Sunset on Mount Fuji

2014-01-15

From the fifth floor of my school in Nishitokyo, on a clear day we can see Mount Fuji. The mountain is Japan's tallest at 3,776 m (12,388 ft). Mount Fuji is almost directly west from here, and when the stars align, the sun sets directly behind the peak. One of the veteran science teachers at my school pays attention to these things, and he invited several students and teachers to come see the affair. I took these photos on January fifteenth over a two minute span, 16:36:32-16:39:53. The times specified are based on my camera's internal clock, so at least the offsets are correct.

16:36:322014-01-15.01.Fuji.jpg
16:37:012014-01-15.02.Fuji.jpg
16:37:202014-01-15.03.Fuji.jpg
16:37:442014-01-15.04.Fuji.jpg
16:38:002014-01-15.05.Fuji.jpg
16:38:092014-01-15.06.Fuji.jpg
16:38:132014-01-15.07.Fuji.jpg
16:38:182014-01-15.08.Fuji.jpg
16:38:352014-01-15.09.Fuji.jpg
16:38:532014-01-15.10.Fuji.jpg

Sometimes the mountain is visible from the third floor, but only from the 中3紫 classroom. The hallway on the fourth floor above that classroom affords a decent view too, though some branches get in the way. The balcony of the science room is best, if you have the key, but if I were a student, I'd be happy enough with a desk near the window and a teacher who didn't care if I were staring out the window and daydreaming.

Back in the U.S.A., just west of Colorado Springs there stands a mountain, Pikes Peak. Pikes Peak is 14,115 ft (4,302 m) tall, and it hangs out on the western horizon every day. In college, we used to sit in the outdoor seating at the dining hall. The tables were circular, but nobody ever sat on the west side. Why would you? There's nothing to see to the east. In those four years, I ate lunch while gazing at the foothills of the Rockies hundreds of times. If you ask me what we talked about, I couldn't say. The memory of that mountain, though, is still vivid.