If there was anything to learn from Day Two of my gallop through the East Garden at the Imperial Palace it was this: old Japanese people have the undeniable skill of finding beauty in pretty much anything. Although this sentiment seems touching in a very much “Old-School-Disney-Movie-Ending” sort of way, this altar-worship of natural beauty also manages to extend to weeds. Yes, weeds.
Our first port of call was to bow (see what I did there) to our need to be Real Tourists, which meant that we would have to do at least a handful of Real Tourist Things (of which did, in no way, include wearing a bum-bag and khaki shorts with Velcro-blessed sandals). So we took a whizzy-train (the Yamanote Line) to inner-city Tokyo and viewed the Very Japanese Emperor’s Gardens and were amazed by the sheer boredom of the place. But also, we learnt that Iris’ are pretty, old people like SLRs, and that Summer in Japan is a pretty damn hot and sticky affair.
Many a time, we found ourselves surrounded by huffing and puffing Japanese folk groaning “Atsui, atusi atsui ne” (Hot, hot, hooooot) under their breath from the pure, unadulterated sweatiness of it all.
We also discovered the wondrous world that is 7-11 bento and that melons really ARE ludicrously expensive in Japan. Also: the glory of all that is embodied in udon/soba bars. Udon bars are typically found lurking around train stations like little holes in the wall swathed in batches of hungry commuters like animals festering ravenously around an African watering hole and we too, attempting to find shelter from the sweltering conditions, flocked to them. And let me tell you, Tasty Times ensued.
Anyhow, enough of my maddening rambling: ON TO THE PHOTOS!
IMPERIAL PALACE. The front gardens and a very nice rock with the word: “Electricity” on it. That carved rock picture is possibly one of my favorite shots from the whole day.
GUARD TOWER. At the Imperial Palace is pretty much the only thing you can take a picture of. Shame.
KOI KOI KOI. They appeared to be quite manky. But you know, in a good way.
IRIS PRETTY. I didn’t actually expect irises to be as huge as they were here. Honest to God, I thought they were tiny little itsy bitsy things. They were not. They were as big as my head. My head is pretty big.
WATER RUNNING. I love the patterns of water as it gurgles joyfully about the place. Also, thank God for Nan’s loooong lens. Loooong lens is loooong. And also incredibly handy.
GRUMPY LADY. A grumpy looking Japanese tourist peers out from underneath her brolly. What trip isn’t complete without an image of a grump middle-ages lady? (Usually, the subject is my mother, but some days you take what you can get).