Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sunday 1.20.08 -Imperial Gardens

I was really excited about going to the Imperial Gardens, but they didn't turn out to be particularly interesting. It was a nice green spot with trees, open spaces, uncrowded walkways and a unique vista compared to the rest of the city. It wasn't what I was expecting, but it wasn't a waste of time either. But I wouldn't recommend it unless you can get a tour of the grounds.

We got off at Tokyo station, and when we crossed the road to get to the gardens I could see Tokyo Tower, which is modeled after the Eiffel Tower in Paris, down the street. It was actually fairly far away.

This was an interesting building, completely closed down because it's a business building and it was Sunday, but it looks like an old building with a brand new addition just plopped on top. Not common architecture, but interesting nonetheless.

The bridge from the street to the outer garden of the Imperial Palace.

A closeup of that bridge.

A different vantage point of that bridge, up close again.

A post from the bridge overlooking the outer Imperial moat.

Inside the first layer of gardens there are beautiful fountains. There was a great deal of sunshine, so I got a rainbow with me in the picture!

I liked this bridge. To me it was a fusion of new and old Japan.

A gate into the inner Imperial Complex. I wasn't allowed any closer. This was another time my 12x optical zoom came in handy.

The moat was swimming grounds to several ducks and swans.

Pretty bird!
The grass is dead for the winter, so all the trees look like they're in the middle of a desert, at least to me.
Again, I couldn't get any closer, but i like this photograph because it makes no illusion to the fact that you can't get close.
A building of the Imperial complex with trees viewed at 12x optical zoom.

A bridge leading into the complex, I like seeing the water and greenery inside central Tokyo where I haven't seen a bit of grass, and only a few misshapen trees on rooftops.

Surrounding the outer gardens of the Imperial Complex there is a wide sidewalk where many runners were running and jogging. We walked by this group of Tokyo city school youth as they were being given awards for their participation and excellence in a track meet that took place earlier Sunday.

On the way from the gardens to the train station I spotted this lonely Shinto shrine entrance on a rooftop a few blocks away.

Apparently groping is a big issue during rush hour, so some rail lines instituted "Women Only" cars during certain hours to cut down on groping. They only run during weekdays on some lines -none of them ones I take regularly.

I am continuously amazed by the advertisements here in Tokyo. This is one of the only ones I've seen that is a part of the same campaign that is used in the United States. Charlize Theron must be a hit in Asia and the United States.

All in all the gardens weren't the best thing I've seen so far, and the trip was mostly walking and chatting with some of my new friends. I might head back there during springtime when there is more greenery and the trees are in bloom. When someone says "gardens" I imagine flowers, plants, and all kinds of goodies, not just a sparse arrangement of trees, gravel, dead grass, a moat, and stone walls.

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