Saturday, June 20, 2009

Week 2 in Tokyo

This week in Tokyo I had my first visitors. Bibi and Erika came out to start their two week trip in Tokyo. I changed hotels to be with them in Shibuya and got to be a tourist for a few days. The first day we visited the Imperial Palace in Chiyoda, complete with its own moat nestled up against the skyscrapers.
Most of the Palace grounds are closed to the public, but we were allowed to visit the East Gardens, where there are several of these old school guard houses. There is also a small museum and a gym where we think the royal Sumo wrestlers practice.
We were also lucky enough to experience a special treat at the Palace. Apparently the Emperor was receiving a visitor for the day. As we passed the first time, traffic was stopped to allow a carriage and train of horses to exit the grounds.
By the time we walked to the other side of the quad, the caravan had apparently looped through downtown and picked someone up. The visitor waved a small green flag at the crowd as the carriage re-entered the grounds and wound its way up to the Palace.

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