Sunday, November 25, 2007

Emperor's Palace

We went to the Emperor's Palace yesterday. It is a very short walk (5-10 mins) away from the Tokyo Train Station (which has a very beautiful building by the way - at least from the outside.). The area is sprinkled with new and modern buildings and you can even make out the Tokyo Tower in a distance. You walk through these buildings and suddenly you come to a very flat area with very neatly cut grass and beautiful trees. This flat area are the gardens surrounding the palace. Even though one is not allowed to get inside, they let you take pictures around the entrance gates, which themselves are very pretty.

The most famous entrance gate is the one furthest away which also has a beautiful view of the palace in the background and the famous bridge). This gate is where the change of the guard takes place as well. The palace is surrounded by water canals and the gates are basically bridges themselves. The last part of the walk to this furthest entrance gate is on rubble and I am not really sure why that is there. One thing that surprised me here is the lack of a huge tourist crowd. We did see many people who looked to be from abroad (and non-asian) but this number was still below 20-30 total. May be people like hanging out at more hip places?

After it got dark, we dropped by Shibuya for a quick stroll and dinner. It was crowded as ever (i.e. crazy crowded) and I think we saw more tourists here than at the palace; though, granted possibly not everyone who did not look asian was not a tourist. And would you believe it - we came across another Turkish restaurant. I think there are quite a few in Tokyo.

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