Total Solar Eclipse 2009 in Japan
It is unfortunate that most of us cannot observe the totally occulted sun at home because it will occur in the area of the Pacific ocean, where you can see a stretch of the blue endless sea. But a few that live in and near Tokara-Retto Islands can do it.
Here is some information about Tokara-Retto (Islands).
|The Tokara-Retto (Retto means archipelago) is located south of Kyushu Japan,
between Yakushima and Amami-Oshima. As the islands belong to Toshima-mura
(village) in Kagoshima Prefecture, the village office is in Kagoshima.
Tokara-Retto is mainly made up of seven populated and five desert islands. (See the maps below: the inhabited are written in yellow and uninhabited are in pink)
It ranges from the latitude 28.5 to 30 degree N, longitude 129 to 130 E., about 160km long from north-end to south-end.
A ferry named Toshima is the only transportation which connects the islands and Kyushu and/or Amami-Oshima.
The ferry will be chartered by Kinki Nippon Tourist Co.Ltd at the time of the eclipse.
Please view this sight about Tokara Eclipse Observation Tour 2009.
The water depth of ports of seven islands is less than 5.5m, which makes it hard for big ships to reach shores.
The desert islands have no ports of course.
The ferry has a capacity of 200 people. It takes 6.5 hours from Kagoshima to Kuchino-shima and 13.5 hours to Takara-jima.
You can enjoy pure beautiful nature with specific creatures like Tokara Horse, Tokara Goat and Tokara Karasu-Ageha Butterfly.
The whole village of Tokara-Retto is designated as Prefectural Nature Park.
Its population is 651 at the end of 2007 and population density is 6.42person/sqkm.
|The skies are clear and full of stars at night. You can see the milky way right after the sunset !|
Outline of total solar eclipse in Japan - Bonin Islands, - Tokara Retto - Yakushima and AmamiOshima
Sendai-Uchukan Solar Eclipse site(Japanese)
|The policy and guideline of Toshima Village concerning the total solar
(1) Protect residents' life.
(2) Protect natural environment.
(3) Ensure the observers' safety.
(4) The infrastructure and environmental management required for the observers to stay at the islands such as tents, water, meals and so on are charged to the observers (beneficiary charge)
2. Transportation to islands
(1) The period from July 17 to 26th, i.e. before and after the eclipse is regarded as special term and the special timetables and diagram of Ferry Toshima is drawn up, maintaining operation as the villagers life route.
(2) 30-person riding small ship (Hamachidori) is chartered to convey observers from Amami by shuttle service, so that seats of the ferry will be kept for villagers.
It is also under examination to appeal for cooperation to those who buy the ticket of a ferry after July starts, to avoid the above-mentioned special period by checking the returning schedule. (Possibly tickets will not be sold depending on the schedule)
3. Acceptable number
(1) 1300 persons for sum total of all the islands is the approximate acceptable number and will be adjusted hereafter.
Kuchinoshima120, Nakanoshima200, Hirajima100, Suwanose-jima310, Akuseki-jima255, Kodakara-jima75, Takara-jima220
(2) A part of seats of the ferry is secured for residents as mentioned above.
There is a priority also in a resident frame
1.Residents 2.Relatives 3.Friends
Those cannot necessarily ride on a ferry just because they are residents' acquaintances.
4. Application for observation
(1) Those who hopes for observing are requested to apply to Kinki Nippon Tourist Co.Ltd.
The application starts around May.
(2) In order to give them more chances to know and ensure informing our view of the beneficiary charge, application occasion will be divided into several times and the observers are to be determined by draw.
5. Restriction of entrance into the islands
(1) It is difficult to accept over 1300 persons since required environmental management based on the view of a beneficiary charge corresponds to 1300 persons.
(2) During the special period of July 17-26, only residents, staff and observers are to stay in islands and other people are kindly requested to avoid staying during the period, which requires measures to be taken.
(3) Restriction by an ordinance etc. is under consideration about the individual entrance into the islands in a small ship etc.
6. Environmental management for observers to stay
The village will carry out as follows:
(1) Fix tents, temporary toilets, showers, etc.
(There are no tents in Nakanoshima and school gymnasium and Toshima Development Synthesis Center will be used.)
(2) Construct temporary water supply.
The power supply is under deliberations with electric power company.
(3) Secure the vehicles for transportation in the islands.
(4) Entrust meals to dealers who cook to pouch-packed food collectively in Kagoshima, which are only warmed on islands.
(5) Support yhe observers and Protect the safety of residents' lives, by stationing the staff including volunteers from the outside of the islands ,
(6) Make preparations which the village is required to do such as safety measures ; installation of the covers of gutters, guardrails, and mirrors on curved roads, etc.
|By the courtesy of Xavier M. Jubier
(His original eclipse map is much more useful. Click here for it)
Thanks to Xavier's Program, we can get detail of the eclipse on each island.
I put the charts? here for myself and for some lazy people like me.
The local time, Japan Standard Time is 9 hours + UT.
|1. Kuchinoshima (Kuchinoshima School)||Images with the Village permission|
|4.Nakanoshima (TOKARA Nakanoshima Astronomical Observatory)|
|5. Taira-jima (Health Yard) 129ß31'51"E 029ß41'22"N|
|6. Suwanose-jima (Air-Port) 129ß42'17"E 029ß36'14"N|
|7. Akuseki-jima (Yuhaku Spa Park) 129ß35'27"E 029ß27'30"N|
|8. Kodakara-jima (Kodakara-jima School) 129ß19'47"E 029ß13'29"N|
|10. Takara-jima (Takara-jima School) 129ß12'16"E 029ß09'05"N|
Sorry! The rest is coming soon! (or later!)
Kagoshima News Letter (Tokara Islands information page)
Outline of total solar eclipse in Japan in 2009
Yakushima and AmamiOhshima