Sunday, July 02, 2006

Signs of Danger

If you're out hiking or picnicing this summer you might want to watch out for signs like these;

Bear Warning
[Bear Warning in Sumida]

poisonous snakes!
[Poisonous Snake Warning in Kamaishi]

It's easy to be lulled into a false sense of security in Japan and even more so in rural areas. Besides the the usual earthquakes, typhoons, volcanoes and tsunamis there are bears and poisonous snakes!

There are six kinds of poisonous snakes in Japan according to the Snakes of Japan website. The two most common are the mamushi (Agkistrodon blomhoffii blomhoffii), a Japanese pit viper, and the yamakagashi or Japanese Grass Snake (habdrophis tigrinus tigrinus). I don't have any photos but someone in Kanagawa has a nicely done page about them. Click the link to go there!

There are also a few hornets that can put you in the hospital or even kill small children. Every year the newspapers have accounts of their attacks. Then, too, there are poisonous centipedes and rabid foxes so do be careful! has a discussion are for all the dangerous animals! Check that out too and know before you go!


Blogger Justin Doub said...

I saw that very sign in Kamaishi two months ago.

Love your blog, btw. Keep up the good work.

8:38 AM  
Blogger Geekly said...

For some reason I didn't think there were poisonous snakes in Japan. I wonder how common they are.

2:23 PM  
Blogger IwateBuddy said...

Snakes are quite common and I think the poisonous ones aew common. There are plenty of wooded, hilly areas and rice fields too!

3:00 PM  

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