Japan’s Evil Clown Creature: Why You Don’t Hike in September

Who needs this?


When one has this?


Clear weather lured my husband and I into the colossal mistake of hiking today. I learned the hard way why you don’t in Japanese forests in September.


The zuzumebachi (Japanese Hornet) becomes super active.

After parking our car, we began the muggy climb up the Zuishin Trail, passing by a group of five month old cats who meowed as we passed, perhaps warning us to turn back while we still could.DSC00535

“Turn back now, fool!”

The trail had all these stone bridges that crossed streams. It was sweltering inside like the gullet of some great beast.  DSC00547


Although we wore repellant, the mosquitoes devoured us anyway, favoring under my left armpit for some reason.  (The most annoying part was the way they buzzed in my ear.)

Deeper and deeper we journeyed, one after another we encountered the Hornets and signs warning that the hornets were active right now.  They weren’t kidding, but like college kids entered a haunted house to escape the rain, we had to keep going.DSC00556


One hovered in front of my face while my husband called, “Don’t scream.  You’ll anger it.”

I’ll anger IT?

After the 19th encounter, we decided enough was enough. An exit appeared and we took it, getting back down the mountain via a small road that ran along a golf course.  DSC00561

We’ll try again… once its cool enough to send the hornets back to Dante’s Inferno.



12 thoughts on “Japan’s Evil Clown Creature: Why You Don’t Hike in September

  1. No one had mentioned hornets before! I did a walk up in Iwate on 25th August and got absolutely hammered – bitten even – by a swarm of angry flying things. Maybe these were hornets. They looked a bit like large flies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If the hell hornets sting you, you’ll know for sure. Three stings can kill a grown man. The sting of the zuzumebachi has been compared to the feeling of a nail hammered through your skin.

      Probably something else stung you (sorry you got stung though — ouch ).


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