"Ring of Fire" eclipses are not as dramatic as a total eclipse, when the disc of the sun is entirely blocked by the moon. The moon is too far from Earth and appears too small in the sky to blot out the sun completely.
Doctors and education officials have warned of eye injuries from improper viewing. Before the event started, Japan's Education Minister Hirofumi Hirano demonstrated how to use eclipse glasses in a televised news conference.
Police also cautioned against traffic accidents — warning drivers to keep their eyes on the road.
Tallmadge reported from Tokyo. Associated Press writers Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo, Wally Santana in Taipei, Hrvoje Hranjski in Manila, Kelvin Chan in Hong Kong and photojournalist Julie Jacobson in Kayenta, Ariz., contributed to this report.