The next day was a planned trip to the Japanese Imperial Palace. We took a subway as close as we could then walked several blocks past Government Buildings, such as the Judicial Building seen below.
The Imperial grounds cover a large amount of land in the center of Tokyo City. Surrounded by a moat, only a small portion is open to the public.
 
 
Several of the old historic gates are open to allow visitors to tour one of the gardens, and see the official entrance to the Palace Grounds.
This is only one of several main gates. Most were damaged during WWII, but most of the architecture is original.
 
 
This is one of the large open causeways. We later in the day saw the Crown Prince drive by with his entourage.
It was a warm and sunny day, and we were drinking bottles of water like they were going out of style.
 
 
The most interesting looking places were off limits of course, and we could see armed guards now and then in the distance.
This was the official main gate, and was barred to the public. This is the gate that the prince left in a car. Later a horse drawn carriage come to this gate.
 
 
This was a just a very pretty pine tree....and I couldn't reist trying for an "artist shot".
It was cool to look at all this, and think of movies like SHOGUN, and ninjas, etc. in the past.
 
We took a break and crossed the street to a shady resturaunt area. There were some very interesting water fountains.
We entered thru a tourist gate to tour the gardens. This is an old Samurai Guard post. There were 3 layers of them that visitors had to pass by to get to the inner court areas.
It was very sunny and hot! Us Misawa folks are not used to it, and I stayed in as much shade as I could!
Looking down from one of the hills in the Imperial Grounds, you can see some court buildings, and Tokyo City in the background.
Here is where we saw a horse drawn carriage, with powdered footment leaving the grounds. They returned later with some visiting foreign dignitaries.
The Imperial Tea House. This was as close as we could get.
Lush greenry, ponds full of Koi fish, and flowers everywhere. It was really beautiful.
If Teresa and I were mega-rich, I think we would have gardens like this for ourselves. And a hundred gardners!
 
 
Our feet were feeling it that night...over a week on the go each day is starting to take it's toll....