Category Archives: Japan

Japan – Day 3 : Nissin Instant Ramen Museum, Shinkansen to Tokyo, Shinagawa Aquarium (Meet with Kaze and Midori!)


I woke up very early to pack my things up. Today we’ll be going to Tokyo!! *eyes blinking*


OSAKA LAST DAY : NISSIN INSTANT RAMEN MUSEUM


Before that, we have our last destination in Osaka, which is the Nissin Instant Ramen Museum. 
Inside Nissin, we’ll be making our own cup noodles *clapped*
So you can draw your own imagination on the cup noodles. After you finish drawing, then you can choose the toppings and the flavour of your cup noodle. Not only that, you can watch the process when your cup noodle is being packaged.

Painting my cup noodle
The Final One!


First Process – Putting the noodle inside the cup


Second Process – Choose your flavour and toppings!
Third process – Pressed the seal
Fourth process – Wrapping
Fifth process – Heating?
Sixth Process – Package it again so it won’t broke

The Final One!


After making our own cup noodles, we look around the museum. There are bunch of noodles hanging on the wall, and also a long wall full of the history of Nissin. I’m pretty impressed because the museum is very interesting with all the movement of the product (so in front of is the cup noodle, but if you slide it, the statue will turn back and show us the noodle). It’s kinda difficult to explain it. Anyway, I already provide the picture below ! I hope you guys know what I mean… hahaha.


When you slide it, it will turn around!

Inside the museum

Near the entrance of the museum!

From Nissin, we eat our lunch, and we go straight ahead to the Train Station. Yes, we’ll ride a Shinkansen (super fast train) to Tokyo for 3 hours ride ! Along the way to Tokyo, because I feel so tired, I fell asleep. 

Notes to ride a Shinkansen : 
Book your train earlier so you get the seat. DON’T BE LATE! 0.001 seconds late = goodbye! Pay attention to the place / where you’re going. The train is not having only 1 destinations, but several destinations. Keep your train ticket! The conductor will walk and ask for your train ticket. If you’re not sure, better ask someone so you won’t get lost 🙂



Inside Shinkansen

TOKYO – SHINAGAWA STATION


We arrived at Shinagawa Station at exactly 17.01 as the schedule said. Yes, we’re in Tokyo now! 

Tokyo is really different from Osaka. Osaka is pretty much a peaceful city, whereas Tokyo is a very busy and never sleep city. You can tell once you arrive in Tokyo. In Shinagawa Station, bunch of people walking around until you can’t see what is in front of you. It is very important to concentrate here, especially if you’re travelling with others.. If you’re not, you can get lost. 

Our hotel is at Toyoko Inn, and there’s a free shuttle bus from Shinagawa to Toyoko Inn. It is located on Shinagawa exit ( when you see an elevator down, just turn right, the free shuttle bus is right in front of the stairs, near the flyover)
When we arrived at the hotel, we arranged the room.

While waiting on the room to be arranged by our tour leader, two of my friend’s friends, who are Japanese people, came to visit. Their names are Kaze and Midori. Yes! My group schedule today is to hang out with them around Shinagawa ! Wah, I’m so happy to have them for tonight! 🙂

So because today is our first day in Tokyo, Kaze and Midori suggest us to try Yoshinoya, a fast food restaurant in Japan that is super Oishi (delicious) ! It is a MUST try food in Japan. You won’t regret eating here, hahaha !

My favourite menu in Yoshinoya : Yes, this menu (I don’t know the name because it’s in Japanese, but there’s pictures so no need to be worry) 
How to eat this menu : so you pour the green onion into your bowl first, and take the yellow part of the egg and pour it into your bowl (it’s also okay if you don’t separate the white and the yellow one and directly mixed it). After that, just mixed it up together. The taste ? Brilliant!!

This is my favourite!

Feeling full, we’re headed to the Aquarium Stadium near Shinagawa Station. The Aquarium is really big and it is so beautiful ! It even has dolphin show and also sealion show. Unfortunately, because we go there very late, around 9 p.m, the show is already over 😦 
Even so, we’re really having fun today, thanks to Kaze and Midori !! You two makes me love Japan even more XOXO

The entrance

With Kaze (right one) and Midori (bottom, the brown hair one) !



P.S if Kaze and Midori are reading this : It’s really a pleasure to meet and know you – even not for so long – guys! Too bad we can only meet up for 1 day. Well, we should meet up and hang out again someday !

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Japan – Day 2 : Osaka-Kyoto-Osaka (Asahi Beer, Fushimi Inari Shrine, Shinsaibashi)

Rise and shine!
Today we have an appointment with Asahi Beer at 11 o’clock. We arrive earlier than the schedule, so we have to wait for a bit outside. 

Asahi Beer is one of the oldest and most successful Beer Manufacturing Industry in Japan.
The product is easily find in every supermarket and also in almost vending machine all around Japan. 


ASAHI BEER 


When I go inside the building, it doesn’t feel like a beer industry, because the atmosphere is really neat, calm, and clean.



With the Asahi Beer front-desk employee 

(Sorry, in some places no pictures allowed, especially inside the factory, so I don’t take so many pictures)

First, we watched a short video in English in the auditorium about the Asahi Beer history from year to year. 

Then, the employee of Asahi Beer guide us around the museum and explain to us the step to make beer, and also show us the leaves to make the beer. 

After that, the employee guide us into the factory where we can see the process of making the Asahi Beer from the beginning until the packaging.

Asahi Beer produce their product mostly by machine. Inside the factory, you’ll only see few people around. Even in the packaging process, they already use machine. Asahi Beer has another factory besides in Osaka. If I’m not mistaken, in total there are 8 factories in Japan.





We’re having a tour around and we can also touch the leaves to make the beer!
Inside the museum
Beer display from all over the world! Can you spot Bir Bintang from Indonesia ? 🙂


The Beer is process with this large white tube!


In the end of the tour, we gather around the hall of Asahi Beer, and we can try the Asahi Beer “Super Dry”, The black one, and also the original Asahi Beer. If you cannot drink Beer, they also provide other drinks such as apple juice, and so on.
Believe me, you should try the Beer. It really tasty and good ! My favourite is the Super Dry one.

If you have time, just visit Asahi Beer. It’s an interesting place to go! 😉





FUSHIMI INARI SHRINE – KYOTO


After having some beer, we go back to the bus. Our next destination for today is Fushimi Inari Shrine, which is located in Kyoto. 

Kyoto is like 1-2 hour from Osaka, so at the bus, we chit chat with our tour leader, eat lunch and also get some rest.



Our lunch! Yummy!

Finally we arrived at Fushimi Inari Shrine ! 
From the parking area, we need to walk approx. 10 minutes to get to the Shrine. You’ll pass through the houses, crossing the train railway, and also passing some souvenir shop and some food stalls.


I don’t know if I can take pictures or not… this is one of the souvenir shop near Fushimi Inari Shrine
The main approach to Fushimi Inari Shrine


If you found a food stall that sell Fish Cake, that means you already close to the shrine. 

You must try the fish cake, because fish cake is really famous in Japan. I try the red bean > the most famous one, I think. 
The taste is so-so, but it’s worth it and must try, because we’re in Japan, hahaha !


Me, eating the Red Bean Fishcake!

Like other shrine, Fushimi Inari Shrine has a very warm atmosphere. A lot of tourist go to this place just to see around, or maybe to pray. 
What makes Fushimi Inari different from the other Shrine is it has 1000 thousand of gate. So you’ll see a lot of gate along the way. 
It’s very beautiful and a must place to go in Kyoto!


Fushimi Inari Shrine!


Before entering the shrine, you must clean yourself first


Posing near the 1000 gate 😉
Meet this Kawaii girl with Kimono!



Food Stall Near Fushimi Inari Shrine



A random pict of me! Narcism Never Ends..hahaha

SHINSAIBASHI – OSAKA


From Fushimi Inari Shrine, we got back again to Osaka by bus.

On 5 p.m, we already reached Osaka and go to Shinsaibashi to shop ! Shinsaibashi is really crowded and it’s really alive in here! 

There are lots of digital advertisement around and it’s also surrounded by huge buildings. Oh my, one day is never enough to go around this place! x.x
International and also local brand can be found here. So yeah, let’s go around!


Shinsaibashi in the afternoon



Around Shinsaibashi


Around Shinsaibashi


Very delicious and famous cheesecake, you can found this in Shinsaibashi!

Eat Tonkotsu (Pork) Ramen for dinner! 

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Japan – Day 1 : OBKG, Osaka Mint (Sakura!), Osaka Castle, Umeda


Finally, YEAH I’M IN JAPAN!! That’s the first thing across my mind 😉 

Inside the Airplane
Before entering into my journey, let me give you some interface. 
Actually, I’m going to Japan with my friends in the same University Major, which is International Business Management (IBM).

So, IBM has an event called International Study Excursion (ISE) for students in semester 6.
This ISE will be in 7 days (14 April – 20 April 2014), when the Sakura season is almost ended – but there’s still some sakura – in Japan. 

Moreover, all of my friends and I decided to extend our trip until 23 April 2014, which we’ll go and arrange it on our own. 
Our flight to Japan is on 13 April, and our flight back is on 24 April. 

In the ISE program, sorry if I didn’t provide any directions / how to get to the place because mostly I went with the Bus from my tour guide. You can check how to go to the place on your own, believe me, it will be easy! 
But relax, in our extended trip from 21 April, I’ll provide guidelines on how to get to the place 😉

So, Let’s begin the journey !!

OSAKA 


Since it’s the first day, we booked a hotel near the Osaka airport, because we arrived at Osaka nearly at 1 p.m 
That is why, the first thing we do in the morning is that we check out from our first hotel near Osaka Airport, and headed to Osaka City.

Our first hotel near the airport
Walking around the hotel while waiting for the bus

OBKG – LANGUANGE SCHOOL IN OSAKA


The very first place that we’ll visit along the way is OBKG, one of the best language school in Osaka. 
OBKG also has some branches in Surabaya, and will soon open some language school in Surabaya.
When we arrived at  OBKG, we changed our shoes into the school sandals and went into a classroom.

In the classroom, the OBKG teacher who can speak Bahasa Indonesia teach us some useful Japanese language and also promoting their school, OBKG.

Inside OBKG class, studying little Japanese
Thank you OBKG ! (The right one is the OBKG Vice Headmaster)

After OBKG, we have lunch near OBKG. It’s the first time I ever try the real Japanese Okonomiyaki.
To be honest, I don’t like it because I think it contains too much vegetables inside. 


Okonomiyaki


This one is like an egg mix with seafood
Near the Okonomiyaki’s restaurant
Near the restaurant, there’s a stall that sell Takoyaki, and I buy it.
The Takoyaki is super delicious! I really love those tiny thin things (the brown one) above the Takoyaki.  

In front of the Takoyaki stall

OSAKA MINT PARK


Feeling full, we headed to our next destination, which is Osaka Mint Park, where the Sakura is still booming and in its mature time. 
Even though today is Monday, The Osaka Mint Park is really crowded. Bunch of people want to see the Sakura. 
Osaka Mint Park has a long road ahead, so you’ll feel surrounded by people, and of course, Sakura. 
The Sakura is really really beautiful !! If there are only a few people around, I believe it will be more beautiful.






A closer look to Sakura!


OSAKA CASTLE


Finish admiring the Sakura, we went to Osaka Castle. 
Osaka castle has a really long way to go before you can reach the main castle.
But don’t worry, along the way you’ll find lots of beautiful things to capture and you can enjoy the very clean and calm atmosphere there. 

Found sakura on the way to the castle 

Unfortunately, when I reached the main castle, it’s already closed 😥 
But some of my friends has already gone inside the castle. Oh my, I really envy them! 
They told us – who didn’t get into the castle – that inside the castle is really beautiful, even they can try to put on a Samurai clothes and Kimono !

Us, who can’t go inside the castle because it’s already closed
Jump pose in front of the Castle !

Anyway, while waiting my friends who’s going inside, I look around the Castle and also go to a souvenir shop. 
When I walk around, I found a vending machine that sell Haagen Dazs, yeah really, a Haagen Dazs vending machine!
I bought the Green Tea one because in Indonesia Haagen Dazs doesn’t sell any. 
The taste is pretty good :d


Haagen Dazs Green Tea

UMEDA


Our last place to visit today is Umeda. It’s like a shopping centre and you can find this huge electronic store that provide almost everything!
Not only that, in Umeda there’s also Umeda sky building (but I don’t find the place, because the time is really short) that has a gorgeous view (you can google it later on guys!) 

Umeda at Night

On 7.30 pm, we go back to our meeting point because the bus can be operate only until 8 p.m. Also, we need to do the hotel check in today. 
Because we haven’t eat dinner, when we finished arranging our hotel room and stuffs, we went outside the hotel to get some food. 

I try the Soyu Ramen, it’s like the basic ramen that famous in Osaka, and the taste is super yum!
Japanese Ramen has a different and also better taste compare to Japanese ramen in Indonesia. 


My day 1 has been awesome, let’s go to day 2 ! 

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11 Unique Facts About Japan !

Hello guys! I just got back from my International Study Excursion with my university program (IBM) + Holiday in Japan 🙂
So before I post my travel journey from 13 until 24 April 2014, I’d like to share you some unique facts about Japan – in my version.

1. Japanese like to bow until it feels awkward for both of us

One night, I called the room service to repair my toilet’s sink. An old man came in and repaired it. When he finished and I know that I must respect the one who’s older than me, I bow to him and said “Arigato”. Then, he bow back. I bow back again, and he do the same thing. I bow again for the third time, even lower than him, and he bow back again. In the end, I smiled at him and he smiled at me too. The end of the story, because my friend close the door. 

They love to help others, even when they can’t speak english – yeah, they use body language
There’s a time when my friends and I struggle to find this one place called Asahi Archery near Otsuka. So we asked a policeman there, and he helped us until he even open his map and show the way for us. Thanks policeman!! We asked lots of help for direction to the local people. Some of them didn’t help, but some of them were really nice even though they can’t speak English fluently.


2. Time = Priceless 

When you’re in Japan, especially Tokyo, you’ll see almost all Japanese walk really really fast, ignoring their surroundings. Not only their walking habit, they also eat super duper fast with a very calm gesture! If you think that you’re a fast eater, then try eating next to a Japanese.
Not only that, when you buy groceries in a supermarket, you have to pack your things by yourself to save more time!

People pack their things themselves after paying in a supermarket


3. They eat while standing! 

As I said, that time is priceless, there are several stores in Japan that don’t provide seats, so you can eat while standing. Guess what? The food is a cold food. I guess they are providing cold food so you’ll be faster in chewing the food. I ever try to eat in this kind of restaurant, and I can’t finish my food. In my opinion, the noodle taste a little bit weird because the soup and the noodle is cold.

One of Soba restaurant in Shinagawa Station


4. Eating alone is not a problem

That doesn’t mean Japanese don’t eat together, they still are. But lots of Japanese, especially employee / businessman, eating alone. That’s why they can eat fast and save time. 

They all don’t know each other and eating alone. 

 

5. Every man employee wear suits

This is the unique thing. Even though you’re not a boss or manager, if you work inside a company, you will wear a suits! A very formal and complete one, with a hand carry on your hand.


6. Machine is everywhere and a must!

Even in a small store, you can buy your food through the machine, and then give the receipt to the waiter. Within 5 minutes, your order will come out. 
Vending machine is everywhere in the town – even in the small alley –
This fact shows that Japan is really want to be practical and make their life easier. 


7. Oh no, we don’t have enough land!

As we know, Japan is a small country and there’s no enough space for them to build their country. That is why they made the land on their own. There are two manmade island in Japan. One of them is Odaiba. 
In terms of vehicle parking, Japanese also use a kind of “Drawer-machine” so there are 3 cars inside a drawer. To bring your car out, you simple press the machine near it so the drawer will come out. The same thing apply for bicycle.

8. If they love something, they TOTALLY in it

Who don’t know anime and manga? Yeah it is from Japan. So there’s this one place called Akihabara, when you can find one street full of anime and manga. You can buy figure, posters, dolls, comic books, and so on in Akihabara. The collection is very complete and there are also old collection that they sell in a very high price !
Love playing games? Or Yoyo? There’s one store that only sells Yoyo – even the price can be up to 100,000 yen each!
Everheard cosplay? Harajuku style? You can found people dressing in Harajuku style and cosplay along Harajuku street.


9. They love cycling!

Japanese love to cycle. If you’re in Japan, you’ll see lots of people cycling around, even when they go to work, buy groceries, and sometimes you can see people with bike and their children at the back / front of the bicycle 🙂


10. SNACKS’ Heaven ;d

Okay, I’ll describe this a little bit longer , hahaha.
Ever heard about Kit Kat? Yeah it’s originally Japanese, and in Japanese they say it Kit(o) Kat(o), with an “o” sound in the end. Japanese has its own Kit Kat flavour like Green Tea, Black, Pudding, and so on. They are all yummy !! Kit Kat is very easy to find and you can compare the price from one to another store 🙂

How about Chocobi, or maybe Dorayaki? You name it! All Japanese Anime snack is available in the convenience store in Japan. You can easily find it. For example, Chocobi, a chocolate snack that Sinchan eat in the anime movie, is available in Daiso, and so on.

The last thing that is the only one in Japan is called Tokyo Banana > this is super delicious, you should try to bought every flavour when you’re in Tokyo. Tokyo Banana is a soft cake that contains Banana Fla inside that made it super soft and yum! Tokyo Banana is available only in big station such as Shinagawa and Tokyo station. If you can’t find it, you can bought it in Narita airport.  
Japanese snack is super tempting and delicious! It’s a must try when you visit Japan.

This is some snacks that I bought in Japan! 



11. Bunch of suicide happening, depression is everywhere

Unfortunately, this is very true. I’m very sorry to hear this. Maybe because of the busy life, expensive life expense, and the individualism in Japan, many Japanese experience stress and depression. There’s one night in Japan that my friends and I were stuck inside the MRT just because there’s “passenger injury”. But what I heard from the people inside MRT (we meet a Vietnamese people who live in Japan) it’s because there’s a suicide happening and this is happens a lot in Japan. That’s why no one is panic or something. 

Second thing ever happen in my 11 days visit in Japan, there’s a man whom – doesn’t know why – scream at us inside the MRT. My friends and I feels really scared and strange, so we moved a bit from him. Somebody inside the MRT told us that maybe he is having some problem with his job, that’s why he become stress like that. The more shocking thing, after a while, he punch a senior high school student! The most amazing thing is, their surroundings just do nothing and stay calm. Even so, there are more positive thing that you can find in Japan 🙂

That’s what I found interesting in Japan !! 
A closing words from me, Japan is one of the must visit place before you die!!

Ah, I also want to show this :

My most favourite food in Japan : This menu in Yoshinoya! Super duper yumm!

Get ready for my next post(s) about my Study Excursion + Holiday in Japan 😉
Note that during my posts in Japan, not all photos are mine, some of them come from my friends, but with my blog tag on it 😉

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