Posted by Heliocentrism on December 26, 2014
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
The 2nd Eclipse
This is the second lunar eclipse Mark and I have seen in Japan. I just never get tired of seeing lunar eclipses. Maybe it reminds me of the first lunar eclipse I saw when I was a kid.
I was about 6. I got to stay up very late that night. My family sat on our front porch with blankets wrapped around us. We stared up into the sky and my mom told us stories about her childhood. Eventually I fell asleep and was apparently magically transported to my bed because I woke up in my own bed the next day.
I had just started walking again after being bitten by a snake and this was also an excuse to get out of the house without having to do anything too strenuous. You can practically drive up the mountain. There is a short hill to walk up, but it was within my abilities to do so.
I had packed our dinner for that evening along with some tea and a kettle to make more tea if we were cold or thirsty later that evening. We sat in the first floor of the lookout and ate as the moon slowly disappeared. When our meal was done we went upstairs for a better view.
At the top there were photographers with huge cameras. They were there before we showed up and they looked like they had set up their stuff hours ago. They were hard-core amateur photographers.
We stood next to them to get good shots of the city and of the moon. Our cameras look so puny next to theirs. We took several photos, but we could see from their view screens that our pictures of the moon were crap in comparison to theirs.
They had come prepared. They had alternate lenses, tripods, light measurement thingies, and the ability to stand there for hours and not say a single word. Because my photos of the moon weren’t coming out too well, I focus my attention on the photographers. They were about 4 of them to start with. They never spoke to one another and made no noise the whole time.
Then one guy showed up late. We were hours into the eclipse and it would soon be red. He walked in with his flashlight on. He actually ruin a few of my photos when he waved his light around looking for a good spot. Then he had to assemble his complicated camera and mount it on his tripod.
This took him a while to do. I thought that he would end up missing the main attraction. He got everything set up just in time to take some photos of the blood moon.
I walked over to his camera to see the camera’s view of the moon. There was no view screen. I saw the new guy bend over towards his camera and it made a click then a whirl sound. “Is that the sound of film moving around in there!?” He had a film camera! How do you know if your pictures were taken well, when you have a film camera? Crazy!
How to get there:
You can enter Japan by plane or boat. Though, the number of boats going to Japan from other countries has gone down significantly.
Americans get 90-day visas to Japan at the port of entry. Check with your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate for visa information.
- Emergency Numbers:
- Police 110
- Ambulance and Fire 119
- Important phone numbers to know while in Japan
- Comfort Woman
- The Commoner
- Empire of the Sun
- Flyboys: A True Story of Courage
- Geisha, a Life
- Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II’s Most Dramatic Mission
- The Last Concubine
- Memoirs of a Geisha
- Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath
- Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan
- What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
- Be careful what over the counter drugs you bring into Japan. Actifed, Sudafed, Vicks inhalers, and Codeine are prohibited.
- InternationalATMs are really hard to find; more so if you aren’t in a big city. Many places in Japan do not use credit cards. Take cash and call your bank to ask whatATMs or banks in Japan will work with your cash card.
- ATMs have opening hours. Usually 9:00-18:00 (They have better work hours than most business men and women here.)
- The Post Office bank seems to work with the most international cards.
- You can get a Japan Railway, pass which saves you a lot of money on the trains, but you can only buy it before you get to Japan and you cannot be a resident of Japan. (I don’t have more information about it because I’ve only ever lived in Japan; I’ve never been a tourist here.)
Miyoshi City (Hiroshima Prefecture)
How to get there:
- Coordinates 34°48’11.2″N 132°51’21.9″E
Miyoshi city, Hiroshima prefecture 728-8501
- Miyoshi City
- Miyoshi City English website
- July 26th festival Official Website (Miyoshi Kinsai Festival)
- All Festivals
- This town is one of the few towns in Japan that has more than enough free parking everywhere.
- This is a small town. I know it calls itself a city, but it’s not. Nothing opens before 9:00 and everything is closed by 21:00. The exception being convenience stores which are always open.
- There are many Miyoshi cities in Japan. This one is in Hiroshima prefecture.
- This town is mostly known for its wine (and lack of Starbucks).
- Coordinates 34°47’47.9″N 132°49’23.9″E
〒728-0025 Awayamachi, Miyoshi-shi, Hiroshima
- Free Parking