From Wednesday, December 11th through Monday, December 16th (Tokyo time), I was in Japan with my mom and other members of the Cambridge Community Chorus of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Following are some of the many pictures I took during that time.
Click any thumbnail to see the bigger version of that picture. The majority of these pictures are 800x600 pixels in size. Unless otherwise indicated, all pictures were taken with my Hewlett-Packard Photosmart 315 digital camera.

Day One

On the first day, we had volunteer tour guides who were members of the Japanese choir that we had come to Japan to sing with. Each volunteer took a group of about ten of us, and showed us two sights of Tokyo (the same two for each group). The main purpose of this expedition, aside from seeing the sights and meeting our Japanese hosts, was to get us familiar with the Japanese subway system and how it works.

Imperial Palace

We went first to the Imperial Palace gardens. We didn't actually see the palace itself (I guess tourists aren't allowed to see it) but we did see the gardens, which were beautiful even in winter.

A guard building on the moat outside the palace grounds.

Part of the gardens. In background you can see a small stone bridge crossing the pond.

Picture taken while standing on the bridge that you saw in the previous picture. There's a waterfall in the center of this picture, although you can't see it too well.

My mom in another part of the garden.

View of another guard-house closer to the interior of the gardens (i.e., closer to the palace). In ancient days, samurais would stand in this guard house to challenge anyone who tried to pass.


We went next to Asakusa (pronounced ah-SOCK-sa), which is a temple/shrine surrounded by a thriving shopping and eating area. You walk down a long corridor, with little stalls selling food and souvenirs on each side, to get to the temple.

The temple at Asakusa. In front of the building you can see the smoke rising from an incense pavilion on the ground. You wave the smoke toward your body for good luck.

Smaller buildings to the side of the main temple.

The spire atop one of the buildings.

My mom talking to my brother in Phoenix, Arizona, on a pay-phone in Asakusa. At noon on Wednesday in Tokyo it was 8pm on Tuesday in Arizona, so we called to wish my brother a happy birthday.

On to Day Two
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joan the english chick
last updated 14 January 2003