Tokyo Cherry Blossom Festival (02:39)
Honshu features Japan's largest urban area, with 33 million people. People follow the cherry forecast each spring; flowers bloom only a few days.
Hida Mountain Wildlife (05:29)
Many of Honshu's peaks are over 3,000 meters. Black bears hunt ants and macaques harvest pine nuts. Macaques have reclaimed a hot springs from humans; tourists photograph them and toss grain seeds into the pool. See retrieval methods.
Shomyo Falls (02:12)
After tourists leave, macaques return to the forest; a baby is nearly swept away by rapids. Mountain streams are channeled in the foothills for rice cultivation.
Japanese Tree Frogs (05:43)
In early summer, females lay eggs in trees around Honshu's rice paddies. See males compete to fertilize the foam globes. Later in summer, tadpoles drop from the nest into the water.
Harie Village (05:07)
Much of Japan's freshwater is used in rice cultivation. Harie Village residents use giant carp to purify kitchen water in an ancient irrigation system. Fireflies mate in the pristine environment, attracting human observers.
Japanese Serow (02:13)
People believe Honshu's oldest trees are inhabited by kodama, or tree spirits. A relative of antelopes and goats was nearly hunted to extinction, before receiving protection by the Japanese government.
Low Forest Macaques (04:16)
Primates dodge cars and brave electric fences to steal farm produce. Farmers use shiba inu dogs to defend their crops.
Wildlife Catch and Release (04:29)
A young black bear is attacking Mr. Nakiyama's hives. He sets a trap with honey. Professor Izumiyama's team tranquilizes the bear and transports it back to the mountain.
Nara Park (03:57)
Sika deer are sacred in Japan's historic Todaiji Temple. Tourists unused to wildlife feed them biscuits; they take advantage of human naiveté.
Japanese Raccoon Dog (02:50)
Most of coastal Honshu is urbanized. In Tokyo, a scavenging animal that steals food is believed to bring luck. A mother raises cubs next to a railway line.
Geological Dynamics (03:11)
Shinto philosophy promotes harmony with nature; Mr. Watanabe tends a dry landscape garden representing mountains and streams. Honshu features volcanoes, frequent earthquakes, and tsunamis.
Firefly Squid (03:10)
An underwater valley off Honshu's west coast provides conditions for the species to use bioluminescence for communication. They come to the surface to spawn, lighting up the water.
Tokyo residents have held cherry blossom viewing parties for centuries. The fleeting flowers represent mono no aware, the ephemeral spirit of life.
Credits: Wild Japan: Honshu (00:34)
Credits: Wild Japan: Honshu
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