Let's go see the fireflies in Nishiawakura Village. [Okayama] A carpet of light appears in the forest for a limited time!

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Nishiawakura Village is one of the few firefly habitats in Okayama Prefecture. Every July, you can see a beautiful and fantastical sight from the Ogaya Ski Resort to the Wakasugi Natural Forest.

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The glow of the fireflies shining through the trees is a spectacular sight! It's like a "carpet of light." We will introduce recommended spots in Nishiawakura Village that you should visit before nightfall, when you can see this limited-time spectacle.

What are fireflies?

Himebotaru is a species of firefly endemic to Japan that lives on the mainland. Unlike the Genji and Heike fireflies that can be found near water, Himebotaru lives in forests and is therefore also known as the "forest firefly." The light it emits is a powerful golden color. It flashes repeatedly in short bursts like a flash.

When is the best time to see the cherry blossoms in Nishiawakura Village?

In Nishiawakura Village, from early July to around the third week, you can see a mystical sight of lights dancing through the forest, moving gradually north from around the Okaya Ski Resort to the Wakasugi Natural Forest . It is especially beautiful on clear, moonless nights, so be sure to check the weather before heading out.

*The official Facebook page of the Nishiawakura Village Industry and Tourism Division, "Nishiawa Club," provides local information in conjunction with the firefly flight season.

Nishiawakura Village Industry and Tourism Department Official Facebook | Nishiawakura Club

Precautions when viewing

The flowers stop glowing when hit by car headlights, so we recommend parking your car in the Ogaya Campground parking lot and then walking to the viewing spot.

Stopover spot 1: "BASE101% -NISHIAWAKURA-"

Located along National Route 373, this complex was renovated from part of a lumber factory warehouse and now houses a restaurant and cafe, select shops, a lumber market, a strawberry picking house, and more. At the restaurant and cafe, you can enjoy game dishes and sweets unique to Nishiawakura Village, and there is also a shop selling works by artists who live in Nishiawakura Village.

Address: 461-1 Nagao, Nishiawakura Village, Aida District, Okayama Prefecture

TEL: 090-2466-9378

Business hours: 10:00-17:00 *Lunchtime 11:00-14:00

Closed: Tuesdays

Parking: Available

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Stopover spot 2: "Arunomori"

This old-style cafe is run by a Japanese and Thai couple. The building is about 130 years old and has a thatched tin roof. You can enjoy authentic Thai dishes such as green curry, Khao Man Gai, Gapao rice, and Pad Thai. Their parfaits made with seasonal fruits such as blueberries, cherries, loquats, peaches, and figs are also popular. They also operate as a private lodging, and each room becomes a guest room or living room after the cafe closes.

Address: 818-1 Nagao, Nishiawakura Village, Aida District, Okayama Prefecture

TEL: 090-8531-6189

Business hours: 11:00-15:00 (last orders 14:00)

Closed: Mondays, 1st and 3rd Tuesdays

Parking: Available

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Stopover spot 3: Awakura Onsen Motoyu

A guesthouse with a natural hot spring located along the river. Thinned wood is turned into firewood and used for cooking and heating, and the hot spring heated by firewood can be enjoyed on a day trip (500 yen for adults, 250 yen for elementary school students, free for infants and toddlers). The restaurant serves dishes that allow you to fully enjoy the bounty of the forest, such as a gibier menu using venison and bread made with cypress yeast from Nishiawakura.

Location: 2050 Kageishi, Nishiawakura Village, Aida District, Okayama Prefecture

TEL: 0868-79-2129

Business hours: [Day bath] 15:00~21:00, [Restaurant] 17:00~ (Food last order 20:30 / Drink last order 21:00)

Closed: Wednesday

Parking: Available

Article introducing this spot

Stopover spot #4: Roadside Station Awakurando

This roadside station is located close to the Nishiawakura Interchange on the Tottori Expressway. The sales floor is lined with agricultural products and processed goods grown by local farmers, mainly from within the village, and the attraction is that you can buy fresh vegetables grown with water from the source at reasonable prices. As it is located halfway between San'in and San'yo, you can purchase not only products from within Okayama Prefecture, but also famous sweets and local specialties from the San'in area. Colorful windmills line the corridor next to the building, making it a popular photo spot!

Address: 418 Kageishi, Nishiawakura Village, Aida District, Okayama Prefecture

TEL: 0868-79-2331

Business hours: [Shop] Weekdays 9:00-17:00 *Saturdays, Sundays and holidays 9:00-18:00 [Restaurant] 10:00-17:00 (LO 16:20) [Outdoor shop] 10:00-17:00 [Vegetable market] 9:00-17:00

Closed: None *Vegetable market is held from December 31st to January 3rd

Parking: Available

Written by

Okayama Prefecture is located in the center of western Japan and is known as the ``Land of Sunny'' due to its mild climate with little rain throughout the year. Conveniently located in the middle of famous sightseeing spots in Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima! It is also the gateway to Shikoku via the Seto Ohashi Bridge. Okayama is also known as the "Fruit Kingdom," and the fruits that have been exposed to the sun in the warm climate of Setouchi are of the highest quality in terms of sweetness, aroma, and taste. You can enjoy seasonal fruits such as white peach, muscat, and pione! There are also world-class sightseeing spots such as ``Okayama Castle'', ``Okayama Korakuen'', one of Japan's three famous gardens, and Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter, which are proud of their history, culture, and art!

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