Sunday, November 18, 2012

Tokyo Imperial Palace, Shibuya, Meiji Shrine

Tokyo Imperial Palace is the sorta equivalent of our own Malacanang palace. This is the main residence of the Emperor of Japan. The Imperial Palace lies on the former site of the Edo Castle. If you are an avid fan of Rurouni Kenshin (aka Samurai X), you’ll probably be familiar with Aoshi Shinamori and Misao. Both served as defenders of the Edo Castle.
Aoshi and Misao. I used to have a poster of Aoshi-sama in my wall.
From my home base in Asakusa, I navigated my way to Tokyo Station. I decided to get the Asakusa+Ginza Line day combination ticket with cost me ¥ 1,000. Although it was just Day 3, my Preloaded Pasmo card of ¥ 2,000 which I bought in Day 1 was already below ¥ 500. Even though I have a planned route, I still make some mistakes in getting off at the wrong station - sayang sa pamasahe. Mas type ko ride-all-you-can; no other charges if I make mistakes.

The moat around the palace

I think I got better reading the crazy metro map. And I was able to understand the exit map going to the palace. No lost episodes for now. Entrance is free. I took a picture of the palace at the entrance that will serve as my guide.
Tokyo Imperial Palace Map

 Turn on the "sepia" or "black and white" setting for some ancient effect.
Ancient with buildings on the side

I found a bench near this pond and rested for a moment. 

A couple of minutes later, an old Japanese man sat on the next bench and started a conversation. Something like this:

Him: Ohayou! (means good morning)
Me: Ohayou! (Yay, I get to practice some Japanese phrases!)
Him: *some Japanese phrase I cannot understand*
Me: *smiles*
Him: *Japanese-English phrase*
Me: I am a tourist
Him: Imperial Palace, Shibuya, Shinjuku
Me: Visiting Tokyo
*etc. etc*

Anyway, he was nice. I took this opportunity to ask him to take a couple of pics. He he he. I think he wanted to talk or show me around, but I politely declined – in English with hand gestures. I think he got the idea and he waved me off with a smile.

Back to the metro map, I navigated my way to Shibuya Station. I studied the crazy exit map to locate the Statue of Hachiko. 
Find Hachiko in the Exit map. See that dog statue?

You know Hachiko? It is a tear-jerker movie about an Akita and its loyalty to its master.If you need an excuse to cry, watch this movie.

The statue is a famous landmark in Shibuya area. I wanted a picture with this statue but a scruffy-looking stranger with a beer breath approached me and asked if I wanted a drink. Scary. I gave him a polite stiff smile and quickly walked away...

There are lots of worthy spots in Shibuya but I wasn’t just that interested in shopping. I got amused people watching, and counting the Yoshinoyas around. There was a bunch other spots in my itinerary but I lost interest in checking those out.
The famous Shibuya crossing. I was too shy to bother someone to take my pic here.

I just walked around, a  couple of blocks to locate Animate – had to buy a CD for a friend. There was a policeman who was able to answer my question with a Japanese map.

I am where again?
I found it! Bwahahaha!

Animate in Shibuya
I thought the place could revive the Otaku in me. But the Anime and Mangas there are fairly new... and I haven't really watched anything since Huntex X Hunter. Can't relate na ko sa ibang Anime. I just asked for the CD I needed. The staff knew exactly what it was.

I still had time. I had an optional planned trip going to Meiji Temple. I decided to proceed even though I was tired. I navigated my way back to Shinjuku. Meiji Temple can be visited at the same day with Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden if you have time.

The street beside Meiji Garden
Entrance is free. Free parks yay!
A few steps away from the entrance, they announced that the park will be closing in one hour. Geez. I just got here.

Beer barrels.

A wish for JPY 500/PHP 250.

I thought of writing down a wish. But I realized it would be one of the few requests written in English. Mababasa ng lahat!

Dead tired when I got back to the hostel. Kung ganito ba araw araw eh, napakadali makatulog. 

1 comment:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...