The last few days in Tokyo were pretty relaxed since we had already done most of the touristy things we planned on doing.
We went up to the Imperial Palace to see the gardens. I thought we would be able to see the palace, but we couldn't even get a glimpse. Apparently the royal family is very reclusive.
The grounds were enormous and beautifully maintained.
A couple hundred people were weeding and pruning the lawn on their hands and knees. We weren't quite sure if these people were volunteers, but it seemed like maybe they were doing it out of the goodness of their heart, like it's some sort of honor to weed the emperor's lawn. No thanks!
We walked over to the nearby Tokyo Station, which was a beautiful building with all kinds of shops and restaurants. I especially enjoyed the entire store dedicated to my new obsession, Miffy.
There is a whole section in the basement of Tokyo Station full of ramen shops ("Ramen Street/Dori"), and we (finally) found it and ordered some ramen and gyoza from one of the vending machine restaurants. (Don't worry, the food is not made in a machine.)
Just down the hall from Ramen Street was a store frying up potato chips and topping them with cheese or chocolate. Quite a dessert!
We walked around Roppongi Hills to do some shopping (never enough shopping in Tokyo), and John posed in front of a giant spider statute to show his love for the disgusting eight-legged beasts.
The next day we visited the Edo Museum, which was filled some miniature and life-size replicas of ancient Tokyo.
No museum visit is complete without some goofy poses.
This photo was actually taken in the subway station of the sumo neighborhood, but apparently I'm not above goofy photos there too.
We took the subway up to Ueno Park and enjoyed some fresh air.
And naturally we caught a ride on a swan-shaped paddle boat.
Nothing like riding a swan boat in the middle of Tokyo. Japan is a very whimsical place, so it actually fits pretty well.
We had a great time on our trip to Japan, and we are so grateful to my parents for watching Orelia for the ten days we were gone. It was odd and surreal to be without her for so long.
We missed her like crazy, but we certainly did appreciate the time with just the two of us and the ability to sleep in, read books, watch movies, and have leisurely meals in restaurants.
Japan is a fascinating place, and I will never forget our time there. Who knows - we might just go back in a dozen years or so.