Page 3 of Budokan Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Japan » Hokkaido » Hakodate July 9th 2018

Monday, 9th July 2018 After breakfast at my favourite Dotour this morning, we left Tokyo to embark on our 857km rail journey to Hakodate, the gateway city in southern Hokkaido. The Hayabusa Shinkansen train did the trick in slightly over 4 hours. By 2.37pm, we had arrived at Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station where we continued our 19-minute journey to the city centre via the convenient Hakodate Liner local train. From the main Hakodate Train station, our hotel at Goryokaku district was an easy tram ride away. This was my second stay at the Dormy Inn chain which was popular for its in-house hot springs facilities and complimentary ramen noodles served in the evenings. It was rather chilly by the time we arrived in Hokkaido this afternoon with overcast skies and light rains as we ventured out from the ... read more
The interior of the Hayabusa Shinkansen
My beautiful bento box on board the train
Beautiful Hakodate trams

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Ryogoku July 8th 2018

Sunday, 8th July 2018 We took an overnight flight from Singapore to Narita International Airport via the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. During the flight, we were happy to be "upgraded" to the extra leg room seats for free. As usual, Singapore Airlines impressed us with their quality in-flight service and we were well taken care of even though we were seated within the Cattle Class. By Sunday morning, we had landed safely to welcome our 10-day vacation in Japan. Sorting out our pre-booked tickets at both the JR and Keisei Rail Offices at the Airport took a while as there was a fair bit of crowd ahead of us. Everyone was making use of the various value-for-money Railway Passes to embark on their land journeys in Japan. The journey from the the airport to our hotel at ... read more
Flight Details
Breakfast on Board
Welcome to Japan

Europe » Poland June 16th 2018

Saturday, 16th June 2018 Our final morning in Krakow was spent at the Communist neighbourhood of Nowa Huta. This was reachable via an easy tram ride from the city centre. We headed straight to the Tadeusz Sendzimir Steelworks, took some nice photos of the building before proceeding for an ice-cream break at one of the iconic buildings nearby. It was a warm and sunny day at Krakow this morning. Lunch was a familiar affair for us at Jadłodajnia Wczoraj i Dziś. We loved their wholesome food and decided to check out the place for the last time before returning home. In the afternoon, we took a two-hour train back to the city of Warsaw where we transferred to another train to the Chopin Airport in preparation for our long flight back to Singapore. After a week-long ... read more

Europe » Poland June 15th 2018

Friday, 15th June 2018 From Krakow, we took a 2-hour bus ride to the Auschwitz and Birkenau Concentration Camps and arrived in good time for our admission. There was no cost to enter the premises as long as we had a reserved ticket. When we visited, there were plenty of free shuttle buses which could bring us to the Birkenau Camp in the afternoon. Auschwitz functioned as a work camp that housed mainly Jewish and some Polish prisoners in the Second World War. There were rows and rows of red-brick buildings that doubled up as sleeping barracks for the prisoners and offices for the SS Officers. In my opinion, our visit wasn't as overwhelming as expected since we had visited the Dachau Concentration Camp the year before. Nevertheless, the exhibits were chilling to a certain extent. ... read more
Auschwitz Camp
Dinner place

Europe » Poland June 14th 2018

Thursday, 14th June 2018 Krakow was where we would be staying for three nights before flying back home on Saturday evening. We arrived at the city yesterday evening and it took a long time before the airport train arrived to bring us straight to the main train station. The train station in Central Krakow is flanked by a huge shopping mall, the Galeria Krakowska. We were staying at the Ibis Hotel which was about 10 minutes walk away. It was easy to decide on McDonald's for dinner as we were tired out from the whole commute from Berlin. We just needed a quick bite before bed-time. Our sightseeing plans resumed on Friday morning when we travelled south across the Vistula River to Plac Bohaterow Getta where the Tadeusz Pankiewicz's Pharmacy Museum is located. The pharmacy is ... read more
Great Polish Food, Great Service too!
At Heroes Square

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin June 13th 2018

Wednesday, 13th June 2018 Our day began early with breakfast at a local 19 Gram Coffee Chain that served up traditional Eggs Benedict and other hot foods. After a satisfying meal, we took a Bahn to Nordbahnhof where the Berlin Wall Memorial is located. This is another site in the city where remnants of the famous wall could be seen. Over at the Documentation Centre, there is a special exhibition titled "1961-1989, The Berlin Wall" where poignant images of the wall were displayed. In the afternoon, we also found time to visit the DDR Museum located in the Mitte District. This is a little nostalgic museum that showcased life in German Democratic Republic (GDR) aka East Germany in a fun and interactive setting. Opposite the DDR Museum stood the Berlin Cathedral Church with its majestic and ... read more
The Berlin Wall Memorial
At the DDR Museum
Life inside GDR

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin June 12th 2018

Tuesday, 12th June 2018 Today is the day where we devoted our time and energy to the sights and sounds of busy Berlin. We started our sight-seeing plans in the city from 6am this morning. It was helpful that the sun rose very early in Summer. Thanks to the extensive S-Bahn and U-Bahn networks, we managed to cover 14 different sites within the city before calling it off for the day. The very first site which we visited was the Brandenburg Gate. This is the landmark of Berlin and probably one of the most photographed icons in the city. By now, the sun was rising slowly from the east and Berlin Tower was evident from where we stood. Beautiful! A brief walk from the Gate brought us to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. ... read more
Checkpoint Charlie
Good morning Berlin
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin June 11th 2018

Monday, 11th June 2018 We took a six hours train to complete the 573km journey to Berlin, the capital of Germany. Enroute, we had a decent meal on the meal cars where pork cutlets and dumplings were served. Arrival at Berlin HBF in the evening, we check-in to the Amano Grand Central Hotel. This was chosen given its convenient location opposite the train station. As I was tired out from the train travels, we decided to shelf our travel plans until the following morning. Berlin that greeted us was as busy and convenient as it gets given its extensive network of U-Bahns, S-Bahns, Buses and Trams. With all the sights we have planned for over the next two days, we were certainly looking forward to our short stay in the city.... read more
Meals en-route to Berlin
Another look at Berlin HBF
S Bahn Berlin

Europe » Poland June 10th 2018

Sunday, 10th June 2018 The sun was bright and sunny this morning as we began our Metro Tour towards the tail-end station, Dworec Wilenski. Warsaw's metro is modern and efficient. There were little crowds on Sunday as we practically had the train cabin to ourselves. Next up on our stop was the Dworzec Warszawa Stadion Station where it commanded fine views of the Vistula River and the Most Swietokrzyski Bridge. The Vistula River is the main water body that divides the city into the eastern (new town) and western sections (old town). Breakfast was a simple affair of Ice Flat White (hugely recommended) and delicious muffins at the local coffee chain, Green Cafe Nero. Within its amazing decor, this was a perfect spot to while our morning away in the city. Visiting the Warsaw Old Town ... read more
Views of the Vistula River
Most Swietokryski Bridge
Green Cafe Nero

Europe » Poland June 9th 2018

Saturday, 9th June 2018 Spanning a total of 8 nights on our maiden Poland and Berlin trip, this was a rather ambitious itinerary we had assembled to take in the best of the World War II sites for our week-long experience..... Our red-eyed flight from Singapore landed at Warsaw Chopin International Airport on Saturday morning. This is a direct service offered by Polish Airlines as it made its debut in May 2018. At the airport, we purchased a very useful weekend transport ticket that would last us through 8 am on Monday. From there, we boarded a train service to Warsaw Central Station where our hotel was located. Warsaw's skyline is dominated by the Soviet-Style, Palace of Culture & Science standing proudly in front of the station square. After breakfast at McDonalds, we headed to our ... read more
Central Warsaw
Cafe inside Warsaw Rising Museum
Warsaw by night

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