Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tokyo from a different perspective...

Imperial Palace Garden
Imperial Palace

Last weekend, I decided to do a little traveling around Tokyo area with some friends.  This was my first time up in Tokyo and it was a lot different from what I was expecting.  I pictured it to be an extremely busy and over-crowded city with little room to move around in.  To my surprise, Tokyo is full of several parks and gardens similar to Grant Park and Central Park scattered around the city.

We first checked out the Imperial Palace gardens located smack dab in the middle of the city.  The palace itself was rebuilt after getting bombed in WWII.  We couldn't get too close to the place because the emperor and his family still live on the grounds today.  The most famous landmark on the grounds is the Nijubashi Bridge, a double arched stone bridge.  Amanda, Kevin and I enjoyed a little picnic in the park to pass the time.

Imperial Palace
Nijubashi Bridge crossing the moat in front of Imperial Palace

Man painting in Shinjuku-goyen Garden
try and look at his painting... impressive!
Next, we took the subway to Western Tokyo where we visited Shinjuku-gyoen National Garden.  There were a few traditional tea houses and bridges and Japanese gardens here.  The weather was perfect and the lakes gave off a mirror like reflection of the city and trees.  This was definitely my favorite part of the trip.  Trust me, the pictures just doesn't do it justice!

traditional tea house in Shinjuku-goyen Garden

Shinjuku-goyen Garden
one of my favorite pictures of the skyline

San'ai building in Ginza square
On our way home, we had to stop in the Ginza area to have dinner.  This is a widely known busy shopping district that houses one of the busiest intersection and crosswalk in the world.  There's hundreds of people standing on each corner getting ready to cross at the same time.  It was crazy!  A block or two down from the busy intersection is the San'ai Building made up of glass and shines with neon lights at night.

I love that everyone is already getting in the Christmas spirit!

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