Firefly Viewing at Kanazawa Castle Outer Moat Park

Walking Along Shiratori Road to See Fireflies

One of the lesser-known events outside of Ishikawa Prefecture is the "Evening of Firefly Viewing at Shiratori Road." Recently, I went to see it myself.

Shiratori Road is a walking path that runs from Ishikawa Gate of Kanazawa Castle Outer Moat Park towards Otebori. According to the website of "Kanazawa Shiratori Road Hotel Sanraku," the origin of Shiratori Road's name comes from the practice of releasing waterfowl into the moat to detect enemy intrusions. Along Shiratori Road, various sculptures, including those of three writers associated with Kanazawa (Kyoka Izumi, Shusei Tokuda, and Saisei Murou), are placed, making it a pleasant stroll with art to enjoy. (Photo provided by Kanazawa City)

Firefly viewing is held for a total of six days: from Friday, June 7th to Sunday, June 9th, and from Friday, June 14th to Sunday, June 16th, from 8:00 PM to 9:30 PM. To fully enjoy the fireflies' light, the area is kept dark during this time.

●Is the Light from Fireflies or Smartphones?

We chose to enter from Otemon Gate. While walking along the path, we could faintly see our surroundings, but near the waterway, it was pitch dark. At first, it was just darkness because we couldn't find any fireflies. Many times, we were fooled by the lights from smartphones flashing.

"Are there really any fireflies here?" Just as I was about to complain, small vertical lights started to appear here and there. Sometimes, we saw about five vertical lines appearing together.

"There it is!" "Over here!"... Everyone was shouting excitedly. Children and young people jumped onto the stones by the waterway to get a closer look at the fireflies. I tried hard to take photos with my smartphone, but it was too dark for the shutter to go off, and the video I took for a minute only showed two or three tiny dots of light. Although the photos were a failure, I was very satisfied to see so many fireflies.

So, the photos I posted here are just for illustration.

Fireflies Thriving Thanks to Citizens' Efforts

By the way, there were originally no fireflies in the Shiratori Road waterway. As part of Kanazawa City's efforts to create an environment suitable for fireflies, which started in 1983, they released firefly larvae into Shiratori Road as well. Thanks to the conservation activities of volunteer groups, it is now possible to see fireflies without additional releases. This history probably explains why many locals look forward to this event every year.

To enjoy the firefly viewing even more, there were also reading sessions of the "Three Writers of Kanazawa" describing fireflies and lectures on the ecology of fireflies before the viewing. With more knowledge and understanding of fireflies, the viewing experience can be even more enjoyable. Next year, I definitely want to participate in the lectures and reading sessions.

Incidentally, on June 28th (Friday), 29th (Saturday), July 5th (Friday), and 6th (Saturday), there will be firefly viewing events at Kenrokuen Garden. If you want to see more fireflies, please visit there too!

 Flyer for the Kenrokuen Firefly Viewing EventHere


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