William and Mary Law School

Imperial Palace

I’m so excited to be writing from Tokyo.  These last few weeks have been non-stop with settling into new city and dealing with a pretty bad cough that did not seem to want to go away.  Due to my feeling under the weather, I took the first weekend pretty easy.  I was able to meet my friend Chako from William and Mary for lunch and a tour of Shibuya.  

 A couple of weekends ago, I visited the Imperial Palace.  The Imperial Palace (koukyo) is the residence of the Japanese Emperor.  The palace grounds are huge.  It ended up taking about three hours to explore the various ins and outs. 

Imperial Palace

Imperial Palace  

When you look at the picture above, you may think that the Palace is located outside of Tokyo city, somewhere serene and hidden.  This is absolutely not the case.  In fact, the Palace is located not far from Tokyo Station, which is very much in central Tokyo.  Take a look at how the past meets the present in the picture below.  You can see the edge of the Imperial Palace grounds and how the city waits just on the other side of the road.  This was the case throughout the palace grounds.  At eye level, you are centuries back in time, but looking up reveals modern Tokyo looming in the distance.

 Past and present

The walls are massive and precisely built with sharp edges.

sloping wall

There were many lovely gardens to enjoy.  This one looks like it came out of a storybook.

 Gardens

And of course, what Palace is complete with out a guard post?

guard post

I’ll post more sights soon.  Stay tuned!