Saturday, 20 October 2018

Old Astronomical Observatory on the Chuo Line

EMU JR East E353 series, limited express Super-Azusa, passes through Mitaka station

It is mid-Autumn in Japan. The maximum daytime temperature in Tokyo is around 20 degrees Celsius. It is the best season for strolling. I visited a suburban area with my family on the weekend. Our destination was Mitaka on the JR East Chuo line.

Many people think that Mitaka is just one of the average commuter cities in Tokyo Metropolis, but that is not everything. Mitaka has a large forest in the southern part of the city. There is an old astronomical observatory in the forest area. Its formal name is the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). It was opened in 1888 under the name of the Tokyo Astronomical Observatory. Most of the observation apparatus are already old and not used anymore, but visitors can freely observe those historical apparatus, for example a large refracting telescope, whose diameter is 65 centimeters. In contrast to the old observation apparatus, there is a state of the art large dome theater on the site. Visitors can learn the structure of the universe using 3D glasses. It is very beautiful and instructive. The background music is also comfortable. The good news is that it is all free of charge. Thank you NAOJ.

On the way back home, I enjoyed taking railway pictures at Mitaka station. It was getting dark, but I fortunately could shoot a state of the art limited express train, Super-Azusa, the EMU E353 series passing through the station. It was a good finale to the weekend.

Old refracting telescope is exhibited in the National Astronomical Observatory in Mitaka City