Japan - email 2; the sun comes out in Tokyo

Dear friends and family,
The sun came out with a vengeance the next day. This is mid-November and it was almost too hot to walk in the sun. This might explain why most of the trees don't seem to have changed their color yet.
First some pictures of Japanese breakfast buffets:

Upper left, chawan mushi, a savory custard dish. This one had eggs, onions and mushrooms. Front left, a tofu dish, mashed, mixed with green onions and steamed. These were all delicious. Front right, lotus root and carrots, sautéed and seasoned. 

Boiled tofu in the stainless pot, greens, and all sorts of grated seasonings, e.g. ginger, dried fish, pepper, onions, seasoned soy.
And these were only a few dishes of probably 20; the Western style breakfast and salads were on another table.
Headed out toward the imperial palace; the goal is to walk (instead of our usual sitting in front of the computer much of the day) and see as much as possible.

Tokyo intersection near the used book district. 

Don walking past some of the large team of gardeners needed to keep up this huge park surrounding the Imperial Palace. It's a pleasure to watch how efficiently and with what great skill they work.

Part of an ancient long house where the samurai lived. They weren't allowed to bring their families to Edo. As a result, there were twice as many men than women in the city. And the geisha, courtesan culture developed. The great lords, the samurai's lords, were required to bring their families to Edo, a hostage situation. They travelled back and forth from Edo to their fiefdoms every other year at tremendous expense. In fact, it was so expensive to make this trip every second year that they were pretty much impoverished. Certainly too poor to afford a decent uprising.

Camellia hedge.

Checkered bamboo

The leaves are just starting to turn. Tokyoites on the grass, enjoying the beautiful day

Impressive stone work and moat surrounding the vast palace grounds.

Waiting for lunch at a very popular place which turned out to have California-type food. In fact, in reminded me of Bucci's in Emeryville.

Took the monorail out to Haneda Airport. Was surprised at how much of Tokyo consists of waterways and canals. 

One hour flight to Takamatsu. Daiwa Roynet Hotel; very comfortable. Oddly, on top of a shopping center which stretches for miles down a couple streets in Takamatsu. Daiwa has laundry facilities with laundry soap right in the washer; maybe that's common in laundromats now.

Delicious tofu salad

Sashimi plate. We were so excited to find this delicious food until we arrived in Awagami and have been so spoiled.

Old defensive tower protecting Takamatsu from invaders.

Quirky and uniquely Japanese:

We've seen a lot of trees with crutches for support in Japan. This one has a whole-body cast. Love how the Japanese care for their trees.

And received from Gail Nanao, who is also in Japan right now, arranging for Kenji's work to be acquired by a museum in Northern Japan. Hilarious translation.

Love from Japan,

Era and Don