Monday, August 01, 2005

imperial palace, imperial smalace

yesterday morning i woke up again at 5 am (well, 5:30) so i spent a good chunck of the morning sending emails and lounging around. see, nothing opens in tokyo until 10 anyhow, so there's not much point to leave the house before that. well, you can go places, but things will be closed. i read my guidebook and was looking for some other cool spot to hit and because it's really warm and was sunny yesterday, i thought that the imperial palace and it's big parc would be a great place to go. i could see the sights and lounge in the shade. so, that's where i went.

took the metro to tokyo station, which is the financial distric. it's really beautiful down there: wide streets, amazing building mixed with old achitecture, parcs... so i headed out to the imperial palace. the place is surrounded by very vast space and it looks like it should be filled with cars but it's not a parking lot, just empty space. i walked around and finally caught a glimpse of the palace, snapped a couple pictures and continued walking around, trying to get past the amazing walls and onto the island to get a better view of the palace and tour the grounds.

well, there's no freaking way into this island. my guidebook said that the palace was only open twice a year, i took that to mean palace, not whole island. i walked in vain and it was a frustrating waste of time. if ever in tokyo and not there on one of the 2 days, skip the place entirely and buy a postcard. it is really too bad though.

so after i walked around, trying to find a good spot perhaps that would save the day. but nothing. i guess a financial district will do that to you!!!

it's weird because while going to the palace, i was thinking how easy it would be to live here, and how i understood why so many people would come here and stay. and then, the whole deal with the palace really disapointed me. i had had 2 great days so far and now was a so-so one. i guess it's bound to happen often! but it was still disapointing.

so i headed back to where i'm staying and explored the area. there's a lot of stuff down there, and it's pretty nice. but it is more expensive than where i was staying at the hotel. so, i ordered some curry and headed home, where i was there alone with a fiesty roach for 3 hours. the evening was spent reading, listening to music and chatting... i was pretty tired yesterday from the lack of sleep and doing nothing but relaxing was wonderful.

i mentioned earlier that the financial district had wide streets. everywhere else that i've been, the streets are pretty small, from a regular 2 lane to a one lane which is more like a pedestrian street with the occasional car. smaller areas like here or around my hotel had a lot of those cute one-laners, and it brings such a great atmosphere to the place.l makes it intimate, quiet. lovely.

living here in a real house also teaches you a lot about living in japan. everything is so close together that you can hear everything, although people are really quiet so it's not a problem. but you hear sounds that seem so close (like someone walking in their house, moving things, taking a shower) and appear to be coming from within your home, but it's not. it throws you off at points because you don't know where things are coming from. but it's really great.


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