SJCI Trip : Visit to Kamaboko Village

greetings ^^/
I am sorry that recently I didn’t post something that not ‘game-related’ 😛

here we go.. another Study on Japanese Companies and Industries
in this trip, our destination was ‘Suzuhiro Kamaboko Village”
er? what kind of place is that? let me explain

Suzuhiro : basically, this is the name of the Family (which is then become the name of the company).. this family was one of few family who started making kamaboko as an ‘integrated-factory’ one.. even though it used very simple technology back then..

Kamaboko : this is the main topic.. if you are Indonesian, you will know ‘pempek’, ‘siomay bandung’, or the closest thing with this kind of food is ‘otak-otak’
yep.. kamaboko is a kind of seafood from Japan which is made from ‘fish-paste’ (すり身 「すりみ」surimi)
one of the example of kamaboko is shown here :

Kamaboko
(image : kamaboko.com – official site of Suzuhiro Kamaboko Company)


the texture of this food is ‘elastic’.. make this seafood ‘remains’ inside our mouth for a little time while we try to crush it (om nom nom)
this food has unique smell which attract fish lovers to eat
but for your information, this seafood product has wide range of price from hundreds JPY to 4,000 JPY for the premium quality

Village : this is where the main office and main factory of Suzuhiro Kamaboko Company
it’s located in Odawara City, Kanagawa Prefecture.. for the exact place, you can go to the Google Maps
this ‘village’ has the main factory of Suzuhiro Kamaboko Company which produces many kinds of kamaboko everyday
near the factory, there is a ‘Kamaboko Museum’, place where we can try to make kamaboko

I tried that interesting thing : make kamaboko.. and chikuwa (chikuwa is another product of fish-paste)
it needs very accustomed hand to make good kamaboko
the fish-paste must be freed from air by shear it with special knife, need to be patient so that the texture of fish-paste won’t be crushed
then, stick it to a rectangle of wood before baked in the oven
it’s really that simple in the word
and also when the pros gave the example
but really.. it wasn’t that easy .__.
for chikuwa, instead of stick the fish-paste to the wooden rectangle, we stick-and-roll it to a bamboo shoot then grill it

although the shape wasn’t a good looking one, but the taste is… really good
here are the result of ‘my hands’

the chikuwa I made

the chikuwa I made

the kamaboko that I made

the kamaboko that I made

my impression :
actually, I like this kind of food.. also the ‘otak-otak’ thing.. so a visit to this village is a paradise for me (we even got a free sample of kamaboko :3)
the experience of making kamaboko is very impressive one.. it also can attract children to come and try kamaboko.. then like it as a daily food

conclusion :
come to Japan
try by yourself 😉

for more information about kamaboko, Suzuhiro Kamaboko Company, and the Kamaboko Village, this link can provide you little information.. but if you can understand Japanese, this link is much much informative

cheers ^^

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The Big Trip (part 2 : Kansai)

okay.. now let’s go to the second part of my big trip : Kansai

ah.. before that, I want to share my curiosity a little bit.. about Kanto and Kansai..
it’s well known (at least here in Japan) that Kanto and Kansai people have a little bit ‘unique’ relationship..
Kansai people tend to do the opposite of Kanto people..
little example is when you are in Kanto region, and you are riding escalator, you will stand on left side, while walking people are on right side.. but in Kansai, it’s opposite one..
one thing that make me curious is the name..
Kansai and Kanto have a same letter (or in Kanji, it means same word) of ‘Kan’ that is 関 which means ‘connection’ or ‘gateway’.. and the last letter is whether ‘Sai’ 西 which means ‘west’ and ‘Tou’ 東 which means ‘east’
so, basically their name means ‘gateway of west’ or ‘gateway of east’
but Kanto (if we don’t refer to the Kanjis) also can separate to ‘Kan’ from ‘Kanagawa’ and ‘Tou’ from ‘Tokyo’
I don’t know if it is possible or not .__. but yeah.. I said I just wanna share my curiosity

okay.. let’s move to the Kansai trip!!

Transportation
there are some way that you can take to get you to Kansai region from Tokyo :
1. plane.. of course, this is the most expensive way.. you can take a flight whether from Haneda or Narita to Kansai Airport
2. shinkansen.. the well known bullet train from Japan.. only takes you 2 hours, but you had to pay about 14,000 JPY for a trip from Tokyo Station to Shin-Osaka Station
3. night train.. cheaper than shinkansen, but takes more time.. but of course you can sleep in the journey
4. Seishun 18 Ticket.. a special ticket sold by JR, costs 11,500 JPY, seasonally available, and you will get 5 tickets.. each tickets can be used to enter all JR trains (excluding the reserved seat one) for a day.. so, basically you have 5 days JR pass.. further information here
5. bus.. as for me which have little time for travel (7 March can depart from Tokyo but 11 March morning have to be prepare for flight to Seoul), night bus is the cheapest and the safest option.. there are many bus companies that you can choose in the internet.. make a reservation online.. and you can pay the fare in the convenient store

Tips
I used Willer Express from Shinjuku Station to Osaka-Umeda Station
back and forth about 10,000 JPY (5,000 JPY each trip) and if I reserve more than a week before, I might get cheaper
this bus company let you reserve online by English.. and has a comfortable waiting room in the departure station
you can get more information here

Accommodation
I am sorry I don’t have the information about accommodation since I slept in my friends house
he is my senior in high school
he is integrated (master and Ph.D) student of Handai (Osaka University)
and his house is in Onohara.. which is 210 JPY to Kita Senri (nearest) Station by bus
from Kita Senri to Umeda (one of the central part of Osaka) costs 260 JPY, and from Umeda to another places costs about 200-300 JPY..
I am so thankful that I have friends in Osaka.. so I didn’t have to pay the hotel (I heard it’s more than 2,000 JPY per night in average hostel)

Osaka

Place to Visit

Tips
there is one day (or two days) free pass for Osaka trip
but you have to bring your passport
and for two days ticket, your visa should be a travel visa with validity of 90 days
the pass is 2,000 JPY for one day and 2,500 JPY for two days
it could be retrieved from the information in Osaka (JR) Station
the coverage of this ticket are :
1. free pass for one day in subways (most of) and some private railways which are connected to subways (not coverage all area).. it can’t be used for JR trains
2. free pass for some tourism areas like Santa Maria Ship, Giant Ferris Wheel, Umeda Sky Building, or museums (including Osaka Castle)
3. discount for pass for some tourism areas like Aquarium or Aqua Liner
4. discount for some restaurants
so, basically the worth of this ticket is in the free pass of tourism places
if you don’t own this ticket, you have to pay 700 JPY for entering the Osaka Castle.. if you own.. it’s free

1. Osaka Castle
it’s the icon of Osaka
Osaka-jou or Osaka Castle lies in south-east-center part of Osaka
nearest station is Tanimachi Yonchome Station
unfortunately, I was late to be there (after 4.30 PM) so the castle was closed..
but still, I could get some outside photo of the castle

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle Wall

Osaka Castle Wall

2. Osaka Museum of History
a museum located near Osaka Castle
you can buy double ticket for entering Osaka Castle then Osaka Museum of History for 900 JPY.. but again, if you buy the day pass, it’s free of charge
this museum has a collection of artifacts from very ancient Osaka, the Kingdom period, until 1970’s Osaka
it’s worth to go up to 10th floor by elevator then go down while enjoying the artifacts

Kingdom Period Area inside Osaka Museum of History

Kingdom Period Area inside Osaka Museum of History

Diorama inside Osaka Museum of History

Diorama inside Osaka Museum of History

3. Universal Studio Japan (USJ)
theme park? yes, Osaka has
it’s Universal Studio
it has the ‘Backwards-Roller Coaster’.. and it is big one..
I didn’t enter the USJ because it costs 6,600 JPY.. and for real.. I can’t ride thrilling attraction because of my health condition..
but still.. again, I took some photos

Universal Studio Japan's Gate

Universal Studio Japan’s Gate

dat Roller Coaster....

dat Roller Coaster….

Tips
Near the USJ, there is a shopping area which has ‘Takoyaki Museum’ inside it
it’s a cluster of takoyaki seller
unfortunately, I was too early to get inside, but I think it is worth to try if you have time

4. Giant Ferris Wheel and Aquarium
this is considered as the biggest Ferris Wheel in Japan
without the pass, you had to pay 700 JPY
there are two cars with transparent floor and needs 30 mins waiting for those cars
it is a good place for couple
near the Giant Ferris Wheel, there is biggest Aquarium in Asia
but the pass only give you discount, not a free pass.. 10% discount from 2,000 JPY
the nearest station is Osakako Station

The Giant Ferris Wheel

The Giant Ferris Wheel

5. Umeda Sky Building
this building has a Floating Garden Observatory
this observatory is very good place for couples.. yea couples and I was there alone .__.
you can sit, enjoying the scenery of Osaka city from 173 m above sea level observatory
inside, there is cafe with some coffee options
and, the climax is.. there is a photo booth with a form of heart and has the date of the day
this building is about 10 mins walking from Umeda Station

Lounge for couples in Floating Garden

Lounge for couples in Floating Garden

Osaka night from Floating Garden

Osaka night from Floating Garden

Photo Booth

Photo Booth

6. Dotonbori Street
for me who live near Tokyo, this street is just like a mix of Asakusa and Harajuku
why?
because it has both side-street shops with the souvenirs and place for youth to hanging around
one addition is there is a street with all kinds of food (Japanese foods I mean) are sold
this is the place where you can buy souvenirs while having your lunch or dinner.. and maybe you can enjoy the crowd of Osaka’s youth
the nearest station is Namba Station

River in Dotonbori

River in Dotonbori

Street shops in Dotonbori

Street shops in Dotonbori

Dining
Osaka is well known with the ‘strong’ taste of foods
based on my knowledge, famous foods from Osaka is Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki..
although you can find those two around Japan, but it really tastes different with other place.. at least with Tokyo..
and since Kansai people said ‘the best okonomiyaki shop is the nearest to your house’, basically, all okonomiyaki and takoyaki shops are worth to try
okonomiyaki worth about 700-1,000 JPY while takoyaki could be sold as low as 300 JPY for 6 balls or more than 1,000 for about 10 or 12 balls
but again, Dotonbori has a place where all kinds of food are sold, so if you confused where to buy, just go there..

Kyoto
old capital of Japan
holds many old places.. nice temples.. and of course castle
but my bad, I woke up late so I just could depart from Osaka by 12 am, and since Osaka-Umeda to Kyoto-Kawaramachi is 1 hour by limited express train, I just could explore two places in Kyoto
another blunder is : Kyoto has only a few railways.. the main transportation here is bus

Tips
buy a day pass bus
only 500 JPY
you could buy in convenient store with banner of the pass inside the station

and since I only had a little time, I couldn’t even try a single food here 😦

1. Fushimi Inari
it’s actually a temple
with all of the gate from all places of Japan are gathered together
the famous photo spot here is in the front of those gates
you could have your body in the front of hundreds of orange gates
pretty cool though
the admission fee to this temple is free
and, I suggest you to use train from Kyoto Station to Inari Station because the bus is.. ummm a little bit annoying (only once an hour)

temple in Fushimi Inari

temple in Fushimi Inari

in front of hundreds gates

in front of hundreds gates

2. Kinkakuji Temple
as this temple’s name is Kinkakuji 金閣寺 which literally means ‘Temple of Golden Pavilion’, this temple has gold-embossed body..
this site is very far from Fushimi Inari, but near to Kawaramachi Station (so, basically I took wrong path by passing Fushimi Inari first)
it was a relief that I still could enter the temple (that time was near 5 PM, and temple close at 5 PM)
the temple is located in the middle of a lake
it is a good place to have a profile picture of your SNS 😛

Kinkakuji Temple

Kinkakuji Temple

Offering place near temple

Offering place near temple

Kobe
Kobe is one of the port of Japan
the literally means of 神戸 is ‘Gate of god’ because Kobe was one of eastern countries gate into Japan
as for me.. the situation of Kobe is nearly the same as Yokohama.. since they are both are ports..
Kobe is famous with its Kobe Beef that could cost more than 10,000 JPY (more than 100 USD!!) a plate .___.
I heard that the cows there are getting special treatment such as a massage and wine drink
as for me, a student, of course I couldn’t try that beef.. not yet I hope
but there, I met my senior from high school and eat together in Fishermen’s Market, a place of Seafood Buffet with 2,000 JPY cost
the food was incredible.. worth to give a try
also, the scenery from that buffet restaurant is sea.. so it was nice to eat while watching a night-black sea
the nearest station is Kosokukobe that can be reached with Hankyu Line from Juuso Station

with my big friend, Ilham who accompanied me to Kobe

with my big friend, Ilham who accompanied me to Kobe

Kobe's illumination

Kobe’s illumination

Elvis Presley's statue

Elvis Presley’s statue

with my senior in Fishermen's Market

with my senior in Fishermen’s Market

yep yep..
that’s all folks.. the story of my Kansai Trip
not as informative as Tokyo Trip.. of course.. that I am not native there (actually I am not a Tokyo native either .__.)
see you on the next post.. the last post about my Big Trip : Seoul
thanks for reading ^^

The Big Trip (part 1 : Kanto)

hello again ^^
long time no post from me.. now I will tell you my story of The Big Trip that I’d done from 1 until 15 March
this post is mixed about my story and some tips that I got from the trip
so.. let’s get started

this Big Trip is my 15 consecutive days trip from Kanto (Tokyo and Yokohama only) – Kansai (Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe only) – Seoul
I could not visit all the good places there.. due to some crisis or being late :3 but maybe this information can help you

part 1 is about Kanto region : Tokyo and Yokohama only
*again, this is mostly story about my trip so not all places I could visit

Tokyo
since I am a temporary residence here (actually my dorm is inside Yokohama City region, but my college is in the circle of Tokyo, and since I mostly go to Tokyo and only about 4 times went to Yokohama area, I assume, I am little bit more familiar with Tokyo), I don’t know about the accommodation for you.. so sorry..
but I heard lot of people search hostel (or even capsule hostel) near Asakusa..
the price range is about 1,500 to 3,000 JPY per night

Tips
the advantages of being accommodated in Asakusa are :
1. it’s relatively near to Haneda and Narita Airport
access from Haneda is by using Keikyu Airport line to Keikyukamata Station, then change to Keikyu Main Line towards Inbanihonidai until Sengakuji Station, lastly, board Toei Asakusa Subway to Asakusa Station (about 1 hour, 640 JPY)
access from Narita is by using Keisei Narita Sky Access to Asakusa Station (about 1 hour 15 minutes, 1,240 JPY)
2. the price for accommodation is relatively lower than in other places
3. one of the tourism place with its Sensoji Temple and Kaminarimon Gate
4. can see Tokyo Skytree from far behind Sumida River
5. one of place where you can find souvenirs easily (in the street from Kaminarimon Gate towards Sensoji Temple)

Tips
if you are from abroad and landed at Narita or Haneda, it’s good to you to buy Metro Line (Subway in Tokyo) 2 days pass with only 980 JPY
this pass could be used for two consecutive day inside Tokyo Metro Line Subways
if you buy one day ticket only (could be found in ticket machine at every Tokyo Metro Line Stations) it costs 710 JPY.. so it’s good to you for getting 2 days pass with only 980 JPY
more information about Tokyo Metro Line Pass could be found here and for the maps could be retrieved here
remember that this passes are only can be used within Tokyo Metro Line, not Toei Line.. be careful when riding the trains.. I think it’s better to you to ride consecutively transfer even it is going around and take more times but free than board Toei with additional fare

Tips
if you are foreigner and only going to Japan for some day trips, and you have credit card, and you have smartphone, and you think you would die if you can access internet.. here is some tips..
here in Japan, phone and SIM Card could not be retrieved freely.. you have to have a contract with one of the provider, and it needs more than 3 months visit to get the contract.. so basically (and legally) you could not have Japanese phone (or provider’s SIM) if you are only some days travel.. even for only buying a Pocket WiFi router..
but you CAN RENT a prepaid phone or Pocket WiFi at the AIRPORT ONLY
I don’t know the fares or how much you have to pay as a deposit.. but I think you have to have a credit card for it.. I’d never tried before.. sorry

Place to Visit
1. Tokyo Tower
of course.. this is the world famous red tower.. this is (or maybe was.. since now there is Skytree) the symbol of Tokyo.. this is located in Minato and nearest Metro Station is Kamiyacho (Hibiya Line access)
if you wish to see Tokyo from above this tower, you have to pay 680 JPY (adult).. it’s worth for me.. and you can retrieve Tokyo Tower Medallion at the observatory in a vending machine.. it’s 800 JPY each and 50 JPY for word crafting.. plus 200 JPY for the key chain or necklace holder

Tips
I suggest you to visit Tokyo Tower at the transition from noon to evening.. the lamp is best at that time
and if you want to have a photo with Tokyo Tower background, despite of going to Tokyo Tower, it’s better to you to have a photo from Sakura Doori (Sakura Street) near Keio University
the Metro Line Access is rather far from the photo spot, so I suggest you to go with Toei Line to Mita Station or JR Yamanote Line or JR Keihin Tohoku Line to Tamachi Station.. from those two station, the photo spot is just about 5 minutes walking.. and the result of photo could be like this

from front of Keio University, about 5 PM in spring

from front of Keio University, about 5 PM in spring

2. Odaiba
this island has many beautiful building and photo spots.. and it has 1:1 scale Gundam Mobile Suite
if you know Digimon, you could see Fuji TV building here (building with ball in the middle)
this place has big mall called Aqua City, mini version of Statue of Liberty, rainbow bridge, and Tokyo Tower from far..
here are some photos

1:1 Gundam Mobile Suite in front of Diver City Mall

1:1 Gundam Mobile Suite in front of Diver City Mall

Rainbow Bridge

Rainbow Bridge

Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty


access to Odaiba are
1. Yurikamome Line from Shinbashi (Tokyo Waterfront Station).. better if get off at Daiba Station, 310 JPY from Shinbashi.. near to Aqua City, Statue of Liberty, Fuji TV building, and view of Rainbow Bridge
2. Rinkai Line from Oimachi.. get off at Tokyo Teleport Station, 260 JPY from Oimachi.. near to Diver City Mall (where the Gundam lies), Palette Town, and Ferrish Wheel..

Tips
Yurikamome Line is higher in price but nicer.. if you want a sea view and riding a train in rainbow bridge, use it.. the train is different with another train.. if you ever ride train to Sentosa Island (Singapore) you will find experience like that..
since all Japanese train is ‘in and out station based’, if you have time, you can use the Yurikamome line as far as you want (but still inside the station) then you could see more view.. then go out at Daiba Station

3. Imperial Palace
this is the palace of Japanese Emperor.. you can visit this palace with reservation from some days before visit.. it’s free.. you can book here
please read the rule there
the famous photo spot here is Nijuubashi (bridge 20) or Meganebashi (spectacles bridge)

Tips
access here is by (by nearest to farthest) :
1. Nijuubashimae Station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line)
2. Hibiya Station (Tokyo Metro Hibiya or Chiyoda Line)
3. Otemachi Station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda, Hanzomon, Marunouchi, or Tozai Line)
4. Sakuradamon Station (Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line)
5. Hanzomon Station (Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line)
6. Nagatacho Station (Tokyo Metro Namboku, Hanzomon, or Yurakucho Line)

4. Shibuya and Harajuku
you must know these two places.. it’s famous after all
Shibuya is (as my point a view) most crowded area in Tokyo.. especially its crossing road (I even heard that it’s the most crowded crossroad in the world)
here, you can find the famous Hachiko Statue in Hachiko Square (exit 8 of Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line) just the entrance of that crossroad
Shibuya is best place to shopping according to me (since I am student.. not much money in my pocket) compared to Ginza or Roppongi (which are mostly branded goods)

Tips
if you like Gunpla (Mobile Suite Gundam figurine), Tokyu Hands Shibuya is best place you could find it.. this is the place where it’s sold cheapest (about 900-1,500 JPY for the self-make-plastic-type).. if you buy it from Gundam Front in Odaiba, it could cost more than 2,000 JPY
Gunpla could be found at 7th floor, hobbies section

if you like to shop clothes.. especially unique one, Harajuku is the place
you can go to Harajuku from Shibuya by Fukutoshin Line (1 stop, Meijijingumae Station) or JR Yamanote Line (towards Shinjuku, 1 stop, Harajuku Station)
if you go there on Sat or Sun, you can (probably) find that famous cosplay (or at least unique clothing) guys

Tips
go deep to the Harajuku Street.. you probably can find discounted goods like I found (watch from 5,000 JPY became 777 JPY only)

Hachiko Statue at Hachiko Square

Hachiko Statue at Hachiko Square


5. Tokyo Skytree and Asakusa
I had explained about Asakusa before.. especially if you choose your hostel in Asakusa, this place might be your ‘territory’ after a while..
about Skytree, this 634 m building is actually a TV building.. here is also some shops at the bottom of the tower.. and in that shops, you can find medallion of Tokyo Skytree
you could also find the Aquarium there
to go to bottom observatory deck, you had to pay 2,000 JPY and wait about 2 or 3 hours before you can enter (you have to grab queue ticket outside.. then it will tell what time you can enter the tower)
and if you want to go further up.. you will need additional 1,000 JPY
access to here is Oshiage Station (Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line, Keisei Lines, Tobu Skytree Line, and Toei Asakusa Line)
Kaminarimon Gate, Asakusa

Kaminarimon Gate, Asakusa

Tokyo Skytree

Tokyo Skytree

Tips
I had rode both Tokyo Tower and Skytree.. for me, it was just same experience.. so from my opinion, you’d better to go to Tokyo Tower for riding and Skytree only for the photo spot..
but if you want to ride, it’s a good experience though..

6. Tokyo Disney Resort
Disney Land.. and Disney Sea..
I just have ever gone to Disney Sea though.. so, sorry for no information about Disney Land
you can enter both Disney Sea and Disney Land or only one of them.. one day passport is 6,200 JPY.. all about this Theme Park related information could be find here
I would not explain about the attraction or anything else but some photos and tips

View from gondola to Mount Prometheus

View from gondola to Mount Prometheus

Disney Sea Firework

Disney Sea Firework

Disney Resort Souvenir

Disney Resort Souvenir

Tips
Access to Disney Resort is by Maihama Station (JR Keiyo Line, from Shin Kiba or Tokyo Station)
make sure that you ARRIVE EARLY BEFORE GATE OPEN
gate will be opened at 9, but the queue starts even from 6 a.m.
I suggest you to buy ticket before (online or from Disney Store.. Disney Store could be found in Shibuya too)
if you have student card, you can take 4,900 JPY one day passport
the unique system of this theme park is Fast Pass.. this pass is actually some kind of queue-ing system that make you can ride another attraction while wait for your desired one.. this Fast Pass is available for some attraction (especially the famous and thrilling one).. you can get Fast Pass by scan your Disney Passport in a machine, then you will get a ticket containing information about time that you can get Fast Pass access.. with Fast Pass access, you don’t have to queue with others, you have designated way and faster to ride
some attraction’s Fast Pass sold quickly (that’s why I suggest you to come early) even only to get the Fast Pass, you probably have to queue too..
for me, when I want to enter Journey to the Center of The Earth attraction, I had to queue for 140 mins!!! (even I noticed at one time, the queue time is 210 mins.. that,s 3 and a half hours!!) because I couldn’t get the Fast Pass for that attraction
so, run for your life!!.. I mean.. run as fast as you can when entering the park, get the Fast Pass from the most desired one, then wait the Fast Pass time by checking another attraction
if you want to buy souvenirs, buy at Bon Voyage near Maihama Station

fiuhh.. what a long story.. even these are only very few of Tokyo’s tourism objects.. as I said before, I couldn’t cover all.. for other information about Tokyo Trip, you can refer here
now I will tell you about the dining near Tokyo

Dining
1. Sushi
if you hear “food” plus “Japan”, probably your first thinking is sushi..
this famous raw-fish-with-rice-dish is actually could find at most everywhere in Japan.. by rumors, the most delicious one is in Sapporo, Hokkaido.. but the plane ticket to there is too damn expensive..
I know two good (and cheap) sushi near Tokyo.. I recommend you to try

a. Shibuya
the exact location is shown below


this sushi restaurant is all-120 JPY.. (except some special one).. I think it is the best restaurant I had found till now.. cheap, and delicious

b. Kura Sushi Tama Plaza
I know this place because it’s near my dorm (Aobadai).. I am sure that there are some kura sushi nearer to Tokyo.. but if you want refer here, the place is shown below


this sushi restaurant is even more cheaper than before.. only 105 JPY a plate

2. Veggie Ramen
if you can’t eat pork, but you want to eat this famous noodle dish from Japan, here is one of the option that you could do : vegetarian ramen
this ramen contains no dairy product at all (even eggs or milk), all made of plants.. it has chicken replica, but made of soybean
the location is at Keiyo Street inside JR Tokyo Station
no need to go out from the station, just follow the path that leads to Keiyo Line.. there will be Keiyo Street (with green banner).. you could find many shops, especially food-souvenir shop (including the famous Tokyo Banana).. just near the end of the Keiyo Street, you will find T’s Ramen shop.. the price is about 700-900 JPY for a normal (but it’s quite big.. even I that eat much is satisfied by the portion) portion or you can add 100 JPY for big portion.. I recommend Shoyu Ramen.. that’s the best one

3. Tendon (Tenpura Don)
fried (usually shrimp or seafood) dish with special flour and rice below it.. it’s also can be found anywhere (especially at Asakusa.. there are a lot)
but the one I know best is at Mizonokuchi.. again, it’s because near my house
the exact location is here


there are three major type of tenpura here : miso, normal, and soba (noodle)
I prefer miso tendon..
the price is about 690-990 JPY

4. Indian Curry
I know three good Indian Curry restaurant.. and since I am a Muslim, they are halal certified..

a. Ninin ga yon (2 X 2 = 8) in Shimokitazawa


this restaurant is tabehodai (all you can eat)
with only 980 JPY and one drink (350 JPY.. I suggest mango lassi!) you can eat as much as you want.. the taste is normal.. not the best.. but it’s worth to try since.. yea.. all you can eat

b. Ishikawadai


this is because it’s near to my University.. the ebi pilaf is very good!
price : curry 700-1,000 JPY, nan 400-600 JPY, pilaf 700-900 JPY

c. Shinjuku


the price of curry starts from 500 to 900 JPY.. the briani (fried rice) is very good and about 900-1,000 JPY

5. Halal?
if you are Muslim, maybe you are afraid to try some of the food outside your home country because they have no halal certification.. but if you want to find halal certified (according to the internet based site) foods, you can try these restaurants :

a. Saizeriya
this restaurant has seafood only menu (including pasta and pizza).. and the beef (for the hamburg steak) is Aussie Beef that is halal certified..
price about 399 JPY to 699 JPY

b. Yoshinoya and Sukiya
these two gyuudon (beef rice bowl) restaurants also using Aussie Beef

c. Gasto (ガスト)
seafood menu here can be eaten

Yokohama
not much information about Yokohama.. even my dorm is actually still Yokohama-shi.. but it’s quite far to there.. as far as I go to Shibuya..
if you want to explore parks and bay, Yokohama is the best
you can buy one day pass (for JR inside Yokohama area and Minatomirai Line) for 500 JPY

1. Minatomirai Park
this theme park has ferrish wheel, little coaster, and some attraction
one attraction costs about 400-700 JPY
access : Minatomirai Station (Minatomirai Line)

2. Motomachi Chuukagai
this China Town provides you three types of view :
a. China Town
just around the Motomachi Chuukagai Station is China Town with its traditional Chinese building, Chinese foods, and even the shrine

Chinese Shrine in China Town of Motomachi Chuukagai

Chinese Shrine in China Town of Motomachi Chuukagai

b. Yamashita Park and Minatonomieruoka Park
Yamashita Park is near the bay.. it has ship and view of Yokohama Bridge
Minatonomieruoka Park is a hill with quiet park.. very enjoyable for picnic

Ship at Yamashita Park

Ship at Yamashita Park

Minatomieruoka Park

Minatomieruoka Park

c. Yokohama Marine Tower
a tower in Yokohama.. I don’t know whether it can be rode or not

Yokohama Marine Tower

Yokohama Marine Tower

fuuhhh.. that’s all for now..
sorry not much information.. especially for the Yokohama Area
see you in next part of The Big Trip : Kansai and Seoul
thanks for reading ^^
hope it could help for your travel to Tokyo and Yokohama
enjoy!

君がくれたもの

today, students of YSEP who are Focus on Experiencing Japan (6 months program) are officially graduated..
it is weird enough that I felt we just got a Welcoming Ceremony yesterday (actually we had it early Oct) and today we had to attend the Completion Ceremony
time elapses like a flash..
remember when we met for the first time? when we were helding Welcoming Ceremony in the 10th Floor of West 8?
then, our first TOJ class and first SJCI to the Life Learning Center?
remember that our scream of “KAJIDA!” and fear of earthquake simulator?
then we explained our countries in the front of class
visiting Chisetsu Shogakko
and trip to Atami.. where we took onsen together.. being what we really are
autumn changed to winter.. but our friendship could give  the spring’s warmth among us.. let the flower of caring each other blooms in our heart
we’d played together.. cooked in the same pan.. and studied in one room
we shared laughter, some arguments, and gave smiles
but after all, every seconds I shared with you were precious memories for me
and at last.. you have to go back to your countries.. for continuing your fights.. for reach your dreams

then, here I would like to say thank you for you all,friends..

to Mr-2nd-Handsome (after Chien, sorry, but Chien can’t be replaced.. keke) Chen, my classmate in Jpb 4.. even I rarely talk to you, because you are living in Umegaoka.. but still, your appearance in that class made me feel that I am not alone,, thank you for the sashimi information.. I will definitely come there

to Mr-Neighbor Not, you are gooo neighbor.. never made any noise, never broke down the dorm.. .___. hahaha.. kidding.. thank you for being my friends.. and I am sorry that sometime I woke you up when I tried to wake Ade up.. kekeke

to Mr Al-CapoMafia Daniele, we didn’t talk much, but I know that you have the potential to be a mafia boss.. kekeke.. your words are strong.. and your bravery can’t be replaced.. thank you for the night we spent at Atami

to Mr Otaku Kiwon, you with your own world.. and full of information, especially about anime and some amaizing stuffs.. thank you for inviting me to the karaoke and told me the God Knows song 😉

to Mr Handsome Cooking Master Berny.. kyaaahh.. you are too handsome and have an excellent cooking skill.. thank you for your recipes, the trip to the Nishi Izu, and many conversations we had.. please teach me some more German recipes.. kekeke

to Silent Jung A Hyeong(???!!).. I am sorry if I’d ever been annoying.. maybe.. kekeke.. thanks for “that day” and for Korean songs especially Roly Poly.. I am studying the dance right now.. kekeke.. and I hope you can be my tour guide at Seoul next March 😉 thank you for some conversations too., even that it was really hard to have talk with you 😛

lastly, for the Mr Ninja Ade, hemm.. I think just one sentence for you : gila lo De!! hahahaha.. keep your attitude like that and the world is in your hand bro.. hope you can reach your dream.. and we’ll meet again someday.. soon… soon.. hahahahaha.. mandi lo de! wkwk

last words, as I said before, I hope this is not the end of our meeting.. or even worse, the end of our friendship.. no
this is the begining of an international relationship.. that could bring brighter future for the world
it’s very nice to know you
it’s a treasure for me to have memories with you

最高の思い出を
さよなら…僕の仲間…

Japan, Samurai Spirit Behind Sophisticated Technology

I read my friend’s blog and I wonder how if I post a same thing too? ㅋㅋㅋ
So actually, this is my Topics on Japan 1 Final Report in theme “Japan’s Strength and Weakness”
Here we go

In my opinion, strength and weakness of Japan can be summarized in one factor : the pride of their nation. This pride could be the really strong strength for Japan to face and be the top of the world, but this also can sink Japan to the deep of destruction if they don’t know how to control it.
Based on my reading, Japan is one of the country which has only one race in general. They had been united as whole Japan since long time ago. They had relatively-stable government system and unique customized life style. Their old vision-of-strong-country is their neighbor, China. They had felt comfortable with their life, believed that they need no outsider help because they could fulfill their needs by themselves, until the day western countries came.
Western country that first came to Japan was the Portuguese in 1543 with their “Black Ship”. This arrival of Portuguese made their eyes opened. China was beaten by Portuguese and it made Japan shock. They realized that outside their world, there are many other better technologies than they had known. Then, they started to mimic the new technologies from western country by learn it. Step by step, Japanese people way of understanding and vision of the future changed, but still, they had one proud of themselves. They believed after learning new things, they could develop it by themselves and fulfill their needs. And it’s true, Japan now becomes one of frontier in technology.
In my opinion, the bond between Japanese people because of their pride of their nation is very strong. They still do their old customs and keep the inherited culture even they had developed many new cutting edge technologies. Some of the customs which I notice still living inside Japanese people are manner and way of life. Japanese manner, although many people said that it starts to disappear among youths, especially in the big city, is one reason that Japanese people still believe and respect each other. Simple way of life including ofuro and farming life are not adjusted to the new technology : new technology is developed by reference of old customs. These condition makes Japan is nearly invulnerable to cultural attack from outside Japan. This is one of strength of Japan that I always think as “Samurai Spirit”, a spirit to be independence by their own way but still could be the leader of community.
But, beyond of that, in my perspective, this pride could harm Japan because of globalization era. Furthermore, Japan’s “aging population” make it worse. Nowadays, global world open their market and decrease boundaries between country for trading, including human resources trading. If Japan is still convinced to keep their pride exaggeratedly by not cooperating to other countries, especially for the human resource, Japan will lost their momentum to expand their life as one of world frontier in technology. Fortunately, it seems Japan government knows this issue and start to make a move. Nowadays, I see English course becomes more popular and many foreigners are accepted as researchers or workers. I don’t know why or and why should English become one of the most important language in the world. I myself was so impressed that Japanese people still tend to defend their Japanese when Indonesian people are now proud if they could speak English. But still, for now, learning English as a “weapon” to face globalization is important. I found something interesting about this English learning, the differences between Japanese and Indonesian. Here, at Japan, people are proud with their works, their product, and their customs, as well as their language. So everything here are in Japanese, including new technologies like smartphone, laptops, and even games. But back to Indonesia, since we still can not produce best things by ourselves and import many new technologies, we have no option than learning English to use new technologies, and again, including games. Japanese kids are playing games in Japanese, while Indonesian kids won’t found games in Indonesian, so that they have to learn English to play. This rule also applies to smartphones and laptops. This simple thing made rather big differences between learning English as Japanese and Indonesian. Japanese learn English mostly by course, whether in school or special courses, but Indonesian learn it by habit, since as I said before, we have no option than learning English to use technologies for our life.
One more effect of the exaggerated pride of nation in my opinion is lack of human power. This refers to productive-age people. The nowadays trend in Japan is success career life. Whether men or women, they tend to life hard-successful-career-life that makes they don’t want to marry early. This maybe one of reason that causes Japanese “aging population”. If no more new productive-age people in Japan, their cutting edge technology and sophisticated research won’t work. One of the option to resolve this problem is making people from other countries to come as fresh human power to Japanese academic and industrial world. If the exaggerated pride of nation works, it could resist foreigner to help their community and leads to annihilation of sophisticated technology that had been struggled until this second.
My conclusion is, Japan’s “Samurai Spirit” is the most powerful strength that leads Japan to be able to stand by their feet and lead the world by courage to be the best, but still, Japan has to be open to the changing global world trend and keep the cooperation with other countries, especially in human resources.

manga.. why they are so famous?

this is my first time to have a mind share in English.. I hope it won’t hurt anybody ^^
maybe it’s also not a long post.. I just wanna say simple thing

maybe those who always read English version (sorry >.<) don't know that I always start a post with the introduction of the topic.. keke
it's just because I watched two animes today.. one is recommended by my Indonesian friend : "Kamisama Hajimemashita" which means "god, it's started".. err.. maybe.. kekeke.. my Japanese is not good enough.. sorry 😛 and other one is recommended by my lab member : "Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo" which in my understanding means "Sakurasou's Girl Pet".. (Sakurasou is a name of place in this anime)

the second one is.. euuummm.. rather ecchi :3 but the core of the story is good in my opinion : it's about realizing ourselves.. where should we belong to.. ^^ the story is about a boy who lives in a Loony Bin of his school which has many weird residents.. but they are particularly genius in their own.. one is mangaka (one who draws manga), one is scriptwriter, and one is someone who could make anime.. but the main character doesn't have anything (in his mind) special about him.. *I just started to watch it, and until now, I realized that he is a very kind boy*

one thing comes to mind when I watch that anime is : manga (and also anime) is always so detail.. they detailed all of their characters with their own unique personality.. and each personality is too strong that you will always get them popped out in your mind when you see related character

for instance, in this anime (sorry, it's a little bit spoiler)
Sorata Kanda : the main character of this anime. He’s 2nd year of regular division in one Art High School. He came to Tokyo from Fukuoka and live in the dormitory. But he was thrown to the Loony Bin because he wanted to take care an abandoned cat. He thought that he doesn’t have anything special and the life is just straight for him, until he met Shiina Mashiro.
Shiina Mashiro : protagonist female character. She came from England and she is a relative to one of the teacher who also live in that Loony Bin. She’s very “white”. Seems like has no normal consciousness, just know about drawing manga. Even she doesn’t hesitate to naked or eat a cake in convenient store without paying. But behind that, she is a genius that had made name in painting world. Even she had her own world art exhibition.
Nanami Aoyama : classmate of Sorata. Seems to like Sorata but has no brave to tell. She came from not wealthy family. She always does part time job (arubaito) for her living. She is a hard worker.
Misaki Kamiigusa : 3rd year in Art Division in the school. She is genius in making anime. She always love Jin, but her love never been accepted. Always try to make Jin hers but fail. Even she doesn’t hesitate to do pervert things.
Jin Mitaka : a handsome guy who also playboy. He can make women fall into him then do pervert things. But he always reject if Misaki is the one who does the pervert thing. In my mind, he actually loves Misaki

see? in the brief description about them (from my point of view), the personality of each character is clear and unique
that makes me think :

manga (and anime) is good not only because of it’s beautiful drawing, but also a strong impression of each of the character

this anime is just a sample of many famous anime (and manga).. if you know Naruto, you also know that each of the character has very unique personality and way of thinking
maybe it’s also the cause of why do the Indonesian cartoon or novels are not too famous.. they are little bit lack of detailed and unique personality of the characters

the conclusion of this post is :

if you make anything.. anything.. make sure that you don’t left the detail behind.. little thing.. little detail.. could make huge different..

that’s all for today.. kekeke
sorry no long post ^^

MERDEKA!