Have you ever heard of the Yuki Onsen Firefly Festival? Around an hour’s drive from central Hiroshima city, it’s organized every year on the last Sunday of June. In 2016, it was held on June 26.
First off, There Are Many Fireflies!
I went to the Firefly Festival for the first time last year, and was taken both by the mysterious light of the insects and their sheer number, which is how it should be! The three types of firefly seen at Yuki Onsen are Luciola cruciata, Luciola lateralis and Luciola parvula. The best time to view them is from mid-June to early July every night after 8 pm.
Details of the 26th Yuki Firefly Festival (Japanese): 第26回 湯来温泉ホタルまつり詳細
How to Enjoy the Firefly Festival
Hugely popular among children, fishing in the clear stream followed by a fishing competition is on offer from the morning. Then around the time you start to feel hungry, food stalls start selling Yuki’s specialties as well as drinks and food.
One of the delicacies on offer is Yuki’s wild sweetfish… As the grass feels nice, I recommend bringing a tarp to sit on for a picnic.
Along with a fun bingo competition held in the evening, there are also taiko drum and dance performances, and song performances that keep the mood high until the fireflies start to come out.
The parking area gets crowded, so I recommend arriving early.
The Firefly Viewing Plan with Accommodation is a Great Deal!
Yuki Lodge, which adjoins the Yuki Koryu Experience Center offered a limited time Firefly Viewing and Accommodation Plan from June 15 through July 5 this year. They even offered a yukata rental service for women! Admiring fireflies while wearing yukata sets a very pleasant traditional tone for the evening’s excitement.
(Please note: As the fireflies are wild, depending on weather conditions, there may be times when they can’t be seen.)
If you’re in the area, do come by to see the three different types of firefly.
Yuki Koryu Experience Center
Location: 2563-1 Tada, Yuki-cho, Saeki ward, Hiroshima city, Hiroshima prefecture
Business hours: 9:00-18:00
Closed: Mondays (*Open if Monday is a national holiday, closed the following day)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Sakiko Mizoguchi
Sakiko Mizuguchi I was born in 1978 and grew up in Shizuoka Prefecture. I used to work in marketing at an Internet company in Tokyo, but in 2014, when my first child reached school age, we moved to Hiroshima, my husband's hometown. We now have two children. I love camping and bonfires, Setouchi fruits and the beauty of the islands. Setouchi is rich in natural experiences and it's easy to raise children here. I spend my days enjoying life together with my children.
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