Summer Solstice 2016

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Looking toward rising sun from inside lower grotto of Senkoku-ishi.

All photos are copyright of Shiho Tokuda, 2016.

Kanayama Megaliths made its latest post about summer solstice on June 27. You can find it here on the blogsite,  http://blog.livedoor.jp/kanayama_tour-kanayamamegaliths/archives/1058824709.htmlSince it is written in Japanese, we asked Shiho Tokuda for permission to show you some of her photos with our brief explanations. 

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Summer solstice arrived at Kanayama Megaliths on June 22, 2016. Three days before, namely June 19, sun rose around 5:40 from the mountains behind clouds. Although its light could be seen between the two megaliths, the sun barely lit a dim path between them (left photo).

The Senkoku-ishi site for summer solstice observations is seen in the early hazy light (above right). By 6:30 the clouds had moved away and sunlight cast a shadow of one megalith upon another (lower right). Note that in the lower right corner of the photo, sun is shining on the entrance to the lower grotto, and here’s a close-up (below). Normally, since this is the rainy season, the floor of the grotto would be filled with rainwater. Fortunately this year, it was dry.

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June 22, summer solstice day. The day dawned bright and clear. At 11:40 in the upper grotto, the beam of sunlight reached the floor and cast a beautiful oval spotlight. The shape, as usual, matched the shape carved on the outside of the megalith.

Summer solstice arrived 31 days after the dashed spotlight! The Kanayama Megaliths solar calendar still works!

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This upper grotto is the same observation location as for the dashed spotlight of May 21 which we reported upon earlier. You can see the triangular stone at the top of the photo.

The large photo at the top of this page shows how the rising sun looks from inside the lower grotto.

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