Originally the plan for today was going to be to visit the zoo. However in the aftermath of spending a full day at Disney, and walking around for about 14 hours in total, we decided to go low key and cheap. Don’t worry, the Disney blog will follow.
Instead we decided to visit the East Imperial Gardens. They are free to enter, and it almost feels like being transported back in time. There is two orchards, a bamboo forest, and several guardhouses modelled after the ones from the Tokugawa period. It’s quiet, green, and utterly peaceful.
We entered through one of the three gates, namely the closest one to our metro station. We received plastic tickets before entering, and had our bags searched. It is on the Imperial Grounds, so this makes perfect sense. We walked past the first of the guardhouses and enjoyed the architecture styled to match the Tokugawa period, as most of the original stuff had been destroyed in the war. This place is very open, despite being surrounded by large stone walls. Once we hit the main part of the garden we began to truly enjoy it.
We picked up some snacks on the way so we could eat and feed our ravenous hunger beasts(my wife’s nickname for the kids), and were able to enjoy them inside. We wandered a bit, found some drinks and washrooms, then settled in the large greenspace in the middle to eat. After that we went and checked out what was built as the base for a central tower, built in the 1600’s. The tower itself was never built as the Shogunate deemed the country sufficiently pacified and a large fortress was no longer required.
I loved this place. Lots of room for kids to run around and blow off steam, lots of hundreds of years old architecture, and a general atmosphere of peacefulness. If you’re looking to see something really neat, cheap, and peaceful, these gardens are a must.