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Wasps in Japan 2018/1/15 19:15
Hi!

I am planning a trip to japan in october, and I am VERY scared of wasps. I mean, phobic kind of scared! Of course, I have heard of the giant japanese hornet wich scare the hell out of me. So I would like to Know wich places are best to avoid them in october so i can enjoy mfy trip.

I would like to go to Tokyo, Kyoto and around, and then visit either shikoku or hokkaido. I know they are more common in the countryside and forests and mountains, wich are exactly the kind of place I want to visit, since I love nature and hiking. So wich is Best in october to avoid wasps and hornets?

thanks a lot!!
by Miette (guest)  

Re: Wasps in Japan 2018/1/16 14:24
I have traveled twice (Between Tokyo and Kagoshima) in September and October months and never some across bees.

I don't think you need to be worried.
by hakata14 rate this post as useful

Re: Wasps in Japan 2018/1/16 14:52
Well, there are much more scarier things than bees in "the countryside and forests and mountains", such as gnats, bears, wild boars and even monkeys, but as long as you follow the advise provided by the tourist information counters of those sites, I think you should be alright. For example, you should follow the hike paths, carry bells to alert animals that you are there, wear long sleeves and long trousers, use insect repellent, and if you must, wear a net over your face. I'm a local, and so far I've only been a victim of gnats which I only encounter in the countryside, and dumb me was wearing short pants.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Wasps in Japan 2018/1/16 15:59
In my several visits to japan in Sept/Oct I can honestly say that the only time I can remember seeing hornets was on the hike between Magome & Tsumago. They all seemed to have much more important things to do than to bother me. Dragonflies, crickets & mantises were much more common.
by Stan Norrell rate this post as useful

Re: Wasps in Japan 2018/1/16 17:18
well, it seems i am also a victim of flying insects (i am not scared of them, but hate them and they hate me)

i got once bitten by some bee / wasps looking like insect near the ise shrine (accidentally steppend on it near and ice cream seller on a resting banc. - dying wasps/bee/fly took it personally and stung me as her final revenge, which hurt about 4 weeks (so way more than a normal european bee or wasp)...

also saw some wasps in the nagano alps (got not attacked), which were bigger, but i think no suzumebatchi still, were peaceful and had no interest in me at all.

as uco said, there are worse things:
take care of tento mushi which was a "stunning" experience during blue berry picking (again in japanese alps). (pain lasts 3 weeks like you would have exposed your skin to fire and got burned)

also avoid crows.

but as Uco already told the gnats are the worst, cause they specially chose human as target. I got bit by them in an onsen (again in Nagano mountains area) (they seem to like red iron containing water, since i saw them later again at onsen of that kind in northern japan) and although they were barely visible their bite iched and hurt more than 3 weeks.

enjoy your trip to japan :-)
by Glimpigumpi rate this post as useful

Re: Wasps in Japan 2018/1/16 17:21
by the way: if you like hiking and walking you might try the small island like Yakushima (or Sado). They say they have less evil insect things on the small islands than on main land.
by Glimpigumpi rate this post as useful

Re: Wasps in Japan 2018/1/16 18:14
But overall Japan is not a country full of insects. Specially if you close strictly the insect nets that are available on nearly all windows.

Enjoy your trip to Japan!
by LikeBike rate this post as useful

Re: Wasps in Japan 2018/1/16 19:18
thank you so much everybody for your answers!

I know about the other scary insects or dangerous animals of Japan and will be carefull, but as irrational as it may seem, the thing that scare me the most definitely are the wasps and especially this giant hornet. So I am very releaved reading your answers, seems like they should'nt be much of a problem!

Thanks again for taking the time to answer!
by Miette (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Wasps in Japan 2018/1/18 05:50
Wear white - white baseball cap, white shirt, trousers, white socks, and white shoes. Hornets are attracted to dark colors. Think of beekeepers - always working in white.
by Paul (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Wasps in Japan 2018/1/23 14:32
If you have black or dark brown hair or any dark colored hair you might want to wear a light colored hat over it, my husband's black hair attracted the giant wasp chasing him 2 times in just one day last early autumn and both times it was in a parking lot two different parking lots but both times the giant wasp showed up so they might be attracted to vehicles and parking lots as well. They also love bright red colors as well.
by missbumble (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Wasps in Japan 2018/1/23 20:53
OMG! Yes I have brown hair ! Where was it your husband got chased? Wich region of japan? I Will be coing to Tokyo, Kyoto and then Kyushu and Yakushima. In october. Hope they wont Come hear me ^^
by Miette (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Wasps in Japan 2018/1/25 01:08
Pretty much everyone has dark hair in Japan. If this were a common problem, everyone would be spending their whole life running from hornets!



by guy (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Wasps in Japan 2018/1/25 06:01
I keep honeybees - and hornets, including giant ones, eat my bees. So I am around hornets a lot. Sometimes I have 30 to 40 swarming about in close proximity. I have never been stung, or even had one land on me. I wear white.
by Paul (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Wasps in Japan 2018/1/26 14:53
@guy But people do die every year from wasp stings in Japan, and people die more from wasp stings than bear or snake attacks in Japan. It is just that most Japanese spend their time in the city area or indoors
during the wasp's agressive season so most people avoid it. And there are warning signs on hiking trails about wasps, so people who do go hiking/walking tend to wear longs sleeves, full length pants and hats so they protect from wasps, otherwise without full coverage they would get chased alot more and they cover up alot more than people in the U.S. do for hiking. And as Paul mentioned wearing white helps keep them from bothering you because that is what beekeepers do.

by sid (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Wasps in Japan 2018/1/30 18:17
also read this, it has very good general information:
https://www.digi-joho.com/living-japan/hornets-suzumebachi-stings.html
by Glimpigumpi rate this post as useful

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