When I started going to Otsuka (in Tokyo, one stop east of Ikebukuro) two or three years ago, the station was old, run down — a concrete megalith with some passages carved out of it. Completely inaccessible. Over the past couple years they’ve gradually renovated it, and now it’s bright and open and accessible and lovely.
I don’t seem to have any pictures of pre-renovation Otsuka Stn., and they seem to be impossible to find on the internet, but I did find this video of a transfer from the Yamanote Line to the Toden-Arakawa line in old Otsuka Stn., so check it out if you like.
Camellia are one of my favourite flowering trees, and are really the only good part about cooler weather. In Toyama, every winter, I’d make it a point to visit the GIANT IMMOVABLE CAMELLIA TREE AT NAGASAKA several times for photo funtime. I don’t see myself making the trip out there this time, but with a small camellia tree outside my building, and with streets lined with camellia trees on the other side of town, I’ll make due.