Night in Tanegashima is really dark. Pitch black is a better word for it.
It's not the kind of darkness you find in the city, where it's interspersed with bits of light. Instead, it is like the sky is draped with a thick, ebony blanket.
So, wherever you go on Tanegashima at night, you can see stars.
Nevertheless, I wanted to make it to the very best place here for seeing stars.
My quest took me to the location that was once the top spot in Japan for star gazing.
The surroundings are fields of sugar cane and nothing else.
No stores, no houses, no sources of light. Darkness as far as the eye can see.
All that was left was the headlights of my car and when they went out, a tapestry of stars appeared.
I found the Milky Way immediately.
From the horizon arching up to the crown of the sky overhead, wherever I looked I saw shimmering stars.
It was just like a natural planetarium.
I shouted to myself and stood there transfixed.
I had to take a picture with my phone to try and capture the spectacular sight, but it was no use (perhaps I need a few more photography lessons).
I came away with neither pictures nor videos.
But, the spectacle will stay with me.
I tucked it away in my heart forever.
Then, a shooting star!
The island closest to space is also the island closest to the stars.