Published: September 19th 2011September 19th 2011
So just when I think you can't get any worse than the mukade, I discover today the existence of suzume bachi, or "giant Japanese hornet" and for someone who has long held a phobia or wasps this is no good thing.
I went to visit a local temple, Moto-Zenkoji with my friends Dean and Madilyn, and whilst wandering around the beautiful temple rooms, we see what looks like a wasp on steroids banging against the window. Let's get out of here says Dean (who shares my hatred of Japanese bugs), then he goes on to explain how these giant hornets are responsible for many deaths in Japan due to their deadly venom. According to wikipedia, "The enzyme in the venom is so strong that it can dissolve human tissue". Nice.
These minions of Satan make the mukade look positively friendly. Apparently they hate bears (who destroy their nests) and so if you go walking in the woods you need to wear a bright coloured hat, or they will attack the back of your head thinking your dark hair is a bear head (I need my highlights redone!). Later in the afternoon of the same day we went exploring in
the mountains to find a local waterfall. Getting back into the car after the waterfall, one of these evil blighters tried to fly in the window. You can imagine how loudly I was yelling!
The landscape around my village is changing rapidly at the moment. All the lush green rice paddies are now being harvested by the hard working farmers, and the fields are hives of industry. The arrival of autumn feels palpable. The orchards are brim full of apples and pears. I'm looking forward to the trees turning colour.
There are more photos below