since i was spending most of my days cooped up in the bowels of the museum (admittedly for an important cause, namely my thesis), ww3 and i tried to get out and see as much as possible outside working hours.  unfortunately a lot of touristy things are only accessible during working hours, as we discovered on the morning we tried to get to the imperial palace gardens at 7 so we could walk through them before a full day's work at the museum.  we wound up walking around the outside, also beautiful (and about 6 km), then visiting the kitanomaru-koen park across the road and having breakfast, and then finally the imperial palace east gardens when they opened at 9. 

both parks had beautiful paths through trees, water features and more open spaces, and the imperial gardens also had various buildings and ruins with enormous amounts of associated history.  the other thing both places had in common were the massive orb spiders (jorō-gumo, Nephila clavata) suspended between most branches and trees, just above head-level.

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