Japanese Hare

Geographic range

The Japanese hare is found on the continent of Asia. It is found primarily in 5 countries even though it is named for one. The Japanese hare is found in Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea, and Russia.


The Japanese hare is mostly found in mountains or hilly areas in the places they inhabit. These are the areas that they prefer to live in. They also inhabit forests or brushy areas. Due to human encroachment though, these hares have thrived in and around urban environments. They have become a nuisance in some places.

Physical description

Japanese hares have body lengths that range from 12 inches up to 18 inches long. Their tails will grow to lengths of 1 inch to 3 inches long. Their front legs grow from 4 to 6 inches and the back legs can grow from 6 inches to 8 inches long. The Japanese hare’s ears grow to be about 2 inches long when fully grown. Japanese hares are one of the many mammals that change the color of the fur according to the season. Although all Japanese hares do not change their fur color, those that live in varying climate conditions do.


The litter size of Japanese hare varies from 1 to 6. The age of maturity is uncertain, but females probably breed within a year of birth. Breeding continues year round. Several litters are born each year. They contain 2 to 4 individuals. Mating is promiscuous. The males chase females and box to repel rivals.


The Japanese hare, like most hares and rabbits, is nocturnal. It feeds mainly in the evening and early morning. They are silent except when they are in distress and give out calls for the distress. They can and will occupy burrows sometimes. They are solitary animals except during mating season when males and females will gather for breeding.


Vegetation found in and around their habitats is where the Japanese hare gets most of its nutrients. They eat grasses, shrubs, and bushes. Japanese hares are one of the few hares that will eat the bark off of trees and they do so occasionally which can cause major damage to trees and forests.