Posted in Destiny-tion

Nostalgic Japan: Kyoto

Here comes Day 3 in Japan!!! I went to Kyoto as per plan. Since I want to try ride a shinkansen (bullet train) and since it is really costly, my friend suggested to take it from Osaka to Kyoto. It is cheaper (I forgot the price I think it is ~1000 yen) since it is near. It is really impresive that the interior is like plane cabin and the train is pretty fast. It usually take 30 minutes for regular train, but it is only took 15 minutes for shinkansen.

As I arrived in Kyoto station the first thing I need to find is lockers. Since I will not back to Osaka anymore but go straightly with night bus to Tokyo, so I brought all of my stuff. To have a comfortable sightseeing without any heavy handcarry, off course lockers is the solution! This is what I cannot find in Indonesia. In Japan the almost have it in every place near station or shopping area. They have different size of lockers from the small one that fit with your backpack, up to the big one that could fit the biggest size of baggage (I brought this kind of baggage that almost looks like 1 door refrigerator. OMG! Hahaha..). Important to know! When lock the door you need to insert the coin as the price mention. Once you have it locked, you cannot reopen it and close it again, you need another penny. Hahaha.. so, make sure that everything that you don’t want to carry around already put inside before you lock it, unless you want to pay it again.

Now I’m ready to go around!

The first destination I went in Kyoto is Golden Temple Kinkakuji or also known as Rokuonji. The temple area is quite big with the pond and park which has Golden Pavilion in the middle. Actually, this pavilion was used as retirement villa of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. But after his death it became Zen temple. We can take a picture from across the pond with the pavilion front view. After take a picture you could find statues in the park and you could try to toss coin at it for luck. The end of the route you could find the souvenir shop that sells any kind of charms.

The impresive things I had saw first timely in Kyoto is the vending machines and food replica. Really, you could find anykind of vending machines from beverages, ice cream, instant food. Amaziiiing… And also the food replica is like a must for them. Almost every food shop have the food replica in front. It is looks real and very usefull to attract consumer to visit the shop.

DSCN0759
Vending Machines. What do you need??? 
DSCN0797
Another food replica in front of pasta restaurant. Sorry, I didn’t take the picture of the real one. I think I was starving at that time. Hehehe…

After visited Kinkakuji, I went to Gion corner. It is a famous place where you could see Maiko performance. Maiko is a girl with japanese traditional clothes, with full white face make up, that will performing dance. Along the Gion corner you could find the restaurant that provide Maiko dance performance while you eating.

Across the Gion corner you could find a lot of food shop. I found the okonomiyaki shop. Okonomiyaki is kind of omelette with some vegetables inside. They said there is different style of okonomiyaki based on it sauces and ingredients. This shop is provide the okonomiyaki with the original Kyoto style. Oishiiii!!!

After I finish my meal, I went back to Kyoto station to take my nite bus. Since I arrived early I took a walk around Kyoto station. Actually, the station have a mall so you could go around while waiting your train or bus. Honestly, I took around because I didn’t know from where should I take the bus later. I bought the ticket online from Jakarta. I couldn’t find the nite bus pool. I asked some people and they mention it should be in front gate of Kyoto station but I still don’t get it clearly since I have language difficulty. So, I just wait in the front gate until finally 10 PM, suddenly a lot of people in couple with different kind of vest brought a small table come out. And suddenly the front gate become a nite bus station. The parking lot then fill with nite bus that ready to take the passengers. Hahaha.. So, if you plan to take a nite bus in Kyoto, now you already know how to find it. Please learn from my experience or you could get stress hahaha…

When you buy the bus ticket, there is several type of sit. You could choose from the regular to a very comfortable sit. I choose the medium one, that I could straighten my leg and laid down my back comfortably enough. They also provide a cap to give you comfortably sleep without dazzled from the light.

 

Next round is Tokyo. Stay with me!

To be continued…

Advertisements
Posted in Destiny-tion

Nostalgic Japan: Nara

Hai.. hai.. hai… Let’s continue my story in Japan. Nostalgic Japan Part 2!

Nara

On the second day, following the itinerary made by my friend, I visited Nara. Nara is another capital city near Osaka. You could reached it for ~1 hour by train from Osaka. This city is less modern than Osaka and have a lot of temple and shrine. However you could easily find the tourist information center  since it is a tourism area. The tourist came here usually are shinto or budhist believer that come for praying or pilgrimage. Here are some pictures from temple/shrine around Nara.

DSCN0471
NARA Information Center for Tourist

The funny story in one of the temple (I forgot which temple), there is a hole in one of pillar inside the temple. The myth says if the person could passed the hole they will have their dream come true. I saw a lot of people try to pass it. The hole size is kind of small for adult. I recorded an adult try to pass the hole and ended stuck due to his big stomach. Hahahaha… Since I can’t upload the video, here are the snip of it.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Nara is a quite big area with a biiiig park also. In the park they released deers to life unrestrained. You could feeding the deers with the food that local people sells. They also have a lot of delecacies with deer shape. You also could find Japan’s traditional trisaw. The “oyaji” with ninja’s shoes will take you go around Nara park area.

After my legs tired walk around Nara, I get a train and went back to Osaka. I am spending my nite in Tsutenkaku area (Osaka Tower). It is remind me of Detective Conan comic. Finally I was there!!!  The Tsutenkkaku area is full of stores with decorative luminous lights. Pretty awesome if you come here at night.

To be continued…

Courtesy: Nara map & Detective Conan cover picture I grab it from Google.

Posted in Destiny-tion

Nostalgic Japan: Osaka

As I mentioned in Ordinary People, I once was thinking to write down my Japan vacation story in a blog. To realize that dream, today I would like to share that nostalgic story here.

I went to Japan around end of winter season, 8-15 February 2012. It was my first leaves after I joined my current company, so I took a lil’ bit long trip. I planned a backpacker trip at that time. Since no friend could  match my schedule, I went there by myself. Fortunately, I have a friend stay in Tokyo whose taking post-graduate education. My friend gave a really big helps, from manage the friend visit recommendation letter for visa requisite, arranged my itinerary at Japan, gave me a tips how to buy daily pass for subway & bus, nite bus to Tokyo, and Disney Sea, let me sleptover at his place, showed me a delicious and I think many more. I think I should write another blog to give you tips how to arrange a backpacking trip. But in this time I will not talk about that, I will just show you the slideshow of places I have visited.

Osaka

The first place I visited in my very 1st day in Japan, or Osaka for more precisely, is Osaka Castle. Though my journey to find this place is not quite smooth due to difficulty in language and my poor understanding of my daily pass that some-how only can be used in subway and some buses. It is quite amusing though, try to have a conversation with the local. I firstly ask him “eigo ga hana simasuka?” which mean “could you speak english?”. Then he confidently answer “hai, sukoshi.. sukoshi..” which mean “yes, a little bit..” (but why he still answering in Japanese?). Then I ask “do you know which bus I should take to go to Osaka Castle?” and then the local showed a face full of question mark. So I try another language, called figure. I show him a figure of Osaka Castle from the brochure I have and then finally he mumbling in Japanese very quickly. And now I have the face that he has before (????). Hahaha.. But they quite persistent to explain it to me, then he shows me the line where I should wait the bus. And when the bus come he helps me to explain my destination to the bus driver. Wooow.. very nice people :). I also remember when I arrived in KIX airport at around 10 PM, I try to find a help to buy my train ticket to go to the backpacker hostel I booked. However, once again the difficulty in language but with their kind-heart, generosity & eagerness, they tried to helps me by showing the train route and where I should off. Figure & map are more usefull language! Hahaha… Once I’ve tried to talk their language by using “lonely planet pocket dictionary” as my reference. I simply ask about the direction “Kono densha wa Fukuoka e ikimasuka?” which I just want to make sure that I take the right train that will take me to Fukuoka. Amazingly, it works! He answer me. Now is the problem.. how could I know what he talking about??? I only understand his first word “Hai”, so it means yes, I’m in the right train. So to appreaciate his help I just say ” Arigatou gozaimasu…” though I don’t know what he talk about. However, with this limited language ability I have, I once did goodness to a lady that bring her child in the bus. She didn’t get a sit, so I stood up and give my sit to her by saying “dozoo” means “please” which I offer my sit to her. Gladly she took my offering and have a sit by saying a bunch of Japanese words that I believe she tried to say her gratitude to me. Hahahaha…

Anyway, back to my story about Osaka Castle. When I stepped out from the bus, the crows welcoming me with their spooky voice “koaaaaak…”. I felt deserted in foreign country. (syuuuu… the cold wind blow). Brrrr.. back to my sense, I walk through the big gate made from grey solid rock.  After the front gate, you will saw a big yard in left side which used for “Hanami” when cherry-blossom season. But here is what I saw in winter, only the tree branches. Finally, I saw the big awesome Osaka Castle. Inside the castle you could see the diorama and movie about the Osaka Castle history. For the story sure you could find it in google or wikipedia, so I will not discuss it again here (honestly, I already forgot about the story and kind of lazy to digged out the brocures). Inside the Osaka Castle area you could find a food shop also, and this time I bought a takoyaki. Enough to warm up my stomach in this cold winter.

After finished eat the takoyaki I went out from Osaka Castle and cross the street. You could find the Museum of History across the castle.

As the last stop in my 1st day I decided to visited Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. The concept is quite cool, the route took us to see the water wild life from surface to the deepest ocean. Unfortunately, not much good photos I get since the place is dark and I’m using pocket camera only.

To be continued…