Address: 2-1 Kou, Ootsuki, Kuchiwa-cho, Shobara-shi, Hiroshima (Google Map)
6. Hokubo Hotaru Park
The Hokubo area is surrounded by the Bicchu River, and it’s known as one of Okayama’s foremost areas for fireflies. It’s been chosen as one of the 100 Furusato to Ikimono areas by the Ministry of Environment. It’s home to different firefly species, so when June rolls around, you can enjoy the beautiful sight. Also, during this period they hold the Hotaru Rock music event, so it’s very lively.
Best viewing time: early-late June
HP: www.e-maniwa.net/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 1203-1 Shimoazae, Maniwa-shi, Okayama (Google Map)
7. Sankei-en Hotaru no Yuubewww.sankeien.or.jp
Hotaru no Yuube is an event that started in 1999 and is now a yearly event in the beginning of the summer that is very popular with tourists. This event isn’t just to see the fireflies, but they have corners available where you can learn about them as well as enjoy the sight of the illuminated Japanese irises and the Three-Story Pagoda of Old Tomyoji (a national important cultural asset).
Open for a week sometime between the end of May-beginning of June
Entrance fee: 500 yen for adults, 200 for children
HP: www.sankeien.or.jp/event/10.html (Japanese Only)
Address: 58-1 Honmoku Sannotani, Naka-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa (Google Map)
8. Hakone Yumoto Hotaru Park
Hotaru Park is in the heart of Hakone Yumoto, and it’s lovingly protected as a firefly viewing area thanks to the efforts of the locals. The fireflies had once disappeared from this park, but now there are up to 500 fireflies dancing here. Please enjoy the beautiful sight.
Best viewing period: early-late June
HP: www.hakone.or.jp/558 (Japanese Only)
Address: Yumoto, Hakone-machi, Kanagawa (Google Map)