Welcome to Tokyo

It would be impossible to try and find a single thing about Tokyo that one could say sumarises it. There is no such thing as the beating heart of Tokyo, everywhere is a beating heart, every street is an artery that gushes and pumps humanity. The streets are not even the lowest level, underground stations and heaving shopping malls spreading maze-like from no particular centre and sprouting tendrils at random into the streets and buildings above.
You must go a long way up one of those buildings for the pace to even begin to slacken and see the churning ant hill from above, ready to suck you back in and whisk you off again.
At the center of Tokyo is the Imperial Palace and it is the opposite of a heart. Everything in a body flows through the heart. No one flows through the palace but police and occasional discrete black cars and vehicles for maintaining the opulent grounds. A grand wall and moat surround it and it could withstand a battery from a platoon of armoured tanks, could such a thing get through the traffic.
Tokyo flows around the palace, not through it.
Only the East Gardens are accessible to the public and culture shocked tourists like me and they are stunning. Not because they are especially beautiful – I have seen finer – but it is a grand oasis of peace and calm from which you can not see the hie of tall buildigs nor hear the continuous thunder of traffic, babel of voices and kaleidoscope of screens, signs and flashing lights. Only the caw of jackdaws breaks the quiet of the gentle rush of waters and chatter of insects on the breeze.
You can be fooled, for a while, into thinking the pace of life is sanguine as people stroll past and butterflies the size of sparrows flit between the flowers. It ends at the moat where ancient carp and turtles gently wash themselves along. Outside is the city where nothing stands still.