Wandering "Mid-town"

OK, I guess there's no Midtown here.  But today I took the subway up to the Hibiya station and visited what I could of the Emperor's palace grounds, and then went over to Ginza, the high-class shopping district that I had not visited last time.

As I walked toward Kamiyacho station, I noted these three trucks, which reminded me of the carry-alls I see in India. These are in better shape and are not decorated nearly as colorfully.

After leaving the station, I walked over to the moat, which surrounds the whole palace complex.  Note how smooth the stone walls are, they're designed to be very difficult to scale.

The moat is defended by a team of fierce relatives of Gamera, who swam over to check me out before allowing me entry.  Either they have remote cameras I can't see, or they were hungry.  Pretty big too.

Who says America doesn't export anything?

The public area is a very well-maintained park.  We weren't allowed anywhere near the buildings today. The tour book says the main grounds are only open a couple of days a year, and today was not one of those.

Can you see the forest in the trees?

At left you can see the wide ramp which leads to a guard house which enforces one of the few entry points to the grounds.

The view northeast from the park.

One of the palace buildings with the bridge from the guard house in the foreground.

I then went to walk to Ginza, which was about a mile.  First stoppe for a refreshment in the outer park, where a statue of Kusunoki Masashige, a 14th century samurai. I won't repeat wikipedia here.

Had a Dr. Pepper, and I thought the can art to be quite dramatic.  Where's she keep HER Dr. Pepper?

Around town I've seen various signs, flags and other promotions for Tokyo's bid to host the 2016 Olympics.  Guess that decision is coming soon.

I was peckish so I stopped at a local McD's for a hamburger. Not a fish patty.  It was good, and I had a Qoo for a beverage, which tastes vaguely orangish, and which is pronounced "kuu".

Continuing my walk toward Ginza, I stopped to take a picture of this building on the left, and then quickly took another picture with the NTT Docomo blimp in sight.

So what's Ginza?  To me it appears to be the 5th Avenue of Tokyo.  All your major high-fashion (or at least high-cost) brands are here: Bvlgari, Chanel, Burberry, Brooks Brothers.

Since I don't "shop" I didn't really have a destination, but I had heard there was an Apple store, so I asked a policeman who pointed me in a vague direction.  I finally figured I was close when I saw the reflection below.  The store is 5 floors, and includes a 100-seat theater for demonstrations.  Lots more accessories than stores I've been to, such as musical keyboards and speakers.

This Sapporo sign is a pretty quality landmark.

I wandered around for about an hour looking for somewhere for dinner.  I almost settled on an Irish pub but they were hosting a wedding reception. I ended up going to an Italian restaurant "Pizzeria Trattoria Topolino" in the Hakuhinkan Restaurant Park, a multifloor restaurant building.  The building also hosted a sushi restaurant and Shanghai-style Chinese place.  I had prosciutto de parma, which was tasty, but fatty, and just meat, no melon or anything, and veal milanese, which was a plate-size pounded-thin breaded veal patty, served with a salad and lemon wedge.  Tasty, but not quite what I expected.

Leaving there to head back, I noted the very large McD sign below.

A shot of the main Ginza street, looking north.

That's it for Saturday.