Page 5 of Budokan Travel Blog Posts


Asia » Singapore » Sentosa Island July 13th 2013

Saturday, 13th July 2013 We have a magnificent natural harbour, one of the finest in the world. A ride in a cable car will provide the visitor with a magnificent panorama of the harbour. It will, I hope, at the same time make Singaporeans more conscious and more proud of their city, whose economic life blood flow through this great port." Dr Goh Keng Swee (15th February 1974) I woke up on Saturday morning thankful that I didn't have to go back to the office. Before long, I had put on my walking shoes and headed straight to the Cable Car Museum in Sentosa to continue with my museum-quests in Singapore. I chanced upon this museum on someone's blog the other day. He was telling that the admission was free even though the brochures stated that ... read more
The Singapore Cable Car was a hit right from the beginning
Inflation have pushed the fares to SGD26 today
The iconic first generation cable cars

Asia » Malaysia » Johor » Johor Bahru June 15th 2013

Saturday, 15th June 2013 Staying over the weekend in the neighbouring city of Johor Bahru had become a sort of a ritual for us over the past year after being put off by the high prices we had to pay back home. We decided again on the Mutiara Hotel given its proximity to our amenities in Holiday Plaza. While the property had aged over the years, it was still an attractive staycation option within the city. The bedrooms were really spacious and had enough breathing room even for three adults. On our way to the hotel, our chatty Indian taxi driver was quick to point out some of the interesting facts of this place. "31 years already. The hotel started business as Holiday Inn in 1982 before rebranding itself as the Crowne Plaza and subsequently, The ... read more
City View from Mutiara
Overlooking the Johor Straits from Woodlands Waterfront

Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Kobe May 24th 2013

Friday, 24th May 2013 My final day in Japan took me to the port city of Kobe. Devastated by the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake, it made sense to pay a visit to the Earthquake Memorial located just south-east of the city centre (Full name: The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Memorial Disaster Reduction & Human Revolution Institution). I was 16 and reading Geography in school when the earthquake struck in Japan. In those days, I even had difficulties pronouncing "Kobe" properly. As expected, I was probably the only foreign visitor this morning as it was crowded with school groups some coming from as far as Fukuoka. In the afternoon, I paid a visit to the Mitsui Outlet Mall. The Kobe branch was better stocked with popular brand names. Since this was likely to be my final visit to ... read more
Mitsui Outlet Mall, Kobe
Suma Beach, Kobe
Sayonara Japan

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




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