Imperial Palace (Day 6: Part I)

We were blessed with having really good weather every day of our trip, except for one day. On day 6, it didn’t just rain in Tokyo, it poured. What was even more unfortunate was that day 6, of all days, was the day I had booked our guided walking tour of the Tokyo Imperial Palace grounds.  We pushed through and made the best of the rainy situation.DSC09889The Imperial Place tour was free but when we went, reservations needed to be made in advance through the Imperial Palace Household Agency’s website.  It is my understanding that same-day registration is now available.  On most days, tours are conducted twice a day, one tour in morning  at 10:00 am and another tour in the afternoon at 1:30 pm.   On the day that we went there was a private function in the afternoon so I booked the morning tour.DSC09915About 10 minutes before the tour, we gathered at the Kikyo-mon Gate and at 10:00am the tour guides led us into a large visitors center where we watched a brief video about Imperial Palace and its history.  Fortunately, us non-Japanese speakers were given audio guides which had the entire video in English.  After the video, we began our tour of the grounds.DSC09895The tour took about 75 minutes and passed a number over very picturesque Japanese buildings including the Fujimi-yagura Keep shown above.  This building was destroyed in a fire in 1657 wand was reconstructed in 1659.  This was probably the most picturesque buildings of the tour. DSC09896We also passed a very large government building which is home to the Imperial Household Agency.  DSC09898We also passed the Kyuden Totei Plaza and Chowaden Hall.  This Plaza and Hall are open to the public only two days a year – on New Year’s Day (January 2) and the Emperor’s Birthday (December 23) – when various members of the Imperial family make appearances at the Palace.  DSC09909Overall, the walking tour of the Imperial Palace was very scenic and informative, but I would not recommend bringing young children.  Connor became bored almost immediately, and we resorted to letting him watch Bubble Guppies for a good part of the tour.  At some point, the boredom became overwhelming and fell asleep.  On the bright side, the tour was free and very pretty.  I’m sure the view would have been even nicer if the weather wasn’t so bad.
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Imperial Palace Grounds Walking Tour
Tuesdays-Saturday
JR Tokyo Station – 15 minute walk
Mita Line Otemachi Station – 10 minute walk

Junpuu Ramen Bistro

DSC01313Ev and I love eating ramen, especially on week day nights because it’s fast, delicious and affordable.  One of our new favorites is Junpuu Ramen Bistro, which is located in the Medical Arts Building across the street from the Blaisdell and Thomas Square.  The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating and seats about 25 people.
DSC01323We started our meal with a plate of gyoza (5 pieces) for $4.50.   The gyoza was decent and nicely cooked.

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I ordered the Garlic Tokotsu ($10.50) with an Ajitama egg (+ $1.50).  I really enjoyed this dish and would get it again.

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Ev had the Spicy Miso Ramen ($10.50) with an Ajitama egg (+ 1.50).  I think Ev was hoping that the spicy miso ramen would be like the spicy miso ramen we had at Kikambo in Japan.  I guess it’s a little unfair to compare the two, but this dish didn’t even come.  We both thought my garlic tonkotsu was the better dish of the two.

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JunPuu Ramen Bistro
1010 S. King Street, Suite 108
Honolulu, HI 96814

Hours: 11am – 9pm daily
Phone: (808) 260-1901