Walking Tour

We got a late start and missed breakfast at the hotel. Instead we managed to find what is probably the only place in Japan that did not serve green tea. I’m sure I looked horrified when the server said the only option was orange pekoe. I opted for coffee. Lesson: a restaurant in a “Royal” hotel may connote Queen Victoria rather than Edo or Meiji.

The rest of breakfast consisted of a too-sweet veggie smoothie, toast labeled as whole-grain, yogurt with a sprinkling of cereal, and a decent salad.

We took a brisk walk across the river and up the road to the Imperial Palace, which was of course closed. The magnificent grounds almost compensated, and the lack of crowds was merciful.  Workers fanned out, cleaning and giving TLC to the ancient tress with delicate pruning and installation of supports made of bamboo and cloth. The  a few leaves had begun to change, but they seemed  muted compared to the blaze of New England.

We returned to the main road via a bridge. On one side an egret did a perfect imitation of a statue. On the other, an equally immobilized turtle warmed itself on a boulder. The pond contained a small army of carp, mostly gray, though an occasional flash of red angled through the murk.

Attraction on the way back: a couple of girls with skateboards. One merely stood on hers. The other did a kick-glide then stopped as well. From our hotel window, I spotted a couple more ambitious types doing tricks in the same spot.

Later in the day we walked to the jam-packed Gion. There we saw a bunch of geisha-wannabes and maybe two real ones.

Dinner was a disappointing meal in one of the many department stores we visited. It consisted of a bowl of rice topped with a plethora of veggies. The photo did not include the chicken and what I think was tripe. It also misrepresented the sauce, which was far more glutinous than pictured. I survived.

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