Japan – Oh look, an Emperor!

Well this post / trip is a bit out of order so far as I didn’t get the time I wanted in the end to finish setting the site up before I left. So here we go with a welcome back, a trip introduction and a first days post!

So the blog is back, its in a new look (still to be fixed up) and now on another host who shouldn’t shut it down without warning and not allow me to get backups… For all those that are returning, welcome back, for those that are new, Enjoy!

Now as you may have guessed by the title I am in the land of the rising sun, Japan. From the amount of temporary visas in my passport I’d say this is now my fifth time travelling into here, 3 times for work and once before for a holiday. So basically this trip is to visit my friend who is living over here and teaching English (lucky bugger) so it will be more a social catchup in a foreign country mixed in with some sight seeing so there wont be as many tourist photos as usual probably.

The flight here was a decent one, I took the QF21 direct flight from Sydney to Narita on the 1st of Jan. I had a good seat but an annoying passenger next to me (wont go into specifics) so I never got the good sleep I was hoping on for an overnight flight. Eventually though I did get to Tokyo, find my way to the hotel and get checked in. As it was still early morning and my friends were yet to arrive from Osaka I headed out onto the town to quickly buy the few things I missed, like the power cables I need over here since I didn’t get any adapaters and a new memory card for the camera so I don’t have to panic about filling it up.

Lucky for me the 2nd in Tokyo is one of two days in the year in which the Emperors Gardens are opened to the public and he appears for a speech to address the public. Not to miss out on the opportunity I headed out to witness all this. At the gardens entrance it was packed, hundreds upon thousands of people piling both into and out of the gardens and all in a calm manner which was nice. This made it easy to get in as I just followed the crowd through as we walked into the gardens. After some rigerous security checks and a nice walk through a usually closed off area we found ourselves in front of a glass podium attached to a giant building (if I can get my panorama program to work I’ll post up a photo of it). So in this giant square in front of the podium we stood and waited for the Emperor to show up. After over an hour he comes out with his whole family much to the glee of everyone around me and gave a quick speech while waving to the crowd (which had now packed out the entire area). It definitely was an experience and a half. Once the speech was done the swarm of people then proceeded to head out of the gardens and back in direction of the various train stations.

And that was basically it for the day, we headed out to Shibuya for drinks and dinner in the evening and now here is the next day and the plan is to go check out the end of the sales and try and get some bargains. For now here are some photos, they don’t have comments or notes on them as wordpress decided they weren’t worth saving for me…


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