Today I've read a lot about the craziest insect in Japan, the Suzumebachi.
It's a kind of giant bee and, apparently, it's the most dangerous animal in Japan:

Being stung is extremely painful and requires hospital treatment. On average 40 people die every year of anaphylactic shock after having been stung, which makes the Japanese giant hornet the most lethal animal in Japan (bears kill zero to five people and venomous snakes kill five to ten people each year).

I've also read that there are places "in the mountain" where the Suzumebachi is served grilled but I couldn't find any precise information about this.
So my question is: where can I eat Suzumebachi in Fuji area or Iya Valley, Shikoku, area?
Feel free to suggest other places if it's unlikely I'm gonna find any in the aforementioned places.


2 Answers 2


Not quite -- the bees are not eaten, but it is possible to eat their larvae (はちのこ/蜂の子 hachinoko, lit. "bee children"). Here's the process of preparation documented in detail (in Japanese, but with pictures).

This is by no means a common dish (in fact I'd never heard of it before I started looking into this!), but apparently in the Tono region of Gifu prefecture, more specifically the towns of Ena and Nakatsugawa, it's considered a regional delicacy. The most famous dish is hebomeshi (ヘボめし), which is basically rice with bee larvae mixed in:

enter image description here

And there's a place called, appropriately enough, Hachinosu (はちのす, "Bee's Nest") that will serve you a full course of not only bee larvae rice but pickled grasshoppers (イナゴの佃煮 inago no tsukudani), raw horsemeat (馬刺し basashi) and more for ¥1800:

enter image description here

Address Gifu-ken, Kani-gun, Mitake-chō, Nakagiri 1133-1 (岐阜県可児郡御嵩町中切1133の1), open daily except Fridays from 7:30 AM. Do tell us if you end up going, I hear it's the bee's knees!

And an important disclaimer: while you'll certainly get bees there, they may not be giant sparrow bees. The only reference I could find to specifically giant sparrow bees being eaten was this rather dodgy TV show claiming that they're used for a dish called bee noodles (蜂そうめん hachi-somen) in the northern mountains of Miyazaki, Kyushu, but the only other references to this dish seem to be talking about the TV show...

  • 3
    now I understand why bees start to dissapear from earth ... Jun 26, 2013 at 3:48
  • It seems they're not actually bees at all but hornets, which are more a kind of wasp. (Wasps are often predators of bees.) Jul 1, 2013 at 5:07
  • 6
    Japanese uses the term 蜂 hachi pretty indiscriminately for anything that's yellow, stripy and sting-y. Jul 1, 2013 at 5:51
  • 1
    I assume collecting the larvae itself is safe, but what about the breeding process? If I'm worried about the OH&S of workers involved, should I stick with the Alaskan king crab?
    – Golden Cuy
    Apr 29, 2014 at 7:21

We were up at Chichibu last weekend, and they were selling the Giant Sparrow Bees in a baby food jar in some kind of syrup and were told by the vendor that the stingers are removed and that the bees are Eaten after drinking the syrup. She demonstrated for us. They are supposedly food for building muscle and considered a delicacy

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