Genji-botaru, Fireflies at Yase
Fireflies are a seasonal tradition that heralds the arrival of summer in Japan. Fireflies can be seen in many places in Kyoto, including the lush greenery of Yase at the foot of Mount Hiei. At night, one or two small lights begin to drift into the pond that sits quietly beside a small path along the Takano River. The dense vegetation around the pond and the lights of the fireflies fluttering between them create a fantastic scene that delights the eyes of visitors.
Yase, the gateway to Mt. Hiei, is a lush and serene area stretching along the clear waters of the Takano River. The name of the area is said to have originated from the fact that it was called "矢背 (Yase (arrow back))", after Prince Oama received an arrow wound on his back during the Jinshin War and healed his wound in this area. The scenic Yase, which has been loved by people of culture since ancient times, is still attractive for its beautiful scenery created by history and nature, and is especially crowded with tourists during the season of autumn leaves.