Annular Solar Eclipse over Tokyo

This morning, a very special atmosphere can be felt along the short path that leads me to the subway station Yotsuya. The salary-men and women don’t have the nose on their mobile phones as usual, but for once, they look towards the heavens. The reason for this unusual, almost alarming behavior (especially for a company so devoted to his routine), is obviously the fact that this morning, we are all expecting a very particular celestial phenomenon: an annular solar eclipse. All televisions have warned us and we are ready to witness it. We bought goggles and we look forward to 7:34 am.

We feared for a moment the presence of threatening clouds, but in fact, they are actually providing a perfect cover for cameras and we are able, thanks to this, to take some pretty nice shots of the eclipse.

Solar eclipse in Tokyo 2012

Annular solar eclipses occur when the moon is the furthest from Earth, when it cannot completely hide the sun. The next photo shows what was visible through the protective eyewear.

View of the solar eclipse through protective googles

The last solar eclipse to have been contemplated by such a large part of Japan dates back 932 years. Tokyo saw its last eclipse 173 years ago and the Japanese capital will have to wait several hundred years for such an event to happen again above itself.



The early hour of the eclipse was perfect for the people of Tokyo who were able to observe it before going to the office.




Guillaume Erard
Author: Guillaume Erard
A resident of Japan for nearly a decade, Guillaume Erard trains at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo and he received the 5th Dan from Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba. He is also 3rd Dan in Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu, the secretive art that Morihei Ueshiba learned from Sokaku Takeda. Erard is the Information Director of the International Aikido Federation and the Deputy Secretary of International Affairs of the Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu Shikoku Headquarters. He is also passionate about science and education and holds a PhD in Molecular Biology.
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