Breakfast & swimming at hotel. First stop was Takashimaya Department Store food hall. We each picked a food from the zillion gourmet food booths. Will and Trevor had chicken yakitori, Yamini had sushi, Matt and Amy had these sushi style salads with rice, egg, tuna, salmon roe and a couple pieces of eel. We had some very delicious strawberries.
Took our picnic to the grounds of the Imperial Palace. The Emperor has a very nice back yard! We saw some cherry blossoms, looks like there will be more to come and it seems like the locals were starting to come out to welcome the cherry blossoms too. Matt had to carry around our trash for nearly two hours after being yelled at by a park employee for trying to lift the cover of a garbage can to fit the trash bag inside -- "Take your trash home!" she said, and it seems like that's what everyone does b/c there are no trashcans anywhere in Tokyo even though there is no trash on the street, in the subway, etc.
Kids found a big lawn for a game of tag and we walked around the whole outside of the Imperial
Palace. It is on what appears to be a huge island in the center of the city with high walls and a moat around it. Very good security. Will and Trevor used up the time on the long walk by singing song lyrics to every top 40 song they like.
At night we had tickets for a baseball game at the Tokyo Dome. Sapporo Nippon Fighters vs. the Buffaloes from some other city. Got out of the
subway at Tokyo Dome City which is like a big amusement park in the middle of the city. Obviously a city that can fit an Emperor's palace and an amusement park and baseball dome in the center is huge, and for us it does seem much bigger than NYC (boys want to add "but not better . ."). You can walk forever just inside one subway stop and people do seem to spend a lot of time walking underground b/c of the subway system. Subway cars are (boys admit) better than New York - long, comfortable sofa type benches, clean, quiet and safe.
For dinner we had hamburgers! Plain for Yamini and Matt, cheeseburger for Trev, and a Teriyaki burger for Amy. Will just munched on fries and got a "cone of popcorn" at
the game. Matt and I had a beer from a "beer girl" (they walk around with kegs in colored backpacks the whole time) and a banana, choc and whipped creme crepe that was yummy. Fighters were getting their butts kicked to the disappointment of many little league kids in the seats around us. Fans buy tickets for the "home" or "away" side of the stadium and there are whole sections devoted to fans that bring huge flags, dress in team colors and yell encouragement the whole time their team is at bat. (Note to Yankee and Boston fans - they do not seem to yell that the other team "sucks" when they are losing.) We noticed Alex Cabrera, a Venezuelan player among the Japanese guys. Turns out he is a former AZ Diamondbacks player who was accused of using steroids, but he of course denied it and has
tested clean in Japan. We left at the end of the 5th inning after they did a rousing rendition of YMCA with cheerleaders instead of Yankee groundskeeper. Will thought they did a bad job on letter "A" and Trevor thought the C's went the wrong way.