Published: November 16th 2007November 15th 2007
Yesterday I wandered through the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace. For a moment it was like stepping into a fantasy about medieval Japan. I've posted some photographs below.
I say medieval fantasy, as the Imperial Palace was bombed by the U.S.A. in WW 2, and a replica has been rebuilt on the old grounds. The walls, the landscaping, and some of the surrounding buildings survived. And, because access to the other parts of the Palace grounds are roped off and guarded by police.
The notion of the palace in the centre of Tokyo is really curious. B.T. told me that the future emperor is kept there under lock and key, almost like a prisoner, when I remarked how curious and male it was to have such large land in the centre of a tightly packed city, waiting for a boy to grow up and dominate as the future emperor.
I think my favourite gardens, anywhere, globally, have been the Luxembourg Gardens (Jardin du Luxembourg) in Paris. The gardens of the imperial palace have an added unique factor, though - the fortress like element of the castle - and they extend past three buttressed doors and two levels
Traces of a war-like defense system throughout the gardens remain in a Bushido or something (will find the large Japanese word for 'guard post' later) which housed 100 Samurai, kept in a state of readiness, on the eastern approach to the emperor.
Carp swim in the pools. One seemed curious to see me, and poked its head up to look. I've included the photograph below.
After visiting the gardens I began heading to Tokyo Bay, then realised how exhausted I was. I could barely stand. All of this working has been excellent for rebuilding my fitness but I had been neglecting proper rest, I think.
Anyway, just a short blog. I'm not sleeping well, so I'm quite tired. I think I'll go back to bed tonight and try to catch up on some sleep for tonight - hitting Ropongi for a bit then going into Ueno for a drink. It's a rainy day in Tokyo, so no point in going up Tokyo Tower today. I might try and find the Australian Embassy to vote. Will end up doing something tomorrow, and have Sunday off or head up to Nagano.
There are more photos below