Friday, April 5, 2013

tokyo trip: the fourth day.

holy buckets, sorry i have been completely lazy sauce on this blog the last few days. let's catch up with one last post or two about japan...even though we've been back now for, well, kind of a while. but better late than never, right...?

on day 4 (& the last full day) of our tokyo trip, we stopped off at the tokyo tower first thing. the tokyo tower is modelled after the eiffel tower, but also so much taller.

at the foot of the tower was this outrageously loud man doing tricks with a monkey. ben & i watched, & we even took some pictures, but we were so, so conflicted the entire time. & for a while we couldn't figure out why we felt so uncomfortable with it all. i mean, it wasn't like the guy was being mean to the monkey at all. the two almost had a sweet relationship, you know? & the tricks themselves were pretty impressive too. plus, the monkey was really funny, standing with his arms behind his back like this...

...& doing some jumping...

...& some even higher jumps...

...some stilt fun...

...& some stair fun...

...& then these great poses at the end when they were bowing (& collecting money, of course).

later on that day, as we were discussing further why we were so conflicted about the monkey, we did draw one conclusion: perhaps it was because the monkey was tied up, around the neck, & monkeys look so...human. almost like watching a human tied up & doing tricks, maybe? we don't freak out when we see dogs, you know, leashed & going on a walk with their owner or something...but we did with the human-like monkey. anyway, whoa. this got deep & awkward fast. 

onward & upward with tokyo trip the fourth day! & nothing lightens the mood better than a mustachioed hello kitty, which i am kicking myself because we didn't buy:

after the tower, the monkey, the hello kitty, & the mustache, we visited a shrine that had some wonderful colors happening all around it:

the shrine grounds also had wonderful gardens & a stone walkway on one end...

...& delightful little memorials complete with flowers, pinwheels, & the most a-DORE-able knit red beanies you ever did see:

later on in the day (it was a humid day! not the monsoon we saw the day before :), we toured gardens around the imperial palace, home of the emperor of japan & his family. 

that emperor of japan! the more i learned about him, the more of an enigma he became. apparently he only makes appearances in japan, like, once or maybe twice a year? & other than that, no one ever sees him, i guess. people can tour his palace (the black & white building in the distance in this picture below) only TWO DAYS out of the year: the emperor's birthday (december 23), & new year's. 

for such a mysterious guy, though, he (or the ground crew, at least) keeps his gardens pretty beautiful. a wide moat, thick forests, this the humidity of the day it felt like we had gone back in time to, you know, an earlier, simpler japan...if you just ignore the security men zooming around on segways.

here we are at the entryway (gated off, obviously :) of the palace:

there were beautiful buildings, besides the palace, in other areas of the gardens:

as seen in the moat:

an image from our aspiring nature/national geographic photographer-in-training, benjamin frandsen:

it was around this time we realized that one of the tiny pockets of my overalls was THE perfect size for the pack of sour apple hi-chews (one of the many packs) we were snacking on that day. i mean really, the size of that pocket could not have been more ideal:

& more garden images:

& that was more or less our day four! after 3 days of go-go-go, we took things a bit slower on our last day. a long, relaxing walk through the sprawling imperial palace gardens (your 7th favorite blogger & husband even napped for a few minutes on a bench as the sun went down!), a trip to the fish market (no pictures! boo. sorry), sushi galore, a few more sights, a few more laughs, & then take-out dinner which we proceeded to eat in our hotel room while catching up on the latest "nashville"episode online. a good, good day.

i've got a few more posts about funny japan things coming up, the food we ate, & more, & then it's on to updates from the states!


  1. These posts have totally intrigued me about all things Japan. I've never really felt an impulse to travel around Asia, but these pictures are so beautiful, you may have planted the seed of a future exotic vacation

  2. My heavens, those blossoms are beautiful. And I can't say it enough, but you are my favorite. I've had so much fun catching up on your blog!



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