The 10th CMO Meeting of the Planetary Observers

was held at Ina, Nagano, at the beginning of August 2002, organised by Toshiaki HIKI (Hk), Minowa, Kami-Ina, Nagano Prefecture.

Japanese here


The Ina Valley is a rare place lying between two high mountain ridges of higher than 3,000-meter class, with the Tenryu River (Tenriyugawa) running through it starting from the Suwa Lake. It is known Percival LOWELL in 1889 went down by a basha (or horse driven carriage) along the River or on board. The present writer so joined HIKI slightly earlier and looked for several Lowell spots with him.



On the afternoon of 2 August, Friday, ISHADOH (Id) from Okinawa arrived and we enjoyed an outside cool air and good view of Mt Kiso-Koma from the Miyada Village. We also visited the Mars Whisky Distillery.


                          Id and Hk at Komagane



Near at midnight, AKUTSU (Ak), MURAKAMI (Mk), and NARITA (Nr) from the east arrived, and from the west, IWASAKI (Iw), MORITA (Mo) and OSHIRO (Os) arrived riding on NISHITA's car together from Nagoya (where they met). We renewed our friendship since the last Naha Meeting in July 2001 and chatted at the Ebisu Hotel (an Internet Hotel) until late at night.


On 3 August, Saturday, we had a Meeting from 9:00 at the Hotel when OGER (Og) arrived and where Mn talked through to the noon. In the afternoon, we moved to a conference room of the school for which HIKI works, and MURAKAMI and NISHITA talked about the several data of the forthcoming 2003 Mars apparition: AKUTSU, and ISHADOH also talked about their expectations and plans for the 2003 apparition. As to a detail of the talks we shall report on another occasion.




From left to right: Standing; Mk (Yokohama) and Hk (Ina), Front; Nr (Kawasaki), Oger (Paris), Os (Wakayama),

Mo (Hiroshima), Ns (Fukui), Iw (Kita-Kyushu), Id (Okinawa), Ak (Tochigi) and Mn (Fukui)



The evening, the people of the Ina City was celebrating the summer festival and a merry dancing procession with lantern cars was seen on the road where Lowell once passed. We otherwise had a banquet near the road. Finally we were all invited to HIKI's house.

After returning to Hotel, MORITA was discussing with AKUTSU on planetary images sitting up late at night.







 On 4 August, we made an excursion to the Kayano Kogen hill of Minowa town;




   A view from the Kayano Kogen             

 From left to right: Hk, Iw, Nr, Og, Mn, Ns, Ak, Mo, Os, Mk and Id



From the Kayano Kogen we could view down the Ina Valley as well as the Central Alps at the background: We could pin down by a bird-eye view the Lowell road as well as the Tenriyugawa. LOWELL ran by a basha in May 1889 from the rhs to the lhs along the Tenryu on his left.


 We then went down to Shimo-Suwa (or Shimo-no-Suwa) far on the right hand side: We checked the sites where LOWELL dropped (eg where the Post Office once stood), and especially we all visited an old Hotel called Kikyo-ya (Kikyauya) whose spot was shot by LOWELL (maybe on different occasion) and we hear its glass plate is now found within the archives of

the Lowell Observatory.


         Lowell’s Photo


In front of Kikyo-ya, Shimo-no-Suwa


It was a nice experience to come to know the Hotel is still going on and the same signboard as shown on the Lowell photo here is still used. We here heard some tales from the landlady (Mrs MOROZUMI) who was born there.



 Iw, Id, Ak and Nr left from Suwa on their way home, while the others went up Shiojiri Pass (Shiwojiri toge) and visited the place where LOWELL lodged at Shiojiri called Waki-Honjin. Descendants are living (the KAWAKAMIs), but old buildings all had vanished and no explicitly related things remained. The old garden with rocks and stones have however been preserved. Since the Waki-Honjin was once burnt down before LOWELL visited, the garden rocks look unusually dark even now.



At Waki-Honjin: from left to right; OGER, MORITA, OSHIRO and NISHITA


 Mo and Os left from Shiojiri by train, and the remaining Hk, Mk, Ns, Og and Mn turned back to the Kayano-Kogen and spent a night there. At the lodge, we received a mobile call from ISHADOH when he just landed safely at the Naha airport, Okinawa.



 We thus spent the days happily at Ina. The Meeting was quite successful and we were quite relaxed because no planet was there in the sky. We promised to meet again next May in Fukui and parted on the morning of 5 August. Mn made a further survey of the Lowell spots to Noto, but this trip will be shown in a forthcoming Internet Page (CMO Lowell Page).



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