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Fukuoka Firefly Watching Guide 2024

Firefly viewing season is beginning earlier than usual in Kyushu due to the warmer weather, and fireflies have already been spotted in some areas. Fireflies, known as hotaru in Japanese, signal the start of summer, similar to the sakura season. Their presence moves northward from the south of Japan, similar to the cherry blossoms. Fukuoka Now has curated 13 spots in the Fukuoka suburbs that are perfect for firefly viewing.
▷Fukuoka Firefly Watching Guide 2024 Google Map

福岡ほたるガイド2023, Fukuoka Firefly Watching Guide 2023

Firefly Viewing Season:
In Fukuoka, the best time to see fireflies is from late May to mid-June, from sunset until 9 pm. They have already made an appearance in other regions, so keep an eye on the firefly forecast for more information! Fireflies are typically found near clean water sources and green spaces. They emerge shortly after it rains, when the wind is low, the humidity is high, and the temperature is comfortably warm. Adult fireflies live for only one to two weeks, but during this brief period, their flickering lights create a captivating, enchanting night display.

Hotaru Viewing Tips:
When viewing fireflies, keep the following tips in mind:
1. Do not use flashlights or flash photography, as fireflies communicate via their light signals. They will fly in darkness if exposed to other light sources or camera flashes.
2. Do not take fireflies home. They thrive by clean rivers and live for only 7-10 days. It’s best to leave them in their natural environment.
3. Keep their habitat clean by not littering.
4. Check the weather before your visit. Fireflies do not emerge when it’s too cold, too windy, during heavy rain, or under intense moonlight.
5. Plan your visit. The optimal time to view fireflies is between 19:30 and 21:00.
6. Be quiet and respect the serenity of nature.

Popular Firefly Varieties in Kyushu:
1. Genji-botaru (Luciola cruciata) – The most recognized firefly species in Japan, found across Kyushu and Honshu. They spend their larval stage near clear streams.

2. Heike-botaru (Aquatica lateralis) – As common as the Genji-botaru in Japan, they are smaller and breed in rice paddies and marshes.

3. Hime-botaru (Luciola parvula) – Known for their intense brightness and characteristic blinking, this species is widespread in Japan. They usually inhabit forests and are therefore not commonly observed by humans.

Firefly viewing spots near Fukuoka
Fukuoka City (2)
Itoshima City (1)
Fukutsu City (1)
Munakata City (1)
Ukiha City (1)
Tagawa-gun (2)
Toho Village (2)
Miyama City (1)
Kitakyushu City (1)
Ureshino City, Saga (1)

Fukuoka City

Tsubame no Mori Hiroba (Rooftop Garden) – Firefly Observation

Enjoy the sight of fireflies hatched within the biotope situated at Tsubame no Mori Hiroba, a rooftop garden above JR Hakata Station. Genji botaru fireflies, bred at Hakata Station and released in March, can be observed in the specifically designed “Firefly Garden” biotope.

JR Hakata City Tsubame no Mori Hiroba - firefly, JR博多シティ屋上つばめの杜ひろばのホタル

• Late May ~ mid-June
• 10:00~22:00 (firefly viewing: sunset ~, closed in case of inclement weather)
• Free entry
• Tsubame no Mori Hiroba (rooftop), JR Hakata City
1-1 Hakataeki-chuogai, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka

Myohoji Temple Wild Firefly Public Viewing

Myohoji Temple is one of the few precious locations in Chuo Ward, Fukuoka City where you can observe fireflies in their natural habitat. Starting in 2001, the temple initiated a program to breed Genji fireflies and allowed them to populate the stream within the temple compound. Interestingly, the chief priest is a graduate of the aquatic bioscience department of Tokyo University and is currently involved in research regarding the breeding and ecology of fireflies.

Although the temple gate typically closes at 18:00, it remains open to the public during the evening of the firefly viewing event. This year, the event will be held as a charity for the Noto Peninsula earthquake, with all viewing fees being donated.

福岡ほたるガイド2023, Fukuoka Firefly Watching Guide 2023

Firefly viewing
• 6/1 (Sat.) *rain or shine
• 20:30~23:00
• Tickets ¥200 (preschool children free, sales start at 17:00) *Limited to the first 240 people
• Kagerou Garden, Myohoji Temple
3-10-41 Tojinmachi, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
*Parking lot for worshippers and bicycle parking are not available on the day of the firefly viewing event.

Itoshima City

Fukuyoshi River

Mamushi no yu is a popular hot spring facility located in Itoshima. The name interestingly translates to “snake bite antidote”, implying the waters have incredibly soothing properties. The hot spring is about a ten-minute walk from Fukuyoshi River, which serves as a habitat to a multitude of fireflies.

If you’re seeking a unique experience that combines both relaxation and nature, consider visiting Mamushi no yu After unwinding in the soothing waters of the hot spring, you can take a short, leisurely walk to Fukuyoshi River, where you’ll get the opportunity to observe the beautiful spectacle of fireflies illuminating the evening atmosphere. Starting in late May, a designated area will be set up in the parking lot of Mamushi no Yu for viewing fireflies.

Mamushi no yu, まむしの湯

• Late May ~ early June
2380-1 Nijo-yoshii, Itoshima City, Fukuoka (Mamushi no yu)

Mamushi no yu, まむしの湯

Fukutsu City

Motogi River Nature Park

Located at the base of a mountain near the headwaters of the Saigo River, Motogi River Nature Park in Fukutsu City is renowned for being a habitat for fireflies. These enchanting creatures start to make their appearances in mid-May, adding an extra touch of magic to the park’s lush, green scenery.

The park features a stream that meanders through its heart, providing an ideal home for the fireflies. There are also conveniently placed stairs by the creek, offering visitors a perfect spot to sit, relax, and observe the charming spectacle of the fireflies in their natural habitat.

Whether you’re a nature lover or simply someone looking for a serene spot to unwind, Motogi River Nature Park, with its scenic beauty and gentle firefly lights, provides an idyllic setting.

• Mid-May ~ early June
1957-1 Motogi, Fukutsu City, Fukuoka
• Parking: free (60 spaces)

Munakata City

Hotaru no Sato Park

Established in 1995, the Hotaru no Sato Park in Munakata City designed to restore and preserve the area’s rich water flow and natural environment. Lying along a river, the park serves as a sanctuary for various species of fireflies, including genji botaru, heike botaru, and hime botaru.

During the peak season, you can witness the enchanting sight of 300 to 400 fireflies illuminating the surroundings with their ethereal glow. The park also features walking paths that provide year-round enjoyment, where you can stroll and take in the beautiful landscape. For families with children, the park also offers playground equipment, making it a great destination for a day of fun and exploration in the outdoors.

Hotaru no Sato Park, Munakata City, 宗像市ホタルの里公園

• Mid-May ~ early June
44-1 Yamada, Munakata City, Fukuoka
• Parking: free (19 spaces)

Ukiha City

Kojio area: Kojio Rever

The Kojio district in Ukiha, known as the Firefly Village, is dedicated to the cultivation and preservation of fireflies, including measures to protect the snails (kawanina) that serve as their food. Along the Kojio River, which flows beside the Kojio Firefly Village Plaza, there are 13 firefly viewing spots where visitors can observe Heike, Genji, and Hime fireflies from mid-May to early June. On the final weekend of May, when the firefly season peaks, the Kojio Firefly Festival is held with Kojio Firefly Park as the main venue. Visitors can enjoy strolling through various viewing spots, and local residents will sell light snacks like yakisoba.

福岡ほたるガイド2023, Fukuoka Firefly Watching Guide 2023

• Mid-May ~ early June
• Firefly Festival: 5/31 (Fri.), 6/1 (Sat.) 18:00~
2469-1 Ukiha-machi Kojio, Ukiha City, Fukuoka


Kure Dam Keiryu Park

Keiryu Park, located upstream on the Kure River, a tributary of the Kibe River, is a place where visitors can enjoy walking trails and a waterplay zone. This park allows you to experience the changing seasons: cherry blossoms in spring, fireflies in early summer, the sounds of insects in autumn, and winter landscapes. In June, countless fireflies gather around the streams that flow through the park, making it a popular spot for many visitors to enjoy the spectacle.

Kure Dam Keiryu Park, 呉ダム渓流公園

Kure Dam Keiryu Park, 呉ダム渓流公園

• Early June
1450 Kagamiyama, Kawara-machi, Tagawa-gun, Fukuoka
• Parking: 30 spaces (free)

Genjii no Mori

Located approximately 40 km due east of Fukuoka City in the Chikuho region, Aka Village is renowned for its abundant natural beauty, especially during early summer when fireflies are in full display. At Genjii no Mori, a multi-purpose facility that includes a campsite, hot springs, and lodging, a “Firefly Viewing Event” is held during the firefly season. This tour takes participants to various firefly spots within the village by chartered bus. The tour is limited to 30 participants per day and requires a reservation by phone at least three days in advance.

Firefly Viewing Event
• 5/24 (Fri.) ~ 5/26 (Sun.), 5/31 (Fri.) ~ 6/2 (Sun.)
• 19:30~21:00
• Entry fee: ¥1,000, under ES ¥800 (incl. hot spring fee)
5251-3 Aka, Akamura, Tagawa-gun, Fukuoka
• Parking: approx 100 spaces (free)

Toho Village

Tanada Shinsui Park

Toho-mura, located at the headwaters of the Hoshuyama River, Ohi River, and Koishiwara River, is famous for its production of Koishiwara ware and Takatori ware. The village provides an unforgettable experience for visitors, especially during mid-May to mid-June, when the night sky lights up with the ethereal glow of fireflies.

Despite the heavy rainfall that affected northern Kyushu in 2017, leading to a decrease in the firefly population, the residents of Toho-mura have been working diligently to protect and nurture these luminescent creatures. Their efforts are bearing fruit, and the firefly population is gradually recovering.

One of the best places to enjoy this magical spectacle is at Tanada Shinsui Park. Equipped with a parking lot for the convenience of visitors, the park is an ideal place to unwind and bask in the entrancing display of the fireflies against the backdrop of the night sky. If you’re planning to visit, make sure to mark your calendar and come during the firefly season.

福岡ほたるガイド2023, Fukuoka Firefly Watching Guide 2023

• Mid-May to mid-June
3100 Hoshuyama, Toho-mura, Asakura, Fukuoka
• Parking: several spaces (free)
*On the day of the Firefly Festival, parking in the Tanada Shinsui Park is not available; only a temporary parking lot specially set up on the ground behind JR Hoshuyama Sta. is available.

Firefly Festival
The Firefly Festival will be held on Saturday, June 1, 2024, from 18:00 to 22:00, featuring stage events and a raffle. A free shuttle bus will run from the ground behind JR Hoshuyama Station to the festival venue.

Iwaya Yusui

The “Iwaya Yusui,” located right next to Chikuzen-Iwaya Station on the Hita-Hikosan Line BRT, which opened in 2023, is also a famous firefly spot. It is the only spring in Fukuoka Prefecture recognized by the Ministry of the Environment, with a daily water output of approximately 15,000 tons. This soft water, with a hardness of around 31 degrees, can be purchased at a water station for ¥100 per 30 liters. The spring is about a 20-minute walk (approximately 1.4 km) from the Tanada Shinsui Park.

• Mid-May ~ early June
4031-5 ​​Hoshuyama, Toho-mura, Asakura-gun, Fukuoka
• Parking: 4 spaces (free)

Miyama City

Yamakawa Kamachi-yama Reservoir

The Kamachi-yama Reservoir, completed in 1717 with the labor of 76,000 people, continues to irrigate local farmlands even after 300 years. It is the only reservoir in Fukuoka Prefecture selected for the “Top 100 Reservoirs” by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and it is also known as a habitat for fireflies. In June, countless Genji fireflies can be seen around Kamogawa Park, located upstream. On June 1-2 and 8-9, park guides will be on hand to provide information about the best viewing spots and other details.

Yamakawa Kamachi-yama Reservoir, 山川蒲地山ため池

• Late May ~ early June
Upstream of the reservoir, Kamachi-yama, Yamakawa-machi, Miyama City, Fukuoka
• Temporary free parking: 50 spaces (only late May ~ early June)

Yamakawa Firefly Viewing
• 6/1 (Sat.) ~ 6/2 (Sun.), 6/8 (Sat.) ~ 6/9 (Sun.)
• Expected appearance time of fireflies: 20:00~21:00
• Free entry

Kitakyushu City

Tashiro River

The Tashiro River area, known for having the highest number of fireflies in Kitakyushu City, is a place where untouched nature remains, and during peak times, thousands of fireflies can be seen. The areas with the most fireflies are along the Tashiro River, from the former Kyushu Folk Village to the vicinity of Tashiro Bridge. From the Tashiro River Seseragi Hiroba, where there is a parking lot, it is about 500 meters to the former Kyushu Folk Village, and you can see fireflies along the way.

• Early June ~ mid-June
Kawachi, Yahatahigashi-ku, Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka (around former Kyushu Folk Village to Tashiro Bridge)
• Parking: approx. 40 spaces in Tashiro River Seseragi Hiroba (free)

Ureshino City, Saga

Ureshino Onsen area

Ureshino, renowned for its hot springs, transforms into an enchanting spectacle during firefly season. Immerse yourself in an unforgettable experience as you witness thousands of fireflies illuminating the night sky.

A prime location to witness this natural phenomenon is the area upstream of the Iwayagawachi Dam. Situated just a 10-minute drive away from Ureshino Onsen, this location offers an unspoiled environment perfect for fireflies. As there are no streetlights in this area, you’ll be enveloped in darkness, making the sight of fireflies glowing in the grass near the waterfall even more breathtaking.

So, plan your trip around the firefly season this year and make unforgettable memories in Ureshino. Whether you’re soaking in the renowned hot springs or marveling at the glittering fireflies, you’re sure to have an incredible experience.

福岡ほたるガイド2023, Fukuoka Firefly Watching Guide 2023

• Late May ~ mid-June
Iwayagawachi, Ureshino-machi, Ureshino City, Saga

Firefly Bus
The annual “Firefly Bus,” which operates to firefly viewing spots within the Ureshino Onsen area, has previously been limited to Ureshino Onsen guests but is now open to everyone. The tour departs from “Siebold’s Footbath” (822-1 Otsu, Shimojuku, Ureshino-machi, Ureshino City, Saga), which is available 24 hours a day for free. The approximately one-hour tour includes about 30 minutes of firefly viewing at the Iwayagawachi Dam before returning to the departure point. Reservations are required for this tour.

• 6/1 (Sat.) ~ 6/9 (Sun.)
• First service: 20:00~21:00, second service: 20:30~21:30 *canceled in case of rain
• Firefly Bus reservations: Make reservations directly with the inn where you will be staying by 17:00 on the day of your ride or send FAX directly
• Entry fee (over 3 y.o.) ¥500

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This article was originally penned in May 2016 and updated in May 2024.
All text, photos, and illustrations are the property of Fukuoka Now. Permission is required for any form of reuse. However, you are welcome to link to this page.

NOTE: This information has been collected and condensed by the Fukuoka Now team. While we strive for accuracy, there may be errors or details that have changed over time. If you spot any inaccuracies or changes, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Seasonal Guide
Fukuoka Prefecture
Published: May 17, 2024 / Last Updated: May 24, 2024

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