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Are bears a threat? 2019/4/30 14:55
Konnichiwa Minna san. Hello everyone. My name is Steve. I will be traveling from Fukushima and working my way up to Asahikawa in Hokkaido from May 18th to June 13th. I plan on doing a bit of hiking in the various regions I will be staying. Fukushima, Sendai, Morioka, Aomori and finally Asahikawa. I will also be hiring a car in each region so I can get to some more remote areas.
So my question is, will Bears be active around that time and do they present a real danger.
Coming from Australia I'm quite used to living amongst some of the most dangerous reptiles, spiders, marine life, but I've never come across anything that can run me down and tear me to shreds.
Also open to suggestions of places to visit as I still have many days unplanned.
Thank you in advance for your input.
by Steve (guest)  

Re: Are bears a threat? 2019/4/30 17:02
So my question is, will Bears be active around that time and do they present a real danger.

Yes, bears are active this time of year, after they wake up from hibernation.
June is their "busiest" month.

According to this site,
we encounter most bears this year.

You may want to read these articles.
by frog1954 rate this post as useful

Re: Are bears a threat? 2019/4/30 20:13
Cars are a much bigger threat than bears,generally speaking. But I agree that I don’t want to get eaten by one.

You are only going to be in bear territory for some of your hiking trips. You can buy a bear bell. That seems to be the Japanese way how to avoid meeting them.

Regarding suggestions, I travelled through a good part of Japan by bicycle, including Tohoku and Hokkaido. If you like heck put some of the places I have been. Note that I didn’t go anywhere too hilly.

More suggestions are easier if we know what IS already on your list

Enjoy planning your trip to Japan and be nice to the bears :-)
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Are bears a threat? 2019/4/30 21:36
Hi Steve,

I did not grow up around bears, but I currently live somewhere where black bears are seen much more frequently than I would like lol. I think our town had 100+ reported bear sightings last year.

Here's the thing, people aren't really bears preferred meal. Bears tend to attack people when we: scare/startle them, we get too close to cubs, the bears are hungry and desperate for food. So I would think by late May to early June the bears have more food options and while there might be more encounters in June, it's just because the bears are out roaming, so you will see them. If you're attacked, fight back. Be careful when driving, hitting a bear will completely wreck your car. I knew someone that happened to. They were OK, their car was totaled.

I've not done a lot of hiking in Tohoku, but I did enjoy Osorezan (somewhere I would only want to go with my own transport or an actual guided tour, trying to time public transport there sucks.) I enjoyed Towadako and stayed overnight in a ryokan in Oyu onsen. I regret not going to the Towada City Art Museum when I was in Towada City and I've been to "Christ's Grave" which is hilarious, if you're not offended by it. This upcoming trip I am going to Hanamaki onsen and I am debating doing one of the easy hikes at Akita-Komagatake. If the hydrangea start early enough and you are into flowers, there is a hydrangea forest near Ichinoseki I want to check out.

@Mfedley has some really appealing looking places in his June 2018 trip through Tohoku. I think the Osarizawa Gold mine and Dakigaeri Valley in particular look interesting.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Are bears a threat? 2019/4/30 23:43
Statistically, more people are killed by wasp stings than poisonous snake bites and bear attacks combined. Watch out for those giant wasps.
by Kamahen (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Are bears a threat? 2019/4/30 23:44
You should watch "Flying Witch" ep7.
It is not only a story to go hiking, but there is a depiction of bear habits.
No "dub", watch in "sub", you can also learn Japanese.

The cafe that is the title of this episode is real,
in "藤田記念庭園 Fujita kinen teien = Fujita Memorial Garden", in Hirosaki City, Aomori prf.
Among the works is the name "喫茶コンクルシオ Cafe Conclusio ",
but the real cafe name is "大正浪漫喫茶室 Taisho Roman kissashitsu", though.
Even if you don't cast the spell, you can see it :)

Not "Konnichiwa Minna san", "Mina san Konnichiwa" is the best.
In this phrase, "Minna" must be changed to "Mina", both meaning and kanji(皆) are the same.
Also, in real Japanese, there is no custom to write "TIA" at the end of the question.
There's no problem here, also won't be a bad manner in Japan, no worry.
by Sayonara Heisei (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Are bears a threat? 2019/5/1 06:44
It's kind of like asking will there be sharks in the ocean if you go surfing. Yes there are and if you come across one it really sucks. But the odds are very low that you will, so you shouldn't let the thought ruin your fun. There are way more bears here in North America and we only average 3 deaths from bears per year. I couldn't find Japan stats, but I can't imagine it being higher.

by TW (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Are bears a threat? 2019/5/1 08:34
The information I have seen is that there are, on average, 40 bear attacks a year and only some are fatal. Spread across the country, not restricted to wilderness areas - I was in Takayama the night someone was attacked by a bear in their house, although you could argue Takayama borders wilderness.

Wasps/hornets kill around 40 people a year (something I saw recently), and snakes put 2,000 people a year in hospital and kill 10-20 people a year. There are some nasty creatures around, but as the OP says, there are some in Australia too.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

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