Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tokara Islands Trip Update 1

I am writing from the Akusekijima Community Center, the only place on the island with internet.

I spent a day on Takarajima, the southermost island of the Tokara chain, before coming here to "Evil Rock Island". This will be the sight where skygazers can enjoy the longest viewing of the total solar eclipse on July 22. The locals are gearing up for hundreds of visitors, which when you consider that only 70 people acutally live here, will be logisitcally challenging. NTT and Kyuden have been working to up cellular phone and electricity capacity to cope with the influx, and I joked with one local that they'll have to start recruiting more people to move here now that they have a beefed up infrastructure.

He agreed, but more than that, he was exhausted from having pulled and all-nighter working with the electric company.

These islands are often called Japan's last frontier. They can only be reached by a twice-a-week ferry. In July 22 they'll get their 15 minutes of fame (actually, more like 6 minutes and 30 seconds of total eclipse) and perhaps a few retirees from the urban areas will be compelled to come enjoy the slow life.

More to come

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