Watching fireflies in Japan

by Lala

Last night I had one of the most magical experiences of my life. After we got home from Arashiyama (post on that coming later), we took an evening walk with our host family and their two lovely kids, to watch fireflies by the river. They taught us the Japanese name for fireflies, which is: hotaru. I’ll never forget it.

They told us that fireflies put on their show for only a short time each summer, usually only for about one week in June. We were so lucky to have come at this time to see them. I made a little video which I will add to this post, via YouTube later. Growing up I didn’t live anywhere near fireflies. I do remember one specific day in the 90s after we moved to the suburbs, my brother found a glow worm (firefly larva) in our garden and he called me to come see it. We must have watched that sole insect for hours that evening.

The next time I saw fireflies was on an Easter holiday with friends, at a property inside the Merensky Estate, near the Kruger National Park. There must have been hundreds of them on the river banks. It was quite a sight. One of the guys who was with us was quite shocked, because he thought fireflies weren’t real…that they were something from fairytales. Being a city kid can be a drag sometimes.

Update: As promised, a short video of our magical evening

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