Friday was the first day of a five-day firefly extravaganza at the Botanical Garden Fureai in Shibuya. When I say extravaganza I am being extremely generous. What it is, is a small botanical garden about a 15-minute walk from the Shibuya train station that no one would ever visit without this much-touted event. It runs from June 17-21, 5:30-9:00 pm, and is free.
We got there around opening and waited in a short line for about ten minutes or so. Once inside, we followed everyone up the stairs to a film-viewing area and sat down. For the next 20 minutes or so we watched the film detailing the life cycle of the Japanese firefly. I’m sure it was very educational, but since it was in Japanese, I split my time of watching the film with watching all the people jumping up and down out of their seats.
Thinking we needed to kill time until it got darker, we sat there longer than we wanted, but finally, the film—shown on a loop—came round to the beginning of its riveting beginning. Glancing outside at the still rather light sky, we reluctantly got up to follow the others down the stairs. As it turned out, we could have cut out way before the bug’s life story ended, because the garden is shrouded in a black-out drape and it is really dark inside.
The garden area is very small and broken into two draped off areas. And from the dark depths one sees the bright glow of the little buggers as they try to make a date with the other fireflies.
These Japanese fireflies have much longer-lasting lights than the ones in NYC. It was pretty cool. We walked through and a few moments later, we exited the building to find quite a crowd waiting in line to enter.
Glad we went and glad it was free. No photos were allowed inside the room so picture above is for mood only!
We then took off for the crowded firefly-free Shibuya area in search of an izakaya for food and booze.