English language practice at Imperial Palace

Been to Imperial Palace today. Since it is closed to public what we actually saw was less then imperial in appearance, perhaps it was the outside view only. Or maybe the palace is quite understated in its architecture like the rest of Japan and its historical buildings we have seen to date.

At the palace however we have our first encounter with the local, a happy old fella started talking to us to practice his “conversational English”. We were quite impressed by his manner, his English ability and mostly by his character and lack of inhibitions. Two thumbs up for old Japanese dudes! Both me and Will left with pocketfulls of compliments and big grinds on our faces.

Afterwards walked to Ginza for a walk down diamond and high fashion store lined street. Nothing spectacular really, I guess shopping is just not our cup of tea.

Headed into Shimo-kitazawa to wrap up the day with another excellent coffee. This time found the north side where all the restaurants and cafes were hiding and did a bit more exploring.

And bought a compass! It has enabled us to walk from Shimo-kitazawa straight home in less than half an hour. Granted all we had to do is walk north but it was a grand adventure nevertheless. Now we feel like the whole world has opened up and we can walk places previously inaccessible for the lack of maps, street names or ability to ask for directions. But now – behold the compass – we are on our way to urban hiking freedom.