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Fireflies Flourishing in Hyogo

In Japan, the emergence of fireflies, or hotaru in Japanese, signifies the anticipated changing of the seasons. Firefly viewing is a special aesthetic pleasure of midsummer, celebrated in parks that exist for that one purpose. In Hyogo Prefecture, there are a number of spots at which to view twinkling skies as the fireflies take flight.

Uchio Shrine

In Tamba City, tens of thousands of hime-botaru guard Uchio Shrine in June. This species of fireflies are known to fly lower to the ground, making them look like little fairies. 600-year-old cedar trees decorate the area near the shrine, the one in front of the shrine at a height of 60 meters and a circumference of 5 meters.

Ekawa River

In Sayo Town, about an hour train ride from Himeji City, the Ekawa River comes alive with fireflies in June. This species of fireflies, called genji-botaru, have a very short lifespan, highlighting the beauty of fleeting nature. In 1961, the town enacted a protection ordinance for the fireflies, which protects their reproduction.

Arimagawa River

In Arima Onsen, swarms of fireflies amass at Arimagawa River at the end of May and truly fantastical scenes of illumination are visible at night as the fireflies flutter along the riverbanks until the end of June. With the help of several regional orgs, Arima Elementary School became involved in the breeding and reviving of the fireflies back in 1991.

Viewing fireflies is an often underrated activity that we highly recommend on a trip to Japan in June.


Kobe Marathon

Kobe Marathon 2023, a competitive marathon race, will be held on November 19. Approximately 20,000 people gather from all over the country and overseas to participate, and they run through the city, enjoying the fresh air and sights of Kobe.

Run through the gorgeous Mt. Rokko, past the sparkling Seto Island Sea, and see the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, the second longest suspension bridge in the world.

There are sections where you can run alongside JR and Sanyo trains, and you can also run on the Kobe Ohashi Bridge, which is typically a road for cars only. Other unique Kobe Marathon experiences include Chinese-style cheering in Kobe's Chinatown and taiko drum performances by local students.


Hyogo Prefecture is easily reachable from Osaka and Kyoto by JR train. The Hyogo Tourism Bureau provides more detailed information about traveling to and within the prefecture.

Please email us at if you have any questions about Hyogo Prefecture or the Kansai region.

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