5 Best Firefly Viewing Events and Spots in Osaka This Early Summer

  • Firefly sightings in this modern day have become very rare. I used to enjoy watching them light up a whole tree when I was young, but for some reason, they are becoming rare to find. Especially in the city, with all the technological advances everywhere and the colorful bright neon lights flashing in almost every street, they seem to scare away these lovely little creatures.

    Fortunately, thanks to the different institutions that raise and breed fireflies, it is now possible to see and experience them in various locations and parks in Osaka (大阪). So if you are looking for things to do this summer, visit the following five locations in Osaka and enjoy the beauty of these winged little lanterns as they light up the night!

    1. Expo’70 Commemorative Park Evening Fireflies

    The west side of the Japanese Garden at the Expo’70 Commemorative Park is once again open at night for people who are interested to see its fireflies. There are two kinds of fireflies that you will see at the Japanese Garden, the Genji fireflies (ゲンジボタル) and the Heike fireflies (ヘイケボタル).

    The viewing is scheduled until June 11, 2017 only. The garden is open daily until 9:30 PM for this event. Their last admission time is at 9:00 PM. The park advises that it is best to visit during weekdays if you want to avoid the crowd. Take note that the event may be canceled if it rains so it is best to check their website for any announcement.

    How to get there: Take the Osaka Monorail and get off at Banpaku-kinen-koen Station (万博記念公園駅). It will be around a 15 to 20-minute walk from the station to the Japanese Garden. If you get off at Handai-byoin-mae Station (阪大病院前駅), it is much closer to the garden, around a 7 to 10-minute walk.
    Closed: Wednesdays
    Admission fee: 250 yen for adults and 70 yen for high school students and children

    Expo’70 Commemorative Park Evening Fireflies Website

    2. Firefly Viewing Dinner Buffet at Taiko-en (太閤園)

    With their theme “Healing in Early Summer,” this annual event held in Taiko-en will not only give you the healing effect of fireflies but will also satisfy your stomach with the delicious buffet they offer. After a sumptuous meal, the sight of the natural pale glows emitted by the fireflies in Taiko-en’s garden will give you a relaxing and healing effect of nature’s beauty. The event is only until June 25, 2017. They are open from 5:00 PM until 10:00 PM.

    How to get there: Take the JR train to Osakajo-kitazume Station (大阪城北詰駅) and walk for a minute to Taiko-en.
    Admission fee: 8,800 yen for adults, 2,500 yen for elementary students, and 1,000 yen for 3-year-olds and above from Fridays to Sundays; 8,000 yen for adults, 1,250 yen for elementary students, and 500 yen for 3-year-olds and above from Mondays to Thursdays

    Firefly Viewing Dinner Buffet at Taiko-en Website *Japanese only

    3. Dancing Fireflies Festival at Naka-shizen no Mori (中自然の森) in Shin Umeda City (新梅田シティ)

    Another yearly event in the busy and colorful city of Osaka is the Dancing Fireflies in Shin Umeda. Around 2,000 fireflies will be released during the event for the people to see. So if you want to experience and see how these winged little creatures turn the city night magical, visit Naka-shizen no Mori. The event is from June 2 to 11, 2017.

    How to get there: Take the Midosuji Line (御堂筋線) going to Umeda Station (梅田駅) or the Yotsubashi Line (四つ橋線) to Nishi-Umeda Station (西梅田駅), and then walk for 13 to 15 minutes to Naka-shizen no Mori. If you are going to take the JR Osaka Loop Line, you can get off at Osaka Station (大阪駅).
    Fee: Free of charge

    Dancing Fireflies Festival at Naka-shizen no Mori Website *Automatic translation available

    4. Firefly Viewing Night at Namba Parks (なんばパークス)

    Namba Parks is one of Osaka’s biggest commercial building where you can enjoy shopping, movie, food, and nature. Their annual early summer firefly viewing night held at the 5th-floor garden is one of the awaited events in the city. Happening on June 3 to 4, 2017, this is only a 2-day event and is on a first-come, first-served basis.

    The event is free of charge, however, they only accommodate 300 people for the event. A numbered ticket is distributed as early as 5:00 PM, so if you want to experience firefly viewing in the heart of the city, better be there as early as possible.

    How to get there: Located in Namba (なんば), Osaka, it is easy to get there. Take a train or bus going to Namba Station (なんば駅) and walk for a few minutes to Namba Parks.
    Fee: Free of charge

    Firefly Viewing Night at Namba Parks Website *Automatic translation available

    5. Minoh Park (箕面公園) Firefly Viewing

    This is one of the ideal places to go when you want to view fireflies. Minoh Park is not so far away from Osaka City’s center. Along with other natural beauties that the park has to offer, during early summer, fireflies set the beauty of the park aglow with their sparkling little lights. So if you are in the city this month of June, don’t miss the chance to see these lovely creatures at this park!

    How to get there: Take the Hankyu Takarazuka Line (阪急宝塚線) in Umeda until Ishibashi (石橋), then transfer to the Hankyu Minoo Line (阪急箕面線) and get off at Minoo station (箕面駅).
    Fee: Free of charge


    With the fireflies’ decline in numbers, especially in highly urbanized areas, having the opportunity to go firefly viewing is priceless nowadays. The sight of them brings nostalgia. Who didn’t love catching them and putting them in a jar during their childhood days?

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