The life cycle of Gnathostoma nipponicum was examined by field survey and by experimental infection of animals with the larvae. Naturally infected larval G. nipponicum were found in loaches, catfish, and snakes. Experimentally, loaches, killifishes, frogs, salamanders, mice, and rats were successfully infected with the early third-stage larvae of G. nipponicum obtained from copepods (the first intermediate host), whereas snakes, quails, and weasels were not. Frogs, snakes, quails, and rats were experimentally infected with the advanced third-stage larvae (AdL3) from loaches. These results reveal that some species of fishes, amphibians and mammals can act as the second intermediate host and that some species of reptiles, birds and mammals can act as a paratenic host. The life cycle was completed in weasels, the definitive host, which were infected with AdL3 from loaches and started to evacuate eggs of G. nipponicum in faeces on days 65–90 postinfection.