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Eat ALL The Bugs

Hey, look! A stand selling local honey! Do you think it's made from the shibazakura flowers this park is famous for? Let's get some to bring back to Tokyo as a souvenir! Hmm, should we get a big jar or a...
Hey, look! A stand selling local honey! Do you think it’s made from the shibazakura flowers this park is famous for? Let’s get some to bring back to Tokyo as a souvenir! Hmm, should we get a big jar or a…
Wait. What's that in the...? No. NO. Please tell me it's not...
Wait. What’s that in the…? No. NO. Please tell me it’s not…
...the biggest-ass bumblebee you ever saw, RIGHT IN THE HONEY!
…the biggest-ass bumblebee you ever saw, RIGHT IN THE HONEY!

Aieee, what is this, AUSTRALIA? I mean, what if you got up in the morning and snagged your bread from the toaster before you’d had your coffee and when you went to take your first bite, there was a giant BEE LEG staring right up at you? Or, even worse, what if you were deleting your spam while you ate and didn’t notice all the insect parts on your breakfast and you took a bite and it was CRUNCHY? Like, crunchy in NOT A TOAST-LIKE WAY?

You can gauge my level of horror at this dead bee honey by the fact that it wasn’t until I got home and looked at my pictures that I noticed the enormous brown cow-dookie-shaped things in the background. I zoomed in and, just as I feared, they’re the…

...evil honeycombs of doom where giant hairy bees are spawned O_O
…evil honeycombs of doom where giant hairy bees are spawned O_O

If you’d like to buy some scary insect-riddled honey yourself, they sell it at the festival next to the otherwise quite gorgeous shibazakura fields at Hitsujiyama (in Chichibu), from the middle of April to the middle of May. A map is on my website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had.

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Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

12 thoughts on “Eat ALL The Bugs Leave a comment

  1. they are the .. hives? I loved your post, it was so funny, can we hope that it’s the curve of the bottle and the liquid that makes the bumble bee seem much bigger? Because it looks the size of a tarantula – shiver-! I’ll just bought some honey collected in the Gardens of Luxembourg in Paris, nothing inside ^^. Also I wonder if it gives a taste ????

  2. Yes, EWWW the big brown things are the wild hives where the bees lived (which is why they’re not square, like civilized ones.) I bet you’re right about the round jars making the bees look bigger, but there were some jars that had straight sides, and the bees in those were STILL as big as my thumb! And I hadn’t thought about the taste, but now that you mention it, how could you eat this and not imagine a little hint of insect? SQUICKITY SQUICKITY SQUICK.

  3. HEY! We only have regular sized bees here in Australia. 🙂 🙂
    OK, so, yes….. other things can run into ‘large’ in the insect department, I’ll give you that, BUT, we don’t stick our bees INSIDE the honey!! EEEEWWWWWW!!!!
    (Although you can eat honey ants in NT if you have a mind to………. not on my bucket list).
    Do they remove the stingy needle bit from the bees butt before popping it in the jar?
    Thanks for yet another giggle, your posts do crack me up! (Squickity now added to my dictionary) 🙂

    • OMG, I googled ‘honey ants’ and they went directly to the top of the “Things I Am NEVER Eating” list! AIEEEE!

      And good question about the stingy bits. I’m assuming that Japanese perns effectively avoid eating any disgusting insect parts (thus rendering the issue non-dangerous) but what if you accidentally…? I mean, think of the emergency room report you’d have to make…

  4. hehehehehe.. Death by accidental ingestion of honey bee’s butt…..

    And yeah, who in the hell would eat those honey ant critters by choice????

  5. I was just there and saw the honey. I think they told me that you don’t actually eat the bees. Not having any Japanese I couldn’t ask, then what the heck is it doing in there? So could you please investigate further? And no, I didn’t buy a jar 🙂 Not even a teeny bit tempted! (But I did get dried shiitake mushrooms from another stall)

    • I *did* ask a Japanese friend later, and was told (with appropriate horror) that nobody eats the bee, and the friend speculated that it was a way to (rather too graphically) demonstrate that this honey is the real deal. But I bet the real reason is that those jars sell faster and for more money that plain jars, due to the squicky souvenir factor.

      How are the shibazakura this year?

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