An afternoon free in Tokyo – on an urban walkabout we did go!

After surviving the Fugu, it was time for a stroll. And since the Tokyo Imperial Palace wasn’t far from our hotel, we figured that’s where we should be heading…

Coming up – lots of photos, few words. Who needs words when you’ve got scenes like these? ->

The walk around the palace’s walls is a goodie – and very meditative:

Perfect lawns, perfect pine trees, perfect asphalt, perfect post-modernistic office blocks, perfect weather. Gotta love Tokyo!…

A little further, and the reserved modesty of the skyscrapers switches to something a little more futuristic-adventurous ->

// I’d been here before – way back in 2010. The view’s pretty much the same, only without the cranes up the top of Tokyo Skytree, whose construction was completed not long after this pic was taken:

Btw, the gold-looking office block there in the middle – it’s the head office of the company Asahi Breweries. Yes – beer. Apparently the installation on top is so the building resembles a glass of the stuff with a good head of foam!

What that gold blob/flame is I don’t know. Ah, it’s also an Asahi building. Ooh, the locals (including our K-folks) call it… the golden turd, or even poo building :0)!

And here’s the boat we were to get onto for a river cruise ->

Alas – the views through the boat’s windows weren’t up to much, and we weren’t allowed to get onto the upper deck as it was high tide and the bridges are low. Accordingly, I’ll have to show you pics I took back in 2010:

The embankment at first was a bit underwhelming: buildings almost right up to the riverbank ->

But better city planning and architecture came later on:

Rainbow Bridge, housing a road (part of the Shuto Expressway), a railroad, and walkways. I fancied a walk upon the walkways, but it was decided that would wait till my next visit…

For now – we carry on with our river cruise ->

The views are both meditative and positive!

We approach our destination point:

Well, well. I never knew there was a second Statue of Liberty! ->

I wonder whose liberty – and from whom/what?

We were real lucky with the weather. June is nominally rain season; not today! Look what it’s normally like in June:

Mount Fuji is somewhere over there! ->

That skinny tower – I’ve been up it! ->

That was back in 2010. I recall back then thinking that relations between Russia and Japan would end up close and trusting. Alas, 14 years later – neither (.

Here we were up top:

Sunset & Fuji – Still Life ). The photo’s not mine (it’s my colleague BK’s) ->


Wait… – in the other direction: there’s the moon!

Back in my hotel room, and I wasn’t done with photographically capturing downtown Tokyo. There’s Tokyo Station in the foreground, against the backdrop of the Marunouchi business district, which – together with our hotel, are all in the Chiyoda City special ward.

And in the other direction ->

My travel companion, NK, was really taken by the cranes – after a few days of staring at them she made a request for as best a close-up as I could get. Here you go! ->

Over there – our office: in the shiny black, mirror-glass building right in the middle; that’s where we have our modest but still doing-the-good-work presence ->

Our office is in the lively Akihabara district of Chiyoda. Inside – echoes of our HQ ->

Peering out the window of the office – interesting views, beckoning us to carry on with our walkies…

Walkies duly continued – and there were folks rushing to and fro everywhere. Since I don’t like taking photos of strangers’ faces without their permission, here – just a few pics:

Advertising hoardings cover practically every surface; the themes – mostly electronics or otaku culture ->

Away from the main streets – kinda cramped: no open spaces, no verges, no trees, not much space at all! ->

Several bridges converge in one spot – each with a different railroad, each owned by a different company, each with their own platforms and – yes: bridges ->

We pass a street that screams “come dine here!” with its appetizing aromas ->

To the right – eateries that have filled the spaces under the various railroads/bridges; to the left – residential buildings ->

We stroll from the less-salubrious railroad district to a more upmarket one toward our hotel ->

Fancy stores (of zero interest to me), fancy hotels (I never went in for them), but also – fancy restaurants (now, these I’m not against!). There’s one down here that’s off-the-scale amazing with its off-the-scale amazing unagi. We didn’t drop in this time, as it wasn’t long since we’d dined. And anyway, I waxed lyrical about the place last time I was here.

An even closer close-up shot for NK from down below! ->

Inner-city rivers – with the Shuto Expressway on columns up above them ->

NK, of course, here was in raptures ) ->

I didn’t get this…

Here’s a stature of a girl. She’s in a blouse, but she’s naked apart from that blouse. What? Why? Not even underwear covering her modesty? Oh those Japanese creative types )…

The local Seiko store (if it is a store) is a real looker. Ooh – with the time in Moscow among other cities given too ->

Hong Kong time. Which reminded me – that’s where we were headed next!…

A final pic from the hotel, and that was that: Tokyo – done. Next – taxi and airport…

Farewell Tokyo. We loved it. Until next time!…

The rest of the pics from Japan are here.

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