Saturday, January 22, 2011

Christmas Break 1: Tokyo - Imperial Palace and Ueno Park

 Saturday, December 18th

On the 17th, my boyfriend arrived in Japan to visit me! He arrived at Narita airport so we spent the weekend in Tokyo. On Saturday, we went to the Imperial Palace garden. Jonathan hadn't been impressed with it before, but he said I should still at least go.

On the way we passed through a really neat plaza. There were streams of water running across the plaza and you could zigzag across part of the plaza by going on stepping stones. 

The weather was really nice. It was only slightly chilly and the sun was bright. It was great for visiting the garden. My expectations hadn't been high, but it was beautiful!


Jonathan was much more impressed this time. He was surprised by how there were still fall colors and flowers blooming. Winter in Japan (at least this area) is weird!

 I thought this bamboo was neat. The green stripes alternated. 

After the garden we went back to the station to find something for lunch. We ended up going to Shibuya to eat at Freshness Burger. We passed by a KFC and I was amused by the ads for Christmas chicken boxes.

Christmas chicken and Christmas cakes are pretty popular in Japan. A Japanese woman I know was very surprised when I told her that those aren't traditions in America.

I couldn't resist having my picture taken with Colonel Sanders, of course. By the way, in Japan he is known as Uncle Sanders.

Next we headed to Hama Rikyu. This was the first time for both of us.

They were preparing the trees for winter. These ropes hold up the branches in the snow. 

The garden was really nice. I especially loved the reflections of buildings in the ponds.

As we walked around, we heard some birds that sounded like they were saying, "Fight! Fight!"

This cute cat was resting under a sign, but when I knelt down it came up to me and let me pet it. When I got up, it went back to resting under the sign. Kawaii!

That picture is a little blurry, but it shows this shrub I have seen a lot this winter. It's so weird to see plants flowering like this in the winter!

Sunday, December 19th

The next morning we went to Asakusa. Both of us had been there before, but Jonathan wanted to look for souvenirs there.

Before we began walking down the main pathway leading to the temple, a few girls approached us and asked us if we would like a tour. They were local college students and wanted to practice English. It was really nice because I learned about many of the customs including washing your hands and rinsing your mouth, incense, and throwing money.

Next we went to Ueno Park to rent a swan paddle boat.

We got a pink one, which made me happy. :) It's too bad that I didn't get a picture from the front, but the swans have bow ties on them.

It was a lot of fun and worth the 700 yen for 30 minutes.

There were quite a few ducks out on the pond. The ones with yellow eyes were a little creepy but cute!

Before heading to Toi, we stopped shortly in Akihabara. A couple Santas, a maid, and Sonic were dancing outside of the Club Sega arcade. I love Tokyo. :)


  1. Hi, about the girls who approached you at Temple. Did they ask for payment for the tour?

  2. No, they didn't. They were just really nice and wanted to practice English. :)

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