Day one

On our first official free day, we started by visiting the Imperial Gardens. In order to get there, we took the metro and got off at Tokyo station. The metro stations are huge in Tokyo and during the daytime they seem unnecessarily big. It’s only when you take the metro during the rush hour period that you understand why!

Camera configuration: Nikon D800 equipped with a 24-70 mm f/2.8 Nikon lens + circular polarizer or 50 mm f/1.8 Nikon lens.

Tokyo station

Behold, the entrance to the Imperial Gardens:

Imperial Gardens - Entrance

I love the contrast between the traditional and modern Tokyo in this picture:

Traditional vs Modern

This man was drawing the surrounding scenery; ahh how much I would of loved to be in his place (before concentrating on photography, I did 7 years of drawing courses; mainly dry pastel.)!

Old man drawing

This is what he was actually drawing:

Entrance to Imperial Gardens

Traditional house

Nap time…

Homeless

Big tree

The Nippon Budokan built for the judo competitions during the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Since then, this huge building has been the host of many cultural and sporting events. The Beatles were actually the first music band to play there in 1966.

Nippon Budokan

One of the beams on the Imperial Garden’s gates.

Gates to the Imperial Gardens

The moat surrounding the Imperial Gardens.

The moat

Having visited the Imperial Gardens, we then decided to walk towards the Yasukuni shrine dedicated to the fallen Japanese soldiers between 1868 and 1951. On our way there, we saw some Japanese students wearing their traditional school outfit:

Students wearing traditional clothes

The entrance arches are just huge…

Gates to Yasukuni Shrine

Arche

Door detail

I just love how the following picture came out; I just find it very calming, very Zen!

Zen

And finally, the Shrine itself. You can see my wife and daughter on the left.

Yasukuni Shrine

Hundreds of wishes…

Wishes

The guard who told me I couldn’t take a picture of the interior of the shrine.

The guard

The other gard

The end

That’s all for the first half of our first day! Stay tuned for pictures of Akihabara and our Chanco supper!

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