Day 08: Live at Budokan (Sep 2017)

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September 23rd 2017
Published: January 14th 2018
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Saturday 23rd September 2017

Today marked my final morning in Japan before my afternoon flight back to Singapore. Since I still had some "unfinished" business to complete in Tokyo, I got up especially early this morning. I started out at JR Nippori Station where I was staying and headed to Otsuka Station where I had my breakfast at Royal Host. Dining at Royal Host is a must-do affair whenever I'm in Japan and I particularly enjoyed their western breakfast set where my sunny-side-ups were cooked to perfection. Few places in Japan opened their doors at 6am for breakfast. Royal Host is one such place where I could get my early morning fix.

Otsuka Station is special since it is one of the last few places in Tokyo where I could capture some nice pictures of the 12.2km Toden Arakawa Tram Line. While tram cars are common place in many other Japanese cities, the Toden Arakawa Line is the only surviving tram system in modern day Tokyo. I had a field time capturing pictures of moving trams as they made their way out of the Otsukaeskimae Station.

From Otsuka, I travelled to Akihabara on the Yamanote Line where I transfered to the Tokyo Metro to Kudanshita Station. This is the station within the Chidoya Ward where the Tokyo Budokan and the Yasukuni-jinja Shrine are located. Tokyo Budokan was the concert venue in Japan where the Carpenters held their sold-out concert in the 1970s. Growing up listening to the many songs of the Carpenters, I had their "Live in Japan 1974" CD under my collection where it was taped at the very same spot where I was standing. It was magical simply to stand outside the Budokan and have my picture taken against this venue where many of their greatest hits were performed!

Crossing the pedestrian bridge brought me to the doorsteps of the Yasukuni-jinja Shrine where it is fronted by a massive Torii Gate. The Yasukuni is a shrine that was built to remember those who died in service for Japan during the war years. Within the shrine compound, there is a Military and War Museum, the Yushukan. Since I was running short of time, I only managed to stop by at the first floor free exhibits zone where a life-size Zero-Fighter Aircraft and a C56 Steam Locomotive Train (from the Death Railway) were on display.

With my visits to the Budokan, the Yasukuni Shrine and the last surviving tram cars in Tokyo this morning, my trip was nicely concluded with a good mix of sights from different regions of Japan over the past week. This was yet another fulfilling trip for myself as I prepared for my upcoming Okinawan adventure in late January 2018 (Happening in a week's time at the time of concluding my blog entry for this current trip).

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