No Japan blog is complete without this…

渋谷 crossing last night before dinner!
Endless are the travel sites who write about this spot,
and it has to be felt in person for sure.
No Tokyo visit is complete without it.
It is located in front of the Shibuya Station Hachikō exit
and stops vehicles in all directions to allow pedestrians
to walk in any direction across.
After sunset on a Friday or Saturday night this is what you
would experience. Or you can watch from above while having
a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

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The National Museum of Modern Art

A little video taken just outside the Crafts Gallery,
The National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo.
At this point I was still walking eastbound.
Behind the museum is Budokan and the Budokan park,
and on the other side of the road (in which direction I was
walking) is the Imperial Palace, Chiyoda,
and beyond it Ginza and Shinbashi wards.
On a linguistic side note:
N sometimes becomes M because assimilation so
sometimes you will see Shinbashi, as in Shinbashi ward.
Sometimes it is spelled with an ‘m’, like in
Shimbashi Station.



Nippon Budokan

Nippon Budokan – 日本武道館 – 
I always wanted to come here, but maybe this was not
HOW I had imagined it to be, or at least not the reason for coming here
ha ha ha
Budokan was originally built for the judo competition in the
1964 Summer Olympics.

I have always wanted to come here for some fantastic Rock concert,
Though it also functions as a venue for big musical events,
its primary purpose is really for Japanese martial arts.
The first rock group to perform here was The Beatles,
in a series of shows in June/July 1966. Their appearances were
met with opposition from those who felt the appearance of a
western pop group would dishonor the martial arts arena.
However, Budokan has since served as the stage for many world
famous artists, both from the west and Japanese:
Eric Clapton, Diana Ross, Cheap Trick, Bob Dylan,
Michael Schenker Group, The Police, Yellow Magic Orchestra,
Frank Sinatra, Yngwie Malmsteen, Prince, Oasis, Malice Mizer,
Ozzy Osborne, Pearl Jam, Duran Duran, Dream Theater,
The Gazette, Perfume, Avril Lavigne, Dir En Grey, …
and many many others.

There is clearly a correlation, between what the
Japanese people feel as being a successful band and
having performed at the Budokan.
Have you played here;
then you have made it!
Also I have noticed that the Western bands that the Japanese
know about, and listen to, are often artists that have played here.
Artists that haven’t, yet are big in the West, aren’t necessarily
as famous, or known, here as they are abroad.
And the reverse, artists that have played here, are sometimes,
more known, or popular here than they are on their own
home grounds.
This means, for artists, if you really want to make it in Japan,
you must come here and play!

Budokan on Wikipedia 
Budokan Homepage: