Special Insert – Japan Travel Day 7

No way we’ve been here a week already, on the one hand, I’m exhausted, on the other, there is so much I still want to see.  Today we went to the Imperial Palace, it is downtown Toyko.  It is also a National Holiday today, just like in the states.  They are celebrating National Sports Day here, fifty years ago the Toyko Olympics began, in 1964.  In the US, we celebrate Columbus Day, what a different type of holiday.  Anyway, downtown, we are there early, we enter the East Imperial Gardens and begin our next walkabout.  A trip up to the Shogun residence that has since been reduced to rubble, we walked through bamboo gardens, around Samurai barracks, the place the 47 Ronan fought, all over the grounds.  Finally we made it to the double bridge for an incredible view.DSC_0018

From there we continued to walk the perimeter of the garden.  Like Big said yesterday, it seemed like ten miles or more.

Our next stop was the Modern Museum of Art.  They had a showing there of work by Hishida Shunso, exquisite painting on silk and paper from the early 1900’s.  This exhibit alone was worth the price of admission, beautiful works.  The rest of the museum was interesting, it was a reminder that art is a personal privilege, we all view it differently.

Big scaling the castle wall

Big scaling the castle wall

Dinner tonight was a true sushi restaurant, the boys ate here the other night, they were the first Americans to ever set foot inside.  Tonight we went back.  The sushi chef speaks English well, he spent twenty years in Thousand Oaks, for the last five years he has been back in Japan.  As we talked, he said he hasn’t had a need to speak English since he came back, he appreciated us coming in so that he could practice again.  Not many English speakers make it out to Ichikawa.  That has been obvious from the looks we’ve gotten.

My daughter reminded me tonight that this is our typical MO, go out in to the neighborhoods to see the sights.  This is how we travel in Mexico always, away from the tourist spots and out to where they don’t speak our language.  We do the same in the states, we travel away from the chains and look for restaurants that are mom and pop stores.  It is a fun way to live and always an adventure!

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