Crickets and Fountains, Shinjuku Park, Tokyo, Japan in summer 2019 – by Lucy Dearlove

“I stayed one or two nights in this hotel that was directly opposite Shinjuku park. Not a field per se but a pretty standard urban park: fairly landscaped, surrounded by tall buildings, not really particularly ‘wild’ or full of ‘nature’, apart from the turtles in the fountains (you can hear the sound of the water in this recording too). But the crickets were so intense! They were so loud it was actually funny – I heard them throughout Japan during the trip and sometimes they almost sounded like alarms, or like dodgy electrical wiring buzzing, though here they’re more of a uniform screechy hiss. After I made this recording I sat on a bench and ate a delicious cheesecake from 7 Eleven and watched a woman trying to persuade her toddler to touch something on a leaf and he wouldn’t stop screaming. After they’d gone I went over to see what it was because they’d left it behind, and it was the empty exoskeleton of a cricket stuck to the leaf. I had NO IDEA they shed their skins like a snake but apparently they do and it is horrifying! No wonder the poor toddler didn’t want to touch it.”