Early summer scenes: firefly season has arrived.
Every year around late March to mid-June, the Otozure River is visited by a season of dancing genji fireflies.Today, we’ll be introducing you to a typical early summer scene along the Otozure River: the genji fireflies. Japanese people have a long history with fireflies, which is even said to be recorded in the “Manyo-shu,” an anicent collection of poetry.
The fireflies of the Otozure River are nationally-designated protected species.
Nagato Yumoto Onsen’s Otozure River is designated a National Natural Monument as the birthplace of the genji fireflies, and there are only two such natural monuments in Yamaguchi Prefecture, including Yamaguchi City. Every year, from late May to mid-June, the fireflies dance with their magical lights here over the babbling stream. The lights of the genji fireflies are a sign they make when meeting. If you stand perfectly still, you may see them glowing on top of your shoes. Enjoying the fireflies at such a close distance is one of the delights of firefly-viewing at the Otozure River.
This year we’ll be offering firefly walks again
This year, Otani Sanso will once again be offering a chance to enjoy the seasonal delights of the area with its firefly walks. These walking tours will be conducted by Otani Sanso staff, and we hope that with these walks, our guests will be able to experience a wonderful early summer evening that will provide them with wonderful memories of Nagato. It’s also lovely to come out in a cool yukata on a hot and humid summer night. (The walk location is a five-minute walk from Otani Sanso, but because the pathway will be completely dark, we ask that you wear shoes before going out)
■Details on firefly walks led by Otani Sanso staff
・Meeting time: 8:30 p.m.
・Meeting place: In front of the lobby
・Required time: Approx. 30 minutes
・Reservartions: Please speak to the staff at the front desk on the day of the tour.
*Walks may be cancelled in the case of inclement weather.
In order to enjoy the firefly walks even more
Get more out of your firefly walk by getting to know what the genji fireflies are like. Come along on a walk and get to know them for yourself!
About the personality of the Otozure River genji fireflies (An example)
- □In previous years, the fireflies have appeared in late March – mid-June
- □They appear in their greatest numbers after rainfall, when the humidity is high and there is litle wind
- □The fireflies glow the most in places where there is no light, including moonlight
- □They glow best during 8-9 p.m.
- □Genji fireflies glow particularly brightly, compared to other species of firefly
- □The fireflies glow once every two seconds (In eastern Japan, fireflies glow once every 3-4 seconds)
- □Their lights are otherwordly as they fly along the river and up to the mountains
Fireflies are sensitive to light, and cease to glow when their surroundings become bright. Please enjoy their lights quietly, while listening to the sound of the river.
We have also introduced “Firefly Bus Reservation” overnight plans, allowing you to ride the “firefly bus” to enjoy viewing the fireflies.
»See details on overnight plans
- ・Departs at 8:15 p.m., the time of evening with the greatest chance of seeing the fireflies.
- ・Departs from the front steps of Otani Sanso!
- ・See fireflies from the windows of the vehicle (Riders cannot disembark)