Firefly tour at Hekisui village in Aso

It is firefly or lightning bug (depending where you are from) season in Aso and the other night I had the chance to attend the annual tour.

The tour takes place on the nights of May 26th, 27th and June 2nd, 3rd, 9th and 10th in Hekisui Village, also known as firefly village.

In Japanese fireflies are known as Hotaru and they are beloved in Japanese culture symbolising both passion and love. There is also one chain of thought that these are the souls of soldiers fallen in battle.

The tour started at the YMCA Kurokawa Nursery School car park in the Kurokawa area from 7.50pm, a short 10 minute walk from Michi No Eki Aso.

meeting_point

After a short introduction and presentation on the different firefly types and colours, we set off on the 1 hour tour of the surrounding village area in search of these glowing beauties.

presentation

It was not long until we found the first set blinking in the nearby bushes and fields. Being the first time I had ever laid eyes on these mesmerizing creatures, I was amazed at just how bright they shone.

It was an excellent clear night and we were informed that the weather was optimal for viewing.

This was definitely the case as around the next corner we were presented with a myriad of fireflies dancing around in the night sky.

firefly_dance

Feeling extremely fortunate for being able to view this spectacle, I suddenly noticed that one had landed on my hand and began glowing intensely. Either this was out of surprise or this was the sign of a great new friendship blooming.

Remaining completely still, it seemed to fall asleep on my hand and did not want to fly away anytime soon. I have somewhat of a phobia towards insects but this encounter has completely changed the way I think and made me appreciate how precious nature is.

firefly_hand

During the walk back we could hear frogs croaking loudly in the darkness and using a light we were able to catch a glimpse of one in the nearby rice field.

frog

The great nature of Aso never ceases to amaze and it seems that every month there is something new to discover and experience.

All the staff were extremely friendly and helpful, making sure we were all able to get great pictures and take away great memories.

staff

At the time of writing, the tour is still ongoing and if you are in the area on the remaining days, I strongly recommend attending. The event is free of charge and if you come by car there is parking available at the meeting point.

Bringing a flashlight or using your phone light is recommended as there area some very dark spots along the walk.

firefly_pamphlet

Thank you for reading and I look forward to seeing you all in Aso someday.

Oliver

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