2017 Japan Tokyo Imperial Palace East Gardens | travel phootgraphy by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

02 | Tokyo | Imperial Palace East Gardens

Flag JapanImperial Palace East Gardens

Upon arriving at the Imperial Palace East Gardens, we tried to park our bicycles but one of the guards told us that it is unfortunately illegal to park bicycles at the garden perimeters. Well then, we improvised and stored them in an underground parking across the street. Back at the Hirakawa Gate we smiled at the guard and he let us in after we paid the entrance fee. We thanked him and went to explore the Imperial Gardens. A beautiful and quiet oasis in the middle of the city. It almost feels like you are out in the country somewhere and the only hint of that not being the case are the skyscrapers that are clearly visible in the background, depending on where in the park you are an which way you look. We took our time and wandered around slowly. When exiting the park through the Ōte-mon Gate, we expected to be back in a bustling city – but the streets were eerily quiet. We later found out that it was a national holiday and everything was closed and most people had left Tokyo for a long weekend.

We then made our way to Tokyo Central Station, which was unfortunately hiding behind a construction site. We made the best of it and checked how many different modes of transportation we could spot around the historic train station. Seems like you can walk, take a bicycle, sit in a traditional rickshaw or in the back seat of a taxi, take a bright yellow Hello Kitty bus or own a similarly colored  car.