Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tokyo - continued

So, I already told you about our first day in Tokyo, but I've added pictures!

Now I'll tell you about the rest of our Tokyo trip:

I didn't want to go to Tokyo and miss doing two very touristy things: going to the Tokyo Tower and the Imperial Palace.

First we went to the Tokyo Tower, a 333m high tower that opened in 1958 and is the world's tallest self-supporting steel tower. (The Eiffel Tower in Paris is 320 m high.) The Tokyo Tower weighs about 4,000 tons, which is lighter than the Eiffel Tower weighing 7,000 tons, due to advances in steel manufacturing and construction technology. You can choose if you want to just go to the Main Observatory (150 m) or if you want to go all the way up. We went all the way up and the view was incredible, concrete sprawl as far as the eye can see.

From the top of the Tower we saw and interesting building, so on the way to the subway we made a little detour to investigate. It turned out to be a Buddhist Temple:

Next we went to the the Imperial Palace area in the center of Tokyo. I found out you can't actually go in the Palace because it is where the Emperor and Empress actually live. If you want to visit the area around the palace itself, you have to make reservations on the Internet. But, the palace is surrounded Kokyo Gaien (Imperial Palace Outer Garden), Kokyo Higashi Gyoen (Imperial Palace East Garden) and Kita-no-maru-koen Park and they are free!

This in front of the Niju-bashi Bridge that stretches over the moat in the outer gardens:

In the Imperial Palace East Garden there is a stone wall that has been there since the time when the Imperial Palace was known as Edo Castle, a place where samurai warriors lived from the 17th to 19th centuries.

This area in Tokyo boasts having the largest number of people coming to view the cherry blossoms during the beginning of April. We were a little early, but we caught the beginning of Cherry Blossom season.

We packed a lot into the few days we had and it was an incredible trip. We only got to see a tiny part of gigantic Tokyo, so I can't wait to go back!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Those cheery blossoms are BEAUTIFUL!! You picked some good historic spots to go see. There is so much great history throughout Japan, it's crazy reading your blog and seeing actual photos of places my husband and I learned about in our Japanese history class! ha!