In June, Peter and Kim had to go to Tokyo for a three-day conference. The conference was so-so but Tokyo was really fun!
Our hotel had an automatic shoe shine machine. It was so funny that Peter had his shoes shined in it.
The best part of the shoe shine machine was the picture of little space-elf men doing the shining, playing a little song on the screen!
This is the Tokyo municipal building. As you can see from the background, Tokyo stretches into the horizon. One cannot tell where the city stops.
Here is another view of Tokyo from our hotel room which was on the 30-something floor.
Although our lunnch was served using nice dishes and silver plated utensils, at a multi-star hotel, it was pretty bad. This is a picture of bland "curry" which is really bad.
Here is Kim and Monique in Shinjuku, one of the many sub-cities of Tokyo.
This is the Shinjuku station and some of the buildings nearby. Stations in major cities are like mazes with stores and shops hidden in nooks and crannies. It's very easy to get lost in the station when one is not familiar with it.
We took the train to Tokyo station which, from this side of the station, has a very traditional face. We were surprised.
While we were in Tokyo, we stopped by the park which surrounds the imperial palace. We didn't have time to sign up in advance for a tour of the palace itself so we just walked around the grounds.
There were some amazing waterfalls near the Tokyo imperial grounds. Here is Peter with a wandering Japanese boy. The water felt refreshing in the humidity of Tokyo.
Here are the fountains opposite the ones Peter was standing near. And yes, that is Kim wearing a skirt on the bridge.
Here is the large moat and outer wall of the imperial park. Quite impressive!
This one of many gates leading into the grounds, but the only one that was open.
Here is a map of the grounds. The dark green areas where not open to visitors.
We came to a nice garden in the grounds. Here is one picture. It was a highly sculpted garden.
Here is another angle of the park.
There were nice winding paths through the garden.
Here is small waterfall and pond which was in the garden.
This was a tea ceremony area near the park.
Here is another moat and wall.
We climbed to the top of a small hill in the middle of the grounds and took some pictures of the view.
This is looking towards the city.
This was a music building.
The pointy red-white thing is the Tokyo tower which is a tourist attraction. Since we didn't have time to actually go there, we took a picture of it from a distance.
This is the Keio plaza hotel, where we stayed.
Here's another view of the Tokyo municipal building.
This picture, from the plane, shows the uglier industrial side to Tokyo.
Peter thought the highway down below was really crazy.
Finally, this is the Kanto plain, the area where Tokyo it. It's huge and sprawling! Our three day trip to Tokyo was fun but we are glad we don't live there. Too many people and although the mass transportation system is efficient, it's always crowded resulting in a lot of sore feet.