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Today was (supposed to be) a lazy, quiet day.  Stay in in the morning, do laundry, catch up on the internet…  Which I did.  In the doing of laundry, I also learned that a Fitbit is waterproof.  Whoops.

Once I finished with the mundane things, I decided to go in to the city of Tokyo.  Which, really, just seems like another big city.  But in this big city is a rich history dating back to the 15th century.

Tokyo Station is HUGE.  It’s made up on the outside to look like, in my opinion, some sort of official government building, like an embassy.  I saw a couple in their wedding clothes walk up to have their pictures taken in front of the station.

Not long after arriving in the city, I found myself in the East Garden of the Imperial Palace.  I’m not sure if it would have been possible to explore other areas besides the gardens, but I didn’t try.  With 2.3 million sq. ft. to explore, this kept me busy for a while.  I was impressed with the walls and moats, it’s really a palace designed to be defensible from invaders, and given the size of the walls and gates, and the tactical advantages granted by the high grounds, I would NOT want to have been any sort of invading force trying to take on this place.  The gardens, as with the others I’ve seen, were beautiful.  Vibrant colors, lush plant life, and a wide variety of plants as well.  There was a section of the garden with 260 marked trees, each one representing a different prefecture.  Admittance to the gardens was free, but they gave me a token that I had to return upon leaving so they could keep track of entrants and make sure everyone left after closing.

Once the garden closed at 5:00, I decided it was time to find some dinner.  Aimless wandering didn’t turn up any decent results, so I got on the train and went over to Tokyo Tower, figuring that a landmark like that would have to have food nearby.  I wasn’t disappointed.  Found myself some noodles and a “frozen beer”.  Not sure what made this “frozen” other than being cold and having a thicker head than normal.

After the food, I got my ticket to go up Tokyo Tower to the observation deck.  Now, from maybe a quarter mile away, I thought “it’s not as big as I expected”.  Up at the main observation deck, “okay, this is pretty big”.  I then spent an extra 600 JPY to go to the special observation deck and my opinion got all the way to “whoa.”

The views from either deck were spectacular, but I think it was worth the money to go up to the higher deck.  The main observation deck is placed at 490 ft up, while the special observation deck is at 820 ft.  It was night time by the time I got up there, so I got several pictures of the city all lit up for night time.  Had it been a clear day, I know I could have seen Mt. Fuji from there, 83 miles away.  Given the number of pictures I got at the top, and I think I covered every direction, I’d bet someone could make a pretty decent panorama if they had a modicum of skill.

Along the way to Tokyo Tower, there was a beautiful temple, Zojo-ji.  The temple was founded in the 1500’s and is the Great Main Temple of the Chinzei branch of Jōdo-shū Buddhism.  I particularly liked the prayer trees that were being put up.  I’m not sure why, but I like that concept.

4 Comments

  1. awesome!

  2. Neat! Glad you had a fun day. The tower view looks amazing!

  3. Wow – just gorgeous!

  4. That park is beautiful. I’ve heard the Tokyo Tower and the Eiffel Tower are similar and you’ll be able to tell me for sure. =)


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