Kyoto University Graduate School of Science Affiliated Observatory Fund

Asking for your support for the Observatory Fund

The Kyoto University Graduate School of Science Affiliated Observatories started in 1929 with the foundation of Kwasan Observatory. As a key site for astronomy in Japan, Kwasan Observatory has been promoting state-of-the-art astronomy research for more than 80 years. In addition, it is referred to as a “sacred place for amateur astronomy”, and plays an important role in astronomy educational activities for the general public.

In 1972, we opened Hida Observatory. With the 65cm refracting telescope, the largest refracting telescope in the Orient, Hida Observatory formed part of the basis of planetary observations in Japan. Then in 1979, the Domeless Solar Telescope (DST) was completed, boasting a performance level to match the world's leading solar observatories. Since then, Hida Observatory has been active as one of the world-class centres for ground-based solar observations.

Recently, in cooperation with the Department of Astronomy, Kyoto University; the3.8m new technology optical infrared telescope project continues its development. On completion this telescope will be the largest in East Asia. The plan is to install the telescope in Asakuchi City in Okayama Prefecture, which has the most days with clear sky in Japan. The science target for this telescope is based on areas of expertise at Kyoto University: astrophysical explosive phenomenon (gamma-ray bursts and superflares on solar type stars) and the search for extrasolar planets.

As can be seen, the Graduate School of Science Affiliated Observatories - Kwasan Observatory, Hida Observatory & Okayama Observatory (under construction) - can be expected to play a major role in the advancement of astronomical observational research and as education centres. However, in recent years we have been affected by budget cuts. With the construction cost of Okayama Observatory and the maintenance and operations of Hida Observatory Domeless Solar Telescope, it has become difficult to come up with the necessary funding.

In order to overcome this difficult situation, we are seeking support from the general public and the private sector. For the development and construction funds of Okayama 3.8m telescope we were able to obtain 600 million yen support from private-sector benefactors, which allowed us to develop highly-complex new technology for the telescope. In 2014, support from the country was obtained for the construction costs of the telescope, allowing this project to continue its path towards completion.

In order to maintain the three university observatories, significant funding is necessary. Kyoto University is continuing its efforts to set up and maintain the necessary research facilities. However,with the established of this new Observatory Fund, we hope that with everyone's support we will be able to continue our activities.

To everyone, we would like to kindly thank you for your approval and understanding of our plan, and ask for your continued support.

Kyoto University Graduate School of Science
Director of the Observatories Kiyoshi Ichimoto

Okayama Observatory
SEIMEI Telescope


Kyoto University Graduate School of Science Affiliated Observatories' Fund
The Kyoto University Graduate School of Science Affiliated Observatories' Fund has been put in place to help finance the educational and research facilities of the Affiliated Observatories, observatory tours and stargazing parties, and the development of international projects.
Target figure
500 million yen
January 1, 2014 until March 31, 2023 (10 years)
In some circumstances the donation period may be extended.
  • Corporation: ¥100,000
  • Individual: ¥10,000
(Regardless of the corporation (¥100,000) and individual (¥10,000) suggested donation, we accept all donations of 1,000 yen or more)
Business plan
  1. Construction of the dome and operation of Okayama 3.8m new technology optical infrared telescope
  2. Operation and maintenance of Hida Observatory Domeless Solar Telescope and 65cm refracting telescope
  3. Hold observatory tours and stargazing parties, observation training for school students, and improve facilities and equipment
  4. Promotion of collaboration between the observatories and other observatories around the world (for example in Peru) to build international links in education and research

Benefits to the Donor

For anyone who donates 5,000 yen or more, a special Observatory Fund observation night will be held.

Given the consent of the donor, the donor's name will be displayed in one of the following places:

  1. Inside the Okayama Observatory 3.8m telescope dome
  2. Hida Observatory 65cm refracting telescope dome corridor or Domeless Solar Telescope corridor
  3. Kwasan Observatory main building
  4. Hida Observatory Research Building First floor corridor (Commentary corner for FMT that has been moved to Peru)

In addition, your name will be posted on the visitors' book of the Observatory website.

You will also receive University Observatory issued brochures and annual reports, and notification of sponsored events. You will be invited on a priority basis to stargazing parties at each observatory.

Tax deduction Information

Please note this information is relevant for individuals and corporations based in Japan. If you are based outside of Japan, please inform us of the relevant documentation you need and we will do our best to provide it for you.

If you pay income or corporate tax in Japan, your contribution to the Observatory Fund is tax-deductible under the Income Tax Act and the Corporate Tax Law.

Donations from an individual
For donations that exceed 2,000 yen up to 40 percent of the individuals annual gross income, the donation will be income tax deductible. We will send a donation receipt. Please follow the necessary procedure by submitting this receipt when filing your income tax return. In addition, any person who is a Kyoto resident, for donations that exceed 2000 yen up to 30% of your gross income, your donations can be deducted from prefectural residents' tax (4% tax rate) and the municipal tax (6% tax rate).
Donations from a corporation
The full amount of the donation is tax deductible.

How to apply

We cannot accept cash donations by registered mail, please use the following methods to donate.

Internet Donation [Credit card only]
For our Observatory Fund, for donations using a credit card we use the WEB donation system of ITC Japan Co., Ltd. (FUNDex).
Donate Now
Application Form Donation [bank transfer only]
  1. Donation application form (PDF) Please fill out the application form and send it by post to the Observatory Fund Secretariat.
  2. The Graduate School of Science Affiliated Observatories will send you the the payment slip.
  3. Using the payment slip, please transfer the donation to the bank account given.
  4. After payment is confirmed, we will send a receipt and a thank-you letter. Please understand it will typically take approximately a month from the date of payment confirmation.


Observatory office of affairs, 4th floor Building 4, Graduate School of Science, Kitashirakawa-oiwakecho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502 JAPAN