Sunday, February 15, 2015

Japan (Part Two)

Previous Post: Japan (Part One)

What I wake up to on my second day in Japan, neighborhood around Lake Kawaguchi

Dress (Tailor-made), Belt (Unbranded), Tights (Marks & Spencer), 
Shoes (Yongki Komaladi), Bag (Charles & Keith)

Where did I spend my second day in Japan? We drove around Lake Kawaguchi on our way to Shibazakura Festival, found a good spot to take photo with Mt. Fuji graciously stand as the background, what an exciting opening, right? For your information, there are five lakes surrounding Mt. Fuji; Lake Kawaguchiko, Lake Yamanakako, Lake Saiko, Lake Shojiko, and Lake Motosuko. While we spent our night around Lake Kawaguchi, for the other lake we drove passed them on our way to Shibazakura Festival, and from what I see Lake Kawaguchi is indeed the most developed area. 

Found a good spot to take photo with Mt. Fuji on our way to Shibazakura Festival

Shibazakura Festival

Can you spot Mt. Fuji in the background? If the weather is clear, the view around Shibazakura Festival is magnificent. Too bad, a while since we arrived, the cloud begun to cover Mt. Fuji's peak. Shibazakura festival itself is a time limited event of flower festival located at Fuji Motosuko resort in the foot of Mt. Fuji. The festival usually held between April-June, on a spring season of course. Our tour guide say that Shibazakura is one kind of Sakura which grow as a shrub, instead of blooming in a tree like the usual Sakura which is famous in television. We spent around one hour in Shibazakura Festival, live observing the spectacular ambience around Mt. Fuji which was completed by a great tourism event perfectly created by a bunch of Japan's dedicated people. Once in a while, I would think, if only our people here in Indonesia is as dedicated as them, then there will be no more unemployment in our country since we actually got a lot to sell only from our tourism aspect. Well, then, should we at least promise to maximize our effort in each of our area of expertise, shall we?

A glance of Mt. Fuji as the background of houses in area around its foot, don't you want to live in a place like this?

From Shibazakura Festival we climb straight to Mt. Fuji's 5th station, the last station which is available to be visited by bus. The climber path from 5th station (2,300 m above sea level) until Kengamine (Mt. Fuji's highest point at 3,775 m above sea level) is available for mountain climber to explore on foot. Photos and story from 5th station will be posted later with my next destination: Shinjuku, Tokyo!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

25 Facts About Me

Lately, there had been a sort of mini quiz in instagram where people are tagging and daring each other to post 25 facts about themselves. Now that there are some thoughts going on in my mind I think I better to give it a try to write 25 facts about me. But rather than to describe it in a usual boring essay, I prefer to write it in a Q&A mode and leave the end conclusion in your hands, fair enough? Here we go, then...

  1. If I could be reborn again, what do I want to be? Artist, or writer.
  2. Which city I'd like to live? New York.
  3. Goals of my life? To travel around the world, literally. I'll even put Arctic in my list, not only West Europe or New Zealand.
  4. Paris or Prague? Prague.
  5. Favourite place that I'd been visiting? Downtown of Tokyo, seeing hundreds of pedestrian cross the street in Shinjuku, quite a view.
  6. Latest issue which I care about? Women empowerment. All hail Emma Watson with her #Heforshe.
  7. What do I value the most in a person? Beauty or brain? Both. I judge book by its cover and its author.
  8. Brain or manner? Both. It is simply intertwined.
  9. What do me and my inner circle talk about at lunch? Medical stuff (absolutely boring), a little gossip, but this is what I love: we could discuss racism, gender equality, and even religion latest issues. My friends do have quality, I respect them.
  10. What do I see in a man? Effort, truth, integrity, pride, humor.
  11. Things men do which will turn me off in an instant? Uninteresting conversation.
  12. Ability which I should thank god for having it? Able to think clearly and calmly in a critical condition. 
  13. Grudge or forgiveness? Forgiveness, I can't get mad easily, or can't get mad at all, sort of my weakness. 
  14. Up to date or timeless? Timeless.
  15. Pants or shorts? Neither.
  16. Skirts or dresses? Dresses.
  17. Agent Provocateur or Victoria's Secret? Agent Provocateur.
  18. Kinokuniya or Kate Spade? Kinokuniya.
  19. Jane Austen or John Green? Jane Austen, for God's sake. 
  20. Do I have some sort of role model? Emma from Jane Austen's novel, oh and my father.
  21. Do I have favourite director? Wes Anderson, Woody Allen, Richard Linklater and Christopher Nolan.
  22. How about favourite movie? Before Sunrise.
  23. Favourite quote of my favourite movie? "You know my parents have never really spoken of the possibility of my falling in love, getting married, or having children. Even as a little girl they wanted me to think of a future career. It was this constant conversion of my fanciful ambition into these practical, money-making ventures."
  24. Which I prefer to do while waiting? Checking on my phone or reading Haruki Murakami? Reading.
  25. Formal education or informal learning? Both. Formal education makes people clever and gives us knowledge, informal learning gives us wisdom so we know what to do with our knowledge, wisely.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Japan (Part One)

Got the chance to travel to Japan, even only for a week, but the lesson I got is already too much to be written down. I arrived at Narita International Airport at 9 in the morning and because it was spring at that time, the weather is uncertain. In Narita, it was rain and so windy I feel sad for a while for it is hard to enjoy Japan on foot in rainy days. But then again, welcome to Japan yay!

A glance of Tokyo that I captured on my way to Shizuoka prefecture

Then from Narita we go straight to Shizuoka prefecture to have lunch at Gotenba Kameya, enjoying set menu which consist of udon, tempura, grilled salmon, stewed vegetables, rolled omelete, and rice. First impression about enjoying japanese set in Japan? Divine. 

At Gotenba Kameya, me wearing: 
Dress (Amary bought from Zalora), Jacket (Marks & Spencer), 
Bag (Charles & Keith), Shoes (Unbranded)

Gotemba Factory Outlet

On my first day in Japan I choose simple dress bought from Zalora, I love it since the fabric is so comfortable and suits best for traveling, yet the stripes pattern makes it does not look less fashionable. And even if the temperature of Japan in spring is not too low, the wind blows quite hard so my Marks & Spencer wool jacket really was able to keep me warm.

Anyway, from Gotenba Kameya we go straight to Gotemba Factory Outlet. A big open air factory outlet located at Shizuoka Prefecture with magnificent scenery. Who doesn't love a lot of outlet to be wander around, a lot of snacks and food stall, and a good scenery (including Mt Fuji) combined in one place? In Gotemba Factory Outlet you could find a bunch of branded outlet from Prada to Adidas. Anyway, my brother wants to buy one of Adidas collection so we went into their outlet. Since the price is in Yen so it doesn't differ much from one in Indonesia, but we could almost find a complete collection there. And of course, no, you don't have to go all the way to Japan to buy Adidas, do first check Adidas page at Zalora since it is easier and they will deliver it right to your door step!

Lake Kawaguchi's Surrounding

Kawaguchi Koryu Hotel

We sleep in Lake Kawaguchi area since the itinerary for the next day is around Mt Fuji and Shibazakura Festival which is close from Lake Kawaguchi. Lake Kawaguchi itself is one of five lake which spread around Mt Fuji. We got tatami sytle room, a traditional bedding room of Japan with floor mat instead of regular bed. I love learning Japan traditional culture! Beside sleeping in tatami style, almost all of the hotel around Lake Kawaguchi provide onsen, including ours. In Japan, it is a common rule that once you enjoy onsen, you have to bath without any garments in your body, because if you use towel, for example, they believe that the towel is able to transfer your body's sweat to the onsen and that will be quite unhealthy for the other person in the onsen. Want to try to bath in the onsen already? :)

Kaiseki at Traditional Dinner Ceremony in our hotel

Dinner Ceremony wearing Yukata

Because we sleep in traditional hotel, in Japan it is called Ryokan, we were able to enjoy a traditional dinner ceremony, eating Kaiseki, a traditional set menu of various Japanese cuisine each provided in small portions while wearing Yukata, traditional casual Japanese dress. Once wearing Yukata don't forget to place the left side above the right side, because if you place the right side above the left side it means you attend a grieve ceremony. One thing that touch my heart the most, is in every Ryokan they still doing this traditional culture: when you are about to leave the hotel and end your stay there, all of the staff will take you to the gate and waving a goodbye, all of the staff. Such a great hospitality, right? So, it is true that travel will open your eyes to the things you haven't known before that it is ever exist, I suppose?