Page 4 of Budokan Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Japan » Osaka » Osaka May 23rd 2013

Thursday, 23rd May 2013 I started my final morning in Hiroshima with a visit to the Mazda Stadium and the Hiroshima World Peace Memorial Cathedral. Having started out very early in the morning, the city was only starting to wake up by the time I finished my walk. Breakfast was decided at Royal Host, a western-inspired local café chain. What I liked about these Japanese eateries was that for a fixed price, I could help myself to a wide variety of quality beverages available at the drinks bar. By mid-morning, I was ready to say goodbye to Hiroshima and proceed to my last two stops in Japan. From Hiroshima, I travelled 342km on my final leg of the Shinkansen to Shin-Osaka. All in all, at the end of nine days, I would have covered more than ... read more
JR Osaka Station
Osaka International Peace Centre
Modern Transportation Museum, Osaka

Asia » Japan » Okayama » Kurashiki May 22nd 2013

Wednesday, 22nd May 2013 From Fukuyama, I travelled another 42km on the train to Kurashiki, a beautiful merchant town in Okayama Prefecture that evolved during the Edo Period. Since Kurashiki was spared from the WWII bombings, most parts of the old town including the Bikan Historical Area were well-preserved. Coming out from the north exit of the train station, I was pleasantly surprised by the well-thought out "European Area" centred around a clock tower. Within the town square were two shopping malls including a branch of the Mitsui Outlet Mall which I was soon going to visit in Kobe City. My shopping trip was cut short as I was targeting to reach the Bikan Area before sunset today. This was reachable via the south exit of the train station after about 20 minutes on foot. As ... read more
Kurashiki City European Town Square
Picturesque Canal
Cooling Ivy Square

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima » Fukuyama May 22nd 2013

Wednesday, 22nd May 2013 After saying goodbye to Kure city, I rode the train back to Hiroshima where I continued my journey on the Shinkansen. Barely 23 minutes and some 103km later, I had arrived at the city of Fukuyama (福山). Fukuyama was never part of my itinerary as far as my travel plans were concerned. But as my train pulled into the city centre, I was attracted by the sight of the castle sitting next to the station. Naturally, I got down from my train with no plans, just plain curiosity. I helped myself with a bowl of delicious ramen over lunch within the train station. As usual, the Japanese wait-staffs never failed to impress me with their eagerness to serve coupled with their infectious smiles. After my meals, I wandered around the Fukuyama Castle ... read more
Through the years (1980)
Through the times (1985)
And the name says it all

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima » Kure May 22nd 2013

Wednesday, 22nd May 2013 Ohayou gozaimasu, Hiroshima. Using the city as my base, I took a 45-minute train ride along the eastern seaboard which would bring me straight to Kure City. Home to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (海上自衛隊, JMSDF), there were two museums worth exploring on the ground. The JMSDF Kure Museum and the Yamato Museum (separate admission charges applies) were located next to one another. Given the time constraints, I opted for the free JMSDF Museum which offered me great insights on the submarine operations in safeguarding the sovereignty of Japan's waters. Housed together with a de-commissioned submarine vessel, I was able to relate to the maritime jargons given the nature of industry I was working in. There were also exhibits depicting life-sized sleeping quarters and the var... read more
Akishio Submarine
JR Kure Station
The exhibits within

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima » Hiroshima May 21st 2013

Tuesday, 21st May 2013 Against the backdrop of the cool evening breeze and the voices of a Japanese girl singing by the banks of Ota River, this was a particular sombre evening for me. I took an early morning tram to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park to begin my fulfilling day of museum hopping while retracing the footsteps of the Second World War. Like Nagasaki, Hiroshima also suffered from the effects of atomic bombing during the war. In fact, the world's first atomic bomb was dropped over the skies of the city on the morning of 6th August 1945. Coming from the tram station, it was the Atomic Bomb Dome (Hiroshima Peace Memorial) that greeted me. Formerly known as the Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, parts of the dome-shaped building managed to withstand from the bombing raids ... read more
Hiroshima Tram
Inside the Peace Memorial Museum
Children of Hiroshima

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima » Miyajima May 20th 2013

Monday, 20th May 2013 This morning, I was up by 5.30am to take a final look of Nagasaki before moving on to Hiroshima. I proceeded to take pictures of the Dejima Harbour which commanded great views of the port and the surrounding mountains. The city flourished during the early days due to its trading activities with the rest of the world. My visit to the harbour would somehow bring a closure to my trip in Nagasaki. The next phase of my journey would see me through Hiroshima after a transfer of trains at Hakata (Fukuoka). I arrived at the city of Hiroshima at exactly 2.47pm on Monday afternoon after completing some 434 km on rail from Nagasaki. It's always a joy to ride on these modern machines as the trains always arrived on schedule - something ... read more
My final moments in Nagasaki
Arrival at Hiroshima City
JR Ferry service to Miyajima

Asia » Japan » Nagasaki » Sasebo May 19th 2013

Sunday, 19th May 2013 Still, I was excited to picture myself among the replications of the Dutch windmills and the beautiful houses along the canals. Leg #1: Nagasaki Station >> Huis Ten Bosch Station At the beginning of the day, I boarded the JR Seaside Liner train to Huis Ten Bosch, about an hour ride from Nagasaki Station. Huis Ten Bosch is a family-orientated theme park inspired after the original residence of the Dutch Royal Family of the same name. I chanced upon Huis during my travel research and since my ride was fully paid for by the Japan Rail Pass, I had no qualms about visiting it as a side trip from Nagasaki city. The modern Huis Ten Bosch train station that greeted me upon arrival was an attraction on its own. It's small, it's ... read more
The cutesy train station
Arrival at Huis Ten Bosch
Live in Holland

Asia » Japan » Nagasaki » Nagasaki May 18th 2013

Saturday, 18th May 2013 Three nights in Nagasaki City was just about right as I had ample time exploring the city's museums in an unhurried fashion. Before leaving my hotel this morning, I invested on the Nagasaki Tram Pass which would see me through a day's worth of unlimited rides on the nostalgic tram system. At 500 yen, this was considered a real bargain so long as I made more than four trips on the system (Note: At the end of the day, nine trips were made translating to 1,080 yen). From my hotel in Goto Machi, I boarded the tram heading towards the direction of Urakami Station which would bring me to the doorsteps of the Atomic Bomb Museum and the Peace Memorial Park. This museum was a moving tribute to the many who fell ... read more
The Atomic Bomb Museum
Museum exhibits
Nagasaki Tramway Museum

Asia » Japan » Nagasaki » Nagasaki May 16th 2013

Thursday, 16th May 2013, 10.30pm My ultimate trip to the Land of Rising Sun & I'm determined to complete it on a perfect note as I journeyed across Western Honshu & Kyushu. I boarded Jetstar Airways flight JQ 63 to embark on my 4,940km journey to the city of Osaka. For the Singapore-Osaka leg, I was onboard the A330-200 double-aisled flight which was able to accomodate 303 passengers on a 2-4-2 configuration. Flight time was reduced to a mere 6 hours & 30 minutes thanks to the direct overnight hop to Kansai Airport. Having just finished work at 5.30pm, I had barely enough time to rush home for a quick shower and dinner before making my way to the airport for the 10.30pm flight. My body was exhausted even though I was fully aware that this ... read more
Colorful trams, city of Nagasaki
JR Kansai Airport Station, Osaka

Asia » Indonesia » Riau Archipelago » Batam May 12th 2013

Sunday, 12th May 2013 I took off to Batam View Resort just before the start of my new job with no itinerary, no plans and no friends. This mini-getaway was a perfect excuse for me to reward myself for working hard over the past year. So on the 12th of May, I switched off my phone and set off to Batam View from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. Since it was a Sunday when I checked-in, the resort was fast emptying out with weekend guests returning back to Singapore. I spent my day swimming and getting some spa treatments within the resort. My evening was spent hanging out along the beach front while admiring the glorious sunset of the beautiful skies. This was a perfect getaway for me without a care in this world. It was also ... read more
Overlooking Singapore
The beach grounds

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