I was looking for snakes in the straw alongside the stream, but it still came as a shock to see this long black “crow snake” (karasuhebi) moving rapidly across the path. I’d estimate it at about 150cm, perhaps bigger. There were so many frogs on the path too, so I’m sure the snake was not going hungry! This species looks scary because of its size and colour, but it is not venomous at all. It is actually the melanic form of the four-lined ratsnake (shimahebi).
Reptilia: Squamata: Colubridae
Elaphe quadrivirgata (karashuhebi) = black Japanese four-lined ratsnake