Nature & Culture of Japan

To make your trip to Japan more interesting

Insects Nature (general) sight seeing (general)

Nature and tourist destinations on Tanegashima Island(種子島の自然と観光地)

There are two islands just south of the mainland of Kyushu. Yakushima Island in the west has high mountains and is well known as an attractive place for naturalists.

In the east there is Tanegashima Island. It is well known among the Japanese people as the place where the Portuguese first introduced guns to Japan in 16 Century, because it is mentioned in textbooks at school.

Statue of the introduction of guns

It is also known for a rocket launch pad. It is said that lower latitudes are better for launching rockets. When the rocket launch pad was established here, Okinawa Islands were still American territory and Tanegashima Island was the southernmost in Japan.

A rocket launch pad

Nature there is rarely noticed by naturalists in Japan. The main reasons are as follows.

(A) There are no mountains and it is less attractive than Yakushima Island, where naturalists rather go there.

(B) The Ryukyu Islands south of this island were separated by the sea for a long time, and endemic species were evolved. On the other hand, Tanegashima Island had been connected to the mainland of Kyushu until about just 10,000 years ago, thus there is no peculiar species.

However, there are still many species which are endangered on the mainland such as Kyushu. I think we should focus on the attractive aspect of this island.

For example, there are many tiger beetles of Abroscelis anchoralis on the beach in summer. This species used to exist north of Kyushu, but is now extinct in most places.

A tiger beetles species Abroscelis anchoralis


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *