Today’s Eclipse in Tokyo

Usually, when an eclipse (or any sky event) is forecast for Tokyo, I kind of take it with a grain of salt. It’s not often that the weather actually obliges for such spectacles here, so I had fairly low expectations for this morning’s forecast annular eclipse.

Also, knowing that I had to leave town from Tokyo station before 8am this morning meant I hadn’t put much thought into the whole thing. However, at 7am, we went out on the balcony (cat included) and waited to see what we could see.

It was quite overcast, but, fortunately, at this time of year, we have an unobstructed view of the morning sun. My Canon 135L was already on my camera, so I took a few shots of the first 10 minutes or so of the event – this was taken about 15 minutes after the eclipse started:

As I jumped in a taxi for Tokyo station, I felt somewhat  disappointed that I’d miss the full effect. However, I soon realized that what might have been more magical than the eclipse itself was the fact that, as the taxi went over Kachidoki bridge, through Tsukiji, and then Ginza, there were literally hundreds of people stopped in their tracks and looking up at the sky. Young people, old people, the Tsukiji market workers on their little one-wheel trucks, salarymen in suits, and pretty much anyone who could get himself or herself out on the sidewalk for 30 minutes. For one little patch of time, we were all much more the same than different.


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