Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Japan Day 11: Tokyo

Our second day in Tokyo was a big sightseeing day. We began by visiting the Imperial Palace park. It was another hot and sunny day, which meant that the sun umbrellas were out and there were groups of tourists all over the place.
You can't actually get anywhere near the palace here of course.
We then went off to the East Garden (I think). The earlier part of the garden has huge walls:

A few guardhouses:
This is one of them.
And a pretty neat decorative arts museum, of which I did not take a picture. The garden itself is, in this area, Western style. I'm sure it's pretty in the summer when things are blooming, but it's a bit boring in the second week of October. The later section we walked through is a Japanese style garden and, while I suspect it is also prettier in the summer, it's lovely in the fall--all watery and nice as Japanese gardens tend to be.

We then went to Tokyo Tower, which is like a tackier and uglier Eiffel Tower.
The view from the top though, is one of those that gives you a real idea of the size of Tokyo. On all sides the city stretches out, not ending but fading hazily into the distance. Seriously, it's just so fucking big; I couldn't get over it.
It also had these clear pieces of floor so that you could look straight down. Even though I'm not particularly afraid of heights and I knew it was totally safe, it took some genuine mental effort to make myself step onto the clear section. It's funny how some things you know in your head are safe still seem instinctively wrong.

And we finished our day off by going shopping in Shibuya and Harajuku. Because I misread the map, we also walked several miles when we could have easily taken the subway. Oops.
Not someplace we were shopping, but certainly the most photo-worthy store.

I only have two days to go on the Japan trip and I'm totally relieved. This is what happens when I set myself a blogging project--I get all burned out by it.

1 comment:

andrew said...

That store is certainly...unique. I wonder if they franchise?