Japanese Magic Mushrooms: Bioluminescent Fungi

It’s believed that humankind and their ancestors have walked the earth for six million years. It seems like each inch of soil, useful resource and sea has now been conquered and managed by our species. Nonetheless, we’re nonetheless very removed from actually understanding all the pieces on Earth. That’s the reason, once in a while, one thing will occur that blows our minds. Japanese illuminating mushrooms are the following phenomenon to seize individuals’s consideration.

These bioluminescent fungi, often known as mycena lux-coeli, are lighting up the Japanese forests with their unusual but magical skills. However what are these mushrooms? How do they illuminate? And the way do they differ from psychedelic, magic mushrooms? Let’s dig deeper into the soil and discover out for ourselves. 

Nature is thrilling and stuffed with enjoyable new issues to study. Bioluminescence is a kind of fairy-tale like points of the world that makes life just a bit extra magical. To be taught extra about different enjoyable mushrooms species, ensure to subscribe to The Cannadelics Weekly Publication, your high supply for information and knowledge because it pertains to this rising new trade.

What are Mushrooms?

Mushrooms are an umbrella time period for lots of various issues. There are mushrooms you eat, there are mushrooms you keep away from in any respect prices, there are mushrooms that look fairly disgusting and scary, there are mushrooms that appear to be one thing out of a fairy story, there are mushrooms that trigger you to hallucinate, and there at the moment are – supposedly – mushrooms that glow at nighttime. However what really are they? What defines a mushroom as a mushroom?

Mushrooms have been eaten and used on the planet of medication for hundreds of years. And but many would say that these greens are probably the most underrated in historical past. With over 10,000 identified kinds of mushroom, it will probably usually be tough to completely comprehend what identifies them. Usually talking, mushrooms are recognized as natural-growing fungi which have a stem, spherical cap, with grills beneath stated cap. Harvard writes: 

Though thought of a vegetable, mushrooms are neither a plant nor animal meals. They’re a kind of fungus that incorporates a substance known as ergosterol, related in construction to ldl cholesterol in animals. Ergosterol may be remodeled into vitamin D with publicity to ultraviolet mild.”

Mushrooms are a part of the fungi household and technically are in their very own separate world from vegetation and animals. Crops make their meals utilizing the solar in the course of the technique of photosynthesis. Animals eat, digest and achieve vitamins that method. Nonetheless, mushrooms do one thing totally different. Fungi has mycelium, which grows round or right into a meals supply, after which attaches enzymes onto the meals to digest it. 

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Edible Mushrooms

Of the over 10,000 mushrooms on the planet, many of those are edible and plenty of of those are toxic. Widespread edible mushrooms embody: white button mushroom, crimini mushrooms, portobello mushroom, shiitake mushroom and maitake mushroom. All of those are utilized in quite a lot of dishes, and really generally in Japanese delicacies. The umami flavour given by mushrooms is likely one of the the explanation why they’re so in style to cook dinner with. Umami is taken into account to be one of many 5 flavours or fundamental tastes, others embody: bitter, salty, candy and bitter. 

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Toxic Mushrooms

Toxic mushrooms exist for a similar purpose that toxic vegetation exist, or for a similar purpose that hedgehogs have spikes. The reason being as a way to shield themselves. Poison stops animals from consuming them, and due to this fact permits them to breed. Widespread toxic and lethal mushrooms embody: loss of life cap, conocybe filaris, webcaps, autumn skullcap and destroying angels. In fact there are well-educated professionals on the market who can inform the distinction between most of the variants of mushrooms, however for many of us, it’s very tough to inform. Britannica writes:

“Though only some of the 70-80 species of toxic mushrooms are literally deadly when ingested, many of those lethal fungi bear an unlucky resemblance to edible species and are thus particularly harmful:

Psychedelic Mushrooms

While there are edible mushrooms and toxic mushrooms, there may be additionally one thing reasonably extraordinary within the center: magic mushrooms. These variants additionally include a poison that almost definitely similaly goals to detract prey, however really appears to have created one thing much more unorthodox. A chemical – reminiscent of psilocybin – as an alternative has been utilized by human beings to create psychedelic and hallucinogenic results. Psychedelic Make investments writes:

“There are about 200 species of psychedelic mushrooms that are distributed around the globe. These species have totally different names and are sometimes labeled in response to their organic genera. Psilocybin, gymnopilus, panaeolus and copelandia are among the many most typical genera discovered all through the world.”

While there are numerous psychedelic mushrooms, all of them are fairly related of their leisure results.

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Japanese Mushrooms

Japan has a wide variety of mushrooms – often known as kinoko – particularly as a result of the fungi is used usually in Japanese delicacies. The umami flavour is very in style in Japanese tradition. The shiitake, maitake, bunashimeji and matsutake all originate from Japan. The truth is, the nation accommodates over 5000 forms of mushrooms – with 100 of those being edible. A Mushroom explorer in Japan stated in an interview with NHK World:

“Mushrooms slot in so properly with Japanese delicacies. They’re low in energy however stuffed with vitamin D, fiber, and umami, and can even decrease your blood sugar stage. Individuals use dried shiitake usually as a result of its umami can’t get replaced by the rest. However primarily, I feel it’s as a result of recent mushrooms are extensively obtainable all yr spherical”

As you may see, not solely do mushrooms match completely into Japanese tradition, however additionally they are always obtainable and in nice numbers. There’s no shock then that till 2002, magic mushrooms had been really authorized in Japan. The wide selection and the elevated use of the fungi  makes it very tough to regulate. Nonetheless, now, magic mushrooms and psilocybin are unlawful. The truth is, it was the misuse of shrooms by individuals in different nations that ended up being the primary driving pressure for the ban of them in Japan. 

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With a variety of mushroom variants in Japan, it’s not shocking that there are some actual loopy ones on the market. Introducing: The true Japanese Magic Mushrooms that really illuminate at nighttime. 

Forest Fairy Mushrooms

Within the western a part of Japan, within the forests of Ugui in Nachikatsuura, Wakayama, are a really particular kind of mushroom. These are identified by some as ‘forest fairies’ and others as mycena lux-coeli. Within the daylight these mushrooms are fairly unextraordinary, however when the night time comes, they illuminate the forest in a spectacular phenomenon. Bioluminescent mushrooms exist, however they’re very uncommon, with solely 80 species of them present on the planet. To place this into perspective, there are round 100,000 species of fungi, and solely 80 of those glow at nighttime. Japan is residence to one in every of these extraordinarily uncommon species and it’s doable to see them in the event you search. However why do they glow at nighttime? Effectively, the New York Occasions writes:

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“In all bioluminescent organisms, a small molecule known as luciferin interacts with oxygen and an even bigger protein known as luciferase, creating chemical vitality that’s finally launched within the type of chilly mild”

In different phrases, these mushrooms in Japan emit a inexperienced mild that may be seen clearly at nighttime. It’s an analogous response that happens when the stomach of a firefly or the pores and skin of a squid illuminates. The mushrooms are solely 1-2cm in diameter, however when night time time comes these insignificant fungi can create one thing like out of a Studio Ghibli movie.These mushrooms had been found in 1950 in a subtropical island known as Hachijojima. This island is a part of Tokyo. These days, mushroom explorers journey far into the forest to feast their eyes on this wonderful fungi. They honestly are a marvel of the world. The truth is, you may pay round $4.50 for a tour to see them in the event you’re within the space, so it isn’t costly. The problem is, these mushrooms solely sprout for a couple of days in the course of the wet season – so it’s a must to be fortunate to see them. Nonetheless, in case you are lucky sufficient, they’ll actually take your breath away. 


The world remains to be stuffed with many issues we don’t actually perceive and phenomena we could by no means see. The Japanese bioluminescent mushrooms are undoubtedly one in every of these spectacles. While there are 100s of hundreds of fungi on the market, solely few can glow at nighttime. These particular mushrooms are doing precisely that in Japan proper now. Generally fairy tales and legendary tales are actual, not simply fiction.

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