When you imagine Nara, you probably think of Deer and Todai-ji Temple.
It is well known that humans and deer live together in harmony in our city, but most never consider how the nearly 1 ton a day of deer droppings is disposed of.
Can you imagine how? Could it be by volunteers, the prefectural government, or a company contracted to clean up all the droppings? All of these would be fine guesses, but the truth of the matter is that Dung Beetles do all the heavy lifting!
These little beetles eat massive amounts of deer droppings and break them down into tiny pieces. This naturally made "beetle fertilizer" then allows the grass of Nara to grow healthy - becoming nutritious food for the deer, all the while preventing the park from being covered in deer poop!
Around 50 kinds of dung beetle live in Nara park. They come in many different colors, from jet black to shades of yellow, from red hues to brilliant greens and purples, while others boast large horns.
One type of beetle in particular, the "Rurisenchi-kogane" which has a beautiful blue body, can only be found in Nara. When you visit Nara, take some time to try and find these wondrous beetles as they bring their delicious food back to their nests!
From April of 2021 we are planning to have a "Seek Brilliant Dung Beetles on Mt. Wakakusa" morning hiking tour. Both local residents and tourists alike will be welcome to join us for this chance to have fun in the mountains, and hopefully to give foreigners a better chance to talk with and meet the locals from our city.
We hope that you can come and stay in Nara to join us for this event!
All the best!
Here's a snippet from our latest Online Hotel-stay Experience.
We took our online guests on a little tour through Nara-machi, starting at the Nara-machi Dung Beetle Museum.