ben griffiths
an insight into the mind of a genius

Posts Tagged ‘emperor’

National Emperor Day!

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2006

Today as mentioned, was a very special day - as the Emperor was to make a public appearence with his family at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

To make it however involved getting up hanously early (8:30!!! :eek:) which I almost made, well, 8:40 to be precise - but for me that was still a great achievement.

It was then a quick hop in the shower (where I almost fell asleep) before braving back into the cold with to meet Shimpei outside his house for 9:30 (originally 9, but no one could get organised in time).

The nearest station was (put in later), which meant we couldn’t catch the train from Wakabayashi, but had to make the walk to Umegaoka - which in the early morning cold really wasn’t the nicest journey - then to top it all off, McDonalds was closed, so I couldn’t even get a Sausage and Egg McMuffin :( (so had to make do with a burrito from the 7/11 instead)…

Hmm, I’ve just realised, it was lucky the September 11 attacks weren’t in July …..

Anyway, we had to switch trains part way through the journey, though apparently Seiko wasn’t going to join us, as just went off on the original train …. erm, quite…. leaving just Shimpei, Shiho and me to go meet the royalty.

The imperial park is a really beautiful place (I wrote about it last year, so I’m not going to go over old ground :p), but we didn’t have time to take it all in, as the queues were starting to form, so first stop the security checks…


Once through that, we followed the snake like path up to the actual palace itself, though not before passing this sign…. I’ll leave it up to you to determine why it was of interest ….. ;)

The journey up was actually quite nice as we got to see a lot of traditional Japanese structures, it was also quite special as normally you can’t go up here - so just for the new year…


Before finally finding our spot in view of the balcony…


And then at 11 o clock sharp, what we had all been waiting for…


And now the shocking bit. Never having been to anything like this before (nor in England I don’t think) - I wasn’t sure what would happen, but it was crazy - as soon as they appeared a massive cheer went up, followed by mass flag waving and the cries of “Banzai! Banzai!” - it was like being at a boxing match , awesome! :D

Not wanting to feel left out, I duely joined in. Though, part of me felt a bit strange, wondering if I was being disrespecful to Grandad in anyway…? Strange how the world works, and how things years past can still have effects to this day..

Alas, all too soon it was over (I had great fun) and as no one would queue up to see them again, we decided to go find some food instead. My suggestion of Pasta was immediately dismissed (swines!) - so instead we headed to Harajuku to a “famous” Ramen shop.

Ok, so it was quite nice, but really, £5 for a large pot noodle….. hmmm…..

Being in Harajuku of course meant we got the opportunity to go back to Kiddyland, the greatest shop in the world :) There was quite a lot inside tempting me, but i stayed strong and kept my credit card firmly in my wallet :D We however, manage to get the following cool photo inside :)

Finally (and with me almost asleep by now) we caught the train back, where I tried my best not to fall asleep on my bed. Unfortunately it was only 3pm, but i was just too tired to do anything, so just mucked around on here for a few (read MANY) hours.

Tomorrow the plan is to finish off a little bit of coding on my site to get a new business venture going, then spend the rest of it working on my Japanese book, with the aim of having everything converted over the next few days or so (my old book is written completely in romanji, i need to convert it to kana - no mean feet as I’m sure i spelt a lot of the ramanji wrong, so will need to keep looking it up in the dictionary.)

And finally, rather than leave off with a block of text, here, have a photo of downtown Tokyo :D