The Greatest Night Sky in Japan—Lighting Up Your Soul

Ishigaki Island: The Greatest Night Sky in Japan

Why is it the greatest night sky in Japan?
The air is especially clear, and it is the closest spot in Japan to the equator.
Because it is far removed from the jet streams that run through the skies over most of Japan, the atmosphere is clear, with nothing to impede the view of the beautiful starry sky.

Of the 88 constellations, some 84* can be seen from here, as well as all 21 of the stars of the first magnitude!
* This includes those that are only partly visible

See Crux in the Northern Hemisphere!

Not only mainland Japan but even most of the Northern Hemisphere will not let you experience this constellation.
It is visible, though, from Ishigaki Island!Come and see the Southern Cross between December and the following June.
If the conditions are met, you can see the impressive shape of four stars coming together to form a cross.


Recommended Night-Sky Viewing on Ishigaki Island

●Spring Night Sky: The Southern Cross
Your real chance is the moment when there are no clouds near the horizon.You can also see it by looking in a southerly direction from the pier off Fusaki Beach.

The best time to view the Southern Cross gets around 4 minutes earlier each day between December and June.

Dec. 24 6:20
Jan. 1 6:30 15 5:37
Feb. 1 4:31 15 3:36
Mar. 1 2:40 15 1:45
Apr. 1 0:39 15 23:40
May 1 22:37 15 21:42
June 1 20:35 15 20:25


●Summer Night Sky: The River of Heaven
In the speech of the Yaeyama Islands, the Milky Way (known as Ama-no-Gawa, or “the River of Heaven,” in standard Japanese) is called “Tingaara.”
The Tingaara that flows from the north end of the sky to the south is a fabulous array of stars that, to those seeing it for the first time, is enough to confuse them into thinking it a blanket of clouds.

●Autumn Night Sky: Cassiopeia
Cassiopeia is located near the North Star, and shines brightly virtually all through the night.
In mid-autumn the moon is brightly reflected on the ocean surface.

●Winter Night Sky: Canopus
This star is among the most difficult of the stars of the first magnitude to spot from the Northern Hemisphere.
It is said that those who have found this star will achieve longevity.


Ishigakijima Astronomical Observatory

The Biggest in Kyushu/Okinawa!
Try out the astronomy gathering using the Murikabushi Telescope, an optical infrared reflective telescope with a diameter of 105 centimeters.
The astronomy gathering is held on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, but at 3:00 pm every day the observatory is open you can enjoy a show at the 4D2U (digital universe) theater.
Both require advance reservations.

For reservations, call +81 980-88-0013 (Ishigakijima Astronomical Observatory)
For booking availability and precautions, please check