A few weeks ago, we heard a startling cry in the middle of the night.
I instantly knew it wasn’t my children. My husband had comically tumbled out of bed to a standing position, ready for action. I told him it wasn’t the kids and he peeked outside our curtains to see where the noise was coming from.
Well, it wasn’t a cat. That was my closest thought.
It was bigger, much bigger.
He watched it walk down the street, and eventually we went back to bed.
The next night, we recalled the event and tried to figure out what it could possibly be. We looked up all kind of things.
Eventually, we figured it out: a hakubishin (apparently a “masked palm civet”)
I had no idea we had such animals in suburban Tokyo.
Japan has a lot of notable animals– onsen-bathing monkeys, cats galore, and a whole village for foxes.
Anyway, in light of this new discovery, I thought I’d share with you my two most shudder-worthy creatures that are common in Japan.
First, enormous suzumi-bachis (Giant Hornets).
I get the heeby-jeebies just writing it. These things can literally kill you. They typically measure longer than an inch and look like mini-flying fat crayons.
It’s not uncommon to see a tree sectioned off at a local park where they will be dealing with these suzumi-bachis.
There’s another nearby wilderness area (of a couple acres, nothing big) that I refuse to go to anymore because I’ve seen too many of them there.
Check them out here:
And, because you haven’t been creeped out enough, the common summer pest: the cockroach.
These things are also enormous in my books: often measuring a good 2 inches or more, fast as lighting… and the kicker: they fly.
Like I said, they’re not uncommon. And they’re hard to kill. My husband once dislocated his shoulder trying to kill one.
I spent a while looking for a good video to post on here… and honestly, I’m too grossed out to watch anymore. So, you’ll just have to take me at my word.
Anyway, those are the worst. We also have cicadas that are not good navigators and will dive-bomb right in front of you, or worse, right into you.
There’s some kind of bug that can burrow into your heels, but I think those are mostly mountainous.
Enormous praying mantises– I once found a 4-5 inch one hanging on the inside of my window.
And centipedes that have a bite. Thankfully, I’ve only seen them from a far.
Ok, well, I’ve shared some of the wildlife around here with you.
And now, I’m going to go back to pretending none of these things exist.