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?