Event to enjoy in Kagoshima: Hands-on experience with 1,000-plus beetles

PUBLISHED Jul 8, 2021

Tani Megumu (left) and his brother Manamu (right), in charge of promoting the Hercules Beetle Dome

The Hercules Kojo, which breeds the exotic species of beetle Hercules beetles (Dynastes hercules), will hold a hands-on event, Hercules Beetle Dome, where visitors can handle rhinoceros beetles and stag beetles. The event will be held for five days: July 24 and 31, and August 1, 7, and 8.

The Hercules Kojo is run by Megumukai, a group that provides employment support for people with disabilities. Tani Masaki, an organizer of the NPO, started breeding Hercules beetles when his eldest son, Megumu, wanted one, and in May 2019, he launched the Hercules Kojo. Since then, Tani has raised 500 Hercules beetles and 2,000 to 3,000 Japanese beetles a year. The idea to create the Hercules Beetle Dome came about when Megumu started saying, “I want to catch them by myself.” Tani realized that children want to experience things by themselves, so he decided to provide a place where they can catch free-roaming insects.

The area of the dome is 80 square meters. On the day of the event, 1,000 domestic beetles and stag beetles will be set free, and visitors will be able to catch a pair of rhinoceros beetles or a stag beetle to take home. “Usually, about 500 beetles are set free in a hands-on facility like this one. But this time, we will be releasing 1,000 Japanese beetles a day,” said Tani. Visitors to the dome will also have access to a special booth where they can touch Hercules beetles.

In addition, there will be a Hercules Gacha vending machine (1,000 yen) where visitors can get a Hercules larva, and a Megumuya lottery wheel (500 yen) to try their luck and win a Hercules beetle or a giant stag beetle. The event will also offer hands-on workshops where participants can prepare the soil to feed the larvae (from 600 yen for 3 kilograms) and jelly, the food for the adults (from 300 yen for a 200-milliliter cup).

A variety of fun booths will also be available where visitors can enjoy ring toss, bouncy ball scooping, candy floss making, as well as food trucks and novelty goods stalls. Tani said, “Even people who don’t like insects can enjoy this event. Some children are afraid of beetles at first, but then they can get to touch them eventually. I hope they have a great time catching them.”

The event will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Free admission to the venue, and 700 yen to the Hercules Beetle Dome (free for children under 3). In the event of uncertain weather conditions, the postponement will be announced on the website around 6 a.m.

  • The Hercules Kojo

  • Megumu holding a Hercules Beetle