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Firefly Watching in Tokyo! The Garden of Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

Since 1954, Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo has been a prime spot for watching fireflies in the heart of the metropolis, with around 500 insects visible at peak times. Special events are held at the hotel during firefly season (late May to late June). Enjoy this dreamlike atmosphere with your dear ones!
2022.04.15

Watch Fireflies in Tokyo

Firefly Watching in Tokyo! The Garden of Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

Picture courtesy of Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo
At the end of spring, around late May and the beginning of June, dreamlike lights can be spotted near clear streams in the woods across Japan. It's the fireflies!

While nature-rich places like Motosu Hotaru Park in Gifu, Sankeien Garden in Yokohama or Misasa Onsen in Tottori are famous for their firelies, these insects are an extremely rare sight in large cities.

The garden of Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo is one of the very few places where fireflies can be seen in Tokyo. The hotel raises its own fireflies in a special facility in Nagano. The insects' eggs are left to develop naturally in Chinzanso Garden from the end of winter until late spring. Around late May, garden visitors can enjoy the view of up to 500 fireflies each night.

We introduce the highlights of firefly watching at Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo along with tips on how to enjoy the views to the fullest.

The Features of Fireflies in Japan

There are approximately two thousand species of fireflies around the world, and about 40 of them can be seen in Japan.

Appearing from the end of May until the middle of June, they convey the feeling that summer has come.

Firefly Watching in Tokyo! The Garden of Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

From: Magical Fireflies: 3 Places To See Them In Their Natural Habitat

The firefly is a very fragile creature, as they die about a week after maturing.

While the behavior behind the fireflies' lights is a bit uncertain. It's thought to be part of a courtship display; a final dance for the short-lived creatures.

Unfortunately, the number of fireflies, and the locations you can enjoy seeing them, are slowly declining. They only thrive in an environment where the water and air are especially clean.

Development expanding Japan's urban areas has converted wooded areas into buildings and housing, making it very difficult to enjoy the sight of fireflies in cities like Tokyo.

Firefly Season at Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

Firefly Watching in Tokyo! The Garden of Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

Picture courtesy of Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

At Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo, guests can see fireflies in their garden every year. In 2022, from May 20 until July 3, hotel and restaurant patrons can enjoy a series of events called Firefly Fantasy, which includes the mystical atmosphere created by fireflies along with dinner events and special light-ups.

Visitors can also purchase tickets (1,000 yen) to enter the garden just to watch the fireflies: Firefly Fantasy tickets (Japanese only).

A clear stream runs through the garden, creating an environment fit for the fireflies, and for the visitors, there are lights along the footpath.

Firefly Watching in Tokyo! The Garden of Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

Picture courtesy of Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

The experience is made all the more magical by Hotel Chinzanso's sea of clouds! The soft green glow of the fireflies through the mist is a scene straight out of a fairy tale!

A biotope is located behind a small waterfall, and the fireflies can be seen there as well.

Firefly Watching in Tokyo! The Garden of Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

Taking a good photograph of fireflies can be quite difficult, so you really should see them for yourself.

Three Things To Know

For the enjoyment of guests, and the safety of the delicate fireflies, the hotel has set three rules for garden visitors.

No Flash Photos

Fireflies prefer dark places and are very sensitive to bright light. Although you might want a close-up photograph, the artificial light from the camera can be stressful for the fireflies. If you take pictures, be sure not to use a flash.

Do Not Catch Fireflies

A firefly's lifespan is short. If caught and relocated, they will likely die due to the change in their environment.

It's best to let them live in their natural surroundings.

Be Mindful of Trash

Firefly Watching in Tokyo! The Garden of Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

The fireflies dwell in a carefully maintained garden, where the air and water are kept immaculately clean. Please be careful not to disturb the garden or leave behind any litter during your visit.

There aren't many places where you can watch fireflies in their natural environment, so please take your time and experience their precious and dreamlike light show.

Until July 3, the hotel is hosting a number of firefly-themed summer events, including special meals available in their restaurants and cafe!

For more information on Hotel Chinzanso's gardens and summer events, please check their website (English).

Main image courtesy of Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.