Visiting Subaru Telescope

Visiting Subaru Telescope


Suspension of Summit Facility Tour Program:
The public tour program at the Subaru Telescope's summit facility will be suspended until further notice due to various circumstances surrounding the observatory. 

  • 1.This tour program at the Subaru Telescope is only for the pre-arranged guests.
  • 2. Only a true 4-wheel drive vehicle is allowed to access the Maunakea summit area.
  • 3. Schedule is subject to change and there could be a last minute cancellation. Inform us how to contact you the day before and on the day of the tour.
  • 4. Pay special attention to the local condition. When there is a severe weather condition imminent or occurring in the Island of Hawaiʻi, there will be no tours at the Subaru Telescope.

    [Example] extremely strong wind at the summit area of Maunakea, icing of the buildings, brush fire nearby, snow or ice on the mountain road, hurricane warning, flash flood watch etc.
    • ※ If the access road is not passable or blocked, you can not go through. We will not be conducting the facility tour in such a case anyways. Descend to the safe area to park your car (even down to the Maunakea's Visitor Information Station), and try to communicate with the tour coordinator or corresponding staff of the Subaru Telescope. Even if the road is passable, please be careful with the falling objects in the vicinity of the buildings.

How are the tours organized?

  • The tour program is open to everybody except for those with the following conditions: younger than 16 years old, pregnant, with respiratory, cardiac or circulatory conditions, or have been diving within 24 hours.
  • The tour of the Subaru Telescope allows visitors to see up-close one of the world's most powerful astronomical telescopes.
  • Our summit guide will meet the scheduled visitors outside of the telescope enclosure (i.e., the dome) at a pre-appointed time and will escort them inside of the enclosure. No walk-ins are accepted.
  • The tour will last approximately 40 minutes. Visitors will see the telescope and the primary mirror recoating facilities.
  • Tours are offered up to 10 days a month and begin at 10:30 am, 11:30am, and 1:30 pm, usually on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
  • In order to make sure that we have sufficient staff at the telescopet to handle unexpected situations, tours are limited to weekdays only.
  • Tours will be either in Japanese or English, but only one language per tour.
  • Minimum one-week advance reservations are necessary and must be made through this webpage.
  • The number of people per tour is up to 8 visitors. This number limit is set by how many people our summit guide can safely usher through the enclosure.
  • If a tour participant wishes to publish an article or images based on the tour beyond the scope of personal use, please submit a media coverage request and obtain other ncessary permits prior to the tour.

How can I sign up?

  • You may sign up for a tour on our website as soon as the tour schedule becomes available.
  • The tour schedule for a particular month will be posted on the website three months in advance except for the downtimes posted above. For example, the schedule for May becomes available on the first work day of February.
  • Sign up at least one week in advance. Sign up is on a first-come first-served basis.
  • To sign up, please visit our tour calendar webpage. Details of the sign up process are described on the bottom of the tour calendar page. The basic steps are:
  • 1. Check the tour calendar for dates and times of tours.
  • 2. Click on the tour of your choice.
  • 3. Agree to the basic conditions of the tour.
  • 4. Enter information about you and your group.
  • 5. Confirm the details of your reservation.