Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Late Afternoon Stroll, Chiyoda, Tokyo

After our afternoon tea date at Ekki Bar & Grill on the 7th floor of the Four Seasons Hotel Marunouchi, hubby and I took a long walk around the area since I never get to see it and we'll be leaving Japan soon.

The grand Marunouchi entrance of Tokyo Station on a late and cloudy afternoon. Too bad it was partially closed up for maintenance and even then, hubby said it was almost entirely boarded up back a couple of months ago.

Walking around this area of Tokyo, I couldn't help but notice these sakura manhole covers. It seems each part of town does their own thing too as the ones in Yokohama have different designs. I wish the ones at home were as nice looking as these!

An interesting looking building. Its outer lattice frame that covers the entire building is built with redbrick and is really neat to look at! That said, I get a sense the building interior may not be well lit (save for all the artificial lighting) since the thick bricks probably block out most of the natural light that may shine through the building's glass window hidden inside.

We were standing in the lower left corner of the intersection here, and the outer most moat surrounding the Nishinomaru at the sight of Edo Castle is just across the street. Diagonally at the upper right corner is the Palace Hotel Tokyo. The moat runs underneath this intersection, picking up on the other side just in front of this hotel.

Having just crossed the street staying on the left side, we arrived at this stone pavilion.

Looking leftwards along the moat towards Hibiya, from behind the stone pavilion.

We kept walking along the left side of the road and got to another intersection, crossing which put us squarely in the vicinity of the Edo Castle ground. Here's looking to my right. At the far left side of the picture is one of the surviving turrets and beyond it is the East Gardens of the imperial ground. The East Gardens is the sight of the Honmaru (main keep, where the shogun and his ladies in waiting used to live), Ninomaru (second compound, housed heirs of the shogun), and Sannomaru (third compound) of the Edo Castle. None of these buildings survived to the present day as they each burned down at one point or another and was never rebuilt.

These are the collective Nijubashi. The second bridge is harder to see, but it's there. Both of the bridges lead to Nishinomaru-mon, which is the main gate to the current Imperial Palace. The bridges are actually not open to the public with the exception of one time a year, on the emperor's birthday. 

A closer view of Nijubashi, with the 2-storey Fushimi yagura in the back. See a video I took.

While taking a picture of hubby in front of Nijubashi, I spotted a pair of swans in the moat and snapped one of them too ^.^

This is me barely holding it together in the muggy heat. It shocked even hubby how much I could sweat. Why was I wearing long pants and long sleeved shirt then? Because the vicious mosquitoes will eat me alive if I show any skin at all! 
- Hat: Aeropostale
- Neckerchief: Express
- Tuxedo tunic: JCrew
- Camisole: Aeropostale
- Shoulder bag: Nine West
- Belt: JCrew
- Coated pants: Uniqlo
- Lace up oxfords: Nine West

Past Nijubashi is the outer Sakurada-mon.

Looking back behind me.

Close up of Sakurada-mon, after having walked through it.

Near Sakurada-mon are several famous government facilities - here's a view of the National Diet Building.

Here's another famous one, though I have no idea which building it is :P


Famous cream sandwich cookies from Tokyo. I walked past an omiyage shop and remembered having tried these when a classmate brought them into class one day. They were delicious, and I told myself I would buy them the next time I see them. So I did ^.^

We ended our date in Tokyo with -ahem- Yamachan! Yes, there are branches in Tokyo and Yokohama, and as stuffed as we both were a few hours ago we were totally ready to chew on some wings by the time it got dark ^.^ 

Spotted this sign on the wall. It basically advertises a drink with placenta protein, collagen, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C, all in the same drink! I told you it gets a bit nutty in Japan xD I pointed it out to hubby and this was his immediate reaction, which made me laugh so hard I almost choke on my food!

In all, it was a really good Saturday date ^.^ I'm glad I finally got to see a little bit of Tokyo, even if it was just a glimpse. This is just temporary goodbye and I know I'll be back someday, but still I'm sad to leave. Japan has been so good to the both of us over these past 2 years.

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