Imperial Palace & A WalkAround Day

Casey Fiance had a whole day off from coaching, so I finally got him to myself. Of course that meant it was adventure time, so Case took me first to the Imperial Palace here in Tokyo. Brace yourselves, lads. This is a photo-heavy post...

It was so cold & windy outside this day! Fiance & I bundled in the subway. With that backpack, he looks ready to jump from a plane with his parachute at a moment's notice...

 Here is the moat around the palace.

It had swans. This is what Japanese swans looks like.

 See the old white building waaaay in the back? That's the palace itself. We weren't allowed in. The place was apparently closed up for the national holiday.

Don't know what these things were keeping out... just asking to be posed upon though.

 Great trees here too.

This is the old guard house. It was so neat seeing these ancient fixtures juxtaposed against the modernized city with skyscrapers all around. I think it's wonderful that the palace still remains such a revered spot.

Coffee & Tea Break!

Then it was off to explore the Ginza area of Tokyo. Twas my favorite to walk around in thus far. Check out this scene...

Just hangin out in the middle of the street.

 Great pic of Casey.

We liked this building, made entirely of glass blocks.

We had a few more hours of daylight, so we headed closer to home to the Meiji Shrine - bigger than the Hie Shrine and definitely busier.

There's Lizzle... way down there.

Hand-painted lanterns. Beautiful.

Hehe... vats of shrine wine.

 Sake barrels.

The national holiday of the day was apparently to celebrate those 'coming of age' (which is 20 here in Japan). There were dozens and dozens of 20 year old young ladies dressed in their best in gorgeous kimonos, furs around their necks, and hair all done. Congrats, youths!

The inside of the shrine. 

And finally, to close our amazing day of adventures, Pam took us to see the famous Baccarat crystal chandalier (enormous and completely hand-carved)...

 See us way down there?

...and to have a luxurious cocktail atop the Westin Hotel in Ebisu.

"Iceburg - right ahead!"     Kampai, my friends.

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