Archive for the ‘JAPAN’ Category

It was a rainy day, but we decided that we had to go to Kanazawa no matter what. We needed our shopping in Costco.

After 5 rounds of chocolate testing and 3 rounds of saying hello to clam chowder, we bought what we wanted and headed to the place I had been wanting to go: Myoryuji templein 1-2-12 Nomachi, Kanazawa, which is famous as Ninja Temple (Ninja dera). It’s not actually made for ninjas, but it’s full of tricks just like a ninja house. We went through the back gate as we walked along Nishi Chaya, a former geisha district, first.


Nishi Chaya. There’s a writer’s museum you can visit for free, and this district is famous with its very delicious (yet very expensive) golden chocolate or something like that


Myoryuji back gate


Myoryuji front gate

Sorry taking pictures is not allowed inside the temple. It costs 800 yen to enter, please make a booking beforehand (click the link to the website above). Surprisingly the temple provided guide books in so many languages!

Then we proceed to Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of History. I really love this museum because it costs only 300 yen but they provides audio guide in several languages for free. Here I could understand more about Japanese history, which impressed some of my Japanese friends because they didn’t even know some of it.

Bonus for me, it was raining and there were barely anyone but us, so I got to try a beautiful kimono (Japanese women clothing) worn by princesses in the old times. There are several other costumes people can try, BUT they suppose to be for children only. Glad that I knew that later after I took the kimono off.


Became a Japanese princess. Photo by Suemasa Kyohei.


My Loco Moco set

We had late lunch at Nanea Hawaiian cafe, where another friend works.

Here’s another recommendation for you if you love food:


Dai Nana Gyoza no Mise (Dumpling Shop Number 7), 7-120 Onebu, Uchinada-cho, Kahoku-gun, Ishikawa-ken. Anyways it’s not exactly in Kanazawa but pretty close.

I love gyoza so much I ate 17 pieces of them. They have pan fried dumplings (yaki gyoza), deep friend dumplings (howaito gyoza), and steamed dumplings. Just point at the picture! 😛


Mikuni Minato Station is the last station of Mikuni-Awara line of Echizen Train / Echi-tetsu. It’s the closest to Mikuni Sunset Beach, where you can go fishing or surfing as well as watching the beautiful sunset. If you come on August, you can see Fireworks Festival too. Nearby, there’s Yuaport Onsen (hotspring) to experience the Japanese public bath for only 500 yen.


The classic Mikuni-Minato Station


kite surfing / kite boarding at Mikuni sunset beach


Near sunset at Mikuni sunset beach (please pardon my phone camera – the color is uneven because of the lighting)

Walk along the beach (heading northwest) about 300m, you will find stairs going down to Tojinbo Nature Forest walking trail. Follow this path to Tojinbo Cliffs, one of the world’s most beautiful natural cliffs. The sad thing is that so many people come here to commit suicide. Thankfully there are volunteers who always patrol to rescue these people. Their basecamp is a Japanese rice cake /mochi shop near Tojinbo Tower. Then you can walk to Oshima Island, which is famous with its vermilion bridge and as a sacred place.

Other attractions of Mikuni are Echizen Matsushima Aquarium and Mikuni Museum. Mikuni also has beautiful parks with cherry blossoms (sakura) if you come on spring time. Check HERE for events information.

Around Mikuni Sunset Beach (Komegawaki area, where I lived)

Mille Graines. It’s a petite cake shop but has really pretty and yummy cakes. My suggestion: ask for seasonal cake or go for the cheese cake. The owner speaks English and a bit French. Open at 11.00 – 19.00. Closed on Sunday – Tuesday.


One Touch Café. It was a church established by Norwegian missionaries, now run by church staffs (they speak English and some speak Chinese/Mandarin), open on Saturdays 12.00 – 15.00. One set of fine meal and free flow coffee/tea for only 500 yen. Serve limited number of people, so please make reservation. (Click HERE to see contact information of the church)


Meal set example – salad, meatloaf, garlic bun, cake

Port Dijk Coffee. It’s a great spot to watch the sunset. Just up the hill behind One Touch Café. Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Open at 10.00 – 17.00 (or sometimes 18.00). The owner is learning English and really loves talking to new people. The price is quite high though. (UPDATE 2018: I visited Mikuni again December last year, this coffee shop is CLOSED for good)


L.A. Surf. Learn surfing or kite surfing/boarding while you’re here. This store is across Port Dijk. The owner speaks English and very active surfer. If he closed the store then he might be at the beach surfing! Best time to surf is autumn to beginning of winter (September-early December).

Tentsuru Noodle Shop. If you go up (heading east) from One Touch Café, then turn right and walk around 100m, you will see “てんつる” sign board. It’s classic Japanese noodle shop which is run by a family. Their katsudon (rice with deep fried pork cutlet and egg) was on the newspaper. There are 3 kinds of Japanese noodles: ramen (Chinese egg noodles), udon (chewy big noodles), and soba (buckwheat noodles). If you’re mainstream, just pick ramen. Otherwise, chikara udon (udon soup with mochi) or tempura soba (soba soup with deep fried seafood/veggies) will be good 🙂 PS. They barely speak English. Closed on Mondays. Open at 17.00 – evening (maybe 22.00 or 23.00).

Must Try

Echizen Crab. Get it with other fresh seafood around Mikuni Fish Market (across Mikuni Minato Station) or Tojinbo Cliffs shopping street. Best time to get it is October, when the crab hunting season is on. Usually there’s crab festival on the beach around 2nd week of October.


Sakka Manjyu. It’s a traditional Japanese bun with sweet and soft mashed red bean inside and hint of sake (Japanese rice wine). The best shop to get it is Nishisaka: walk on the road across Mikuni Station (not Mikuni Minato) – heading southwest- about 200m, it’s on the left side.


Sakka manjyu from Nishisaka – the mark on the bun shows it

Church / Sunday Service: Sundays 16.00 at The Lighthouse 749, 5-8-3 Komegawaki, next to One Touch Café. For now the 1st to 3rd Sunday service is at a church nearby Mikuni station. They also have a lot of other events like parents-children event, oil painting class, baking class, pizza party, etc. Please ask the church staffs on One Touch Café for more information or click HERE.

May 2014

Bring a map and go around with JR loop bus 🙂

Higashi Chaya - a tea house district which has the oldest geisha house in Kanazawa

Higashi Chaya – a tea house district which has the oldest geisha house in Kanazawa

When I was in Higashi Chaya, I found a very interesting sushi wrapped in bamboo leaf (chimaki sushi) for lunch, then had soy sauce flavored ice cream with Notto bamboo charcoal wafers. It was random, so I hope you can find it too 🙂

Kanazawa Castle park store house - get the tour guide to explain about the secrets of this castle!

Kanazawa Castle park store house – get the tour guide to explain about the secrets of this castle for free!

the wall structure of Kanazawa castle

the wall structure of Kanazawa castle

Kenroku-en - one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan

Kenroku-en – one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan


Kenroku-en – signature place to take picture! 🙂

Kenroku-en - the very old trees that need support

Kenroku-en – the very old trees that need support

Kenroku-en - natural pressure fountain

Kenroku-en – natural pressure fountain

Nagamachi Samurai District

Nagamachi Samurai District

Nomura-ke Samurai House - the samurai harness

Nomura-ke Samurai House – the samurai harness

A samurai family's stable and servant house

A samurai family’s stable and servant house

Check also the ninja temple and the golden leaf factory.

Ramen! :)

Ramen! 🙂

Gyoza - my must eat dish in Japan

Gyoza – my must eat dish in Japan

Place to chill

Cafe Hope - Asahi machi 2-8-38 -

Cafe Hope – Asahi machi 2-8-38 –

Open during lunch time. Good and affordable meal set, nice service and friendly English speaking staff. Free wifi.

May 2014

An intermezzo. There is a nice park nearby Dejima wharf. I bought a beef croquette and walked around there. Suddenly something snatched my croquette while I was talking to my friend. My friend screamed and I tried to attack the snatcher. Unfortunately, the snatcher flew away. It was a hawk.

Dejima Wharf

Dejima Wharf. Cozy area to hang out with friends

Nagasaki has a tragic history of being bombed during the World War II. A lot of innocents became victims and the stories I read in the memorial were so heart-breaking. However, the people in Nagasaki moved on though they still remember the tragedy. You can go around pretty easily by tram. I chose to walk from the nearest tram station to the sites.

Take time to walk back to the history of Nagasaki….

Atomic Bomb Memorial- the light pillars. There you can find the names of the victims and pray

Atomic Bomb Memorial- the light pillars. There you can find the names of the victims and pray

10,000 cranes for peace

10,000 cranes for peace – almost everyone in Nagasaki knows how to fold paper cranes. They pray as they fold each crane.

The atomic bomb hypocenter

The atomic bomb hypocenter

Fountain of Peace

Fountain of Peace

Peace Statue

Peace Statue

Urakami church - rebuilt after the bomb

Urakami church – rebuilt after the bomb

There are several others places for this historical journey of Nagasaki too in the same area.

megane bridge nagasaki

Megane (spectacles) bridge – the reflection of the bridge on the water makes it looks like spectacles/glasses

Castella sponge cake - the Nagasaki specialty :)

Castella sponge cake – the Nagasaki specialty 🙂

Another specialty you can only find here is kakuni manjyu. It looks like white Chinese steam bun folded with roasted pork in between.



Jumat, 14 Juni 2013, Blasta Casual Resto Purwokerto.

Ditulis dalam Bahasa Indonesia khusus buat teman-teman yang penasaran. Ditambah beberapa tips yang mungkin kemarin belum sempat kami sampaikan. Semoga bermanfaat!

Sekilas tentang Couchsurfing (

Couchsurfing (CS) adalah sebuah jaringan traveler global berbasis web. Kita dapat berbagi dengan sesama traveler dari seluruh dunia melalui hosting, surfing, ataupun sekedar kopi darat. Hosting adalah saat kita (kali ini disebut host) menerima surfer (tamu) menginap di tempat tinggal (couch) kita. Surfing adalah saat kita ada di posisi surfer. Couchsurfing dan couchsurfer adalah istilah baru untuk mereka yang aktif dalam CS. Untuk setiap wilayah maupun hobi khusus dibagi dalam group-group tersendiri yang memiliki agenda gathering maupun event. CS Purwokerto saat ini dimoderatori oleh Isro Adi, dengan member lokal aktif kurang lebih 15 orang. Untuk keterangan lebih lanjut, bisa gabung di web dan group… atau hubungi mas moderator aja ^^

Mari kita mulai…


catatan perjalanan

Detail perjalanan saya tercantum di blog ini dalam Bahasa Inggris, tapi tenang aja, gak susah dimengerti kok kalimatnya (karena saya juga masih terbatas kosakatanya).

poin poin

1. Pembelian Tiket

– Berburu tiket promo dengan mendaftar newsletter dari berbagai maskapai penerbangan (terutama yang suka ngadain promo). Biasanya murah itu karena tidak termasuk bagasi, makanan/minuman, serta asuransi perjalanan. Coba gunakan untuk membandingkan harga berbagai macam penerbangan ke luar negeri.

– Prediksi waktu perjalanan sesuai dengan tiket promo yang didapat.

2. Pembuatan Visa:

– Perhatikan syarat dan ketentuan pembuatan visa setiap negara di website kedutaan masing-masing.

– Kalau sekiranya ongkos untuk bolak-balik ke kedutaan jatuhnya jadi mahal, cobalah via travel agent. Untuk visa Jepang dan Korea Selatan harganya kurang lebih Rp 450.000,- s/d Rp 475.000,- untuk single entry (visa wisata untuk sekali masuk sebuah negara dengan jangka waktu tertentu) melalui travel agent.

– Perhatikan juga durasi pembuatan visa. Jangan terlalu mepet, karena nanti bisa repot sendiri kalau dokumennya ada yang kurang.

– Tips: lampirkan tiket PP, print out booking hotel, dan fotokopi tabungan 3 bulan terakhir. Kita bisa booking hotel tanpa harus membayar DP dan tdak dikenakan biaya pembatalan (biasanya maksimal 7 hari sebelum hari H) di beberapa website seperti Perhatikan keterangan yang tertera agar tidak salah booking. Tabungan minimal yang diwajibkan adalah Rp 35.000.000,- (tiga puluh lima juta rupiah). Cara mengakalinya, kita bisa meminjam dari kerabat atau teman, hanya untuk melengkapi persyaratan ini saja. Lalu, harap segera kembalikan uangnya sebelum terpakai semua untuk traveling 😛

3. Penukaran Mata Uang

– Pantau nilai tukar mata uang.

– Cari money changer terpercaya.

4. Packing

– Untuk tiket tanpa bagasi, backpack yg ideal untuk masuk kabin adalah sekitar 40-50 liter

– Perhatikan musim dan kondisi cuaca supaya bisa menyesuaikan jenis pakaian yang akan dibawa.

– Peralatan mandi seperti sabun, shampo, dan odol harus dibawa dengan kemasan masing-masing maksimal 100ml, dengan jumlah total maksimal 1 liter, untuk bisa masuk kabin. Kalau lebih dari itu, barang bisa disita atau dibuang oleh petugas.

– Untuk perjalanan dengan jangka waktu yang panjang, bawalah baju secukupnya saja, dan deterjen bubuk supaya kita bisa mencuci baju saat tinggal cukup lama di satu tempat. Bawa juga pakaian dalam sekali pakai jika perlu, supaya menghemat waktu mencuci. Selain itu, bawaan kita bisa berkurang dan ruang kosong dalam tas kita bisa untuk tempat oleh-oleh.

Wajib dibawa: Kamera pocket, obat-obatan pribadi (seperti: vitamin, tolak angin, plester, dll), sunblock, sunglasses, lipbalm, botol minum, sepatu yang nyaman untuk jalan maupun lari, traveler’s adapter (karena tidak semua negara colokan listriknya sama kayak Indonesia).

– Jangan lupa souvenir untuk host kalau kita menggunakan CS.

5. Itinerary

– Gali informasi sebanyak mungkin. Sesuaikan dengan minat kita. Cek juga event yang akan berlangsung. Contoh (minat spesifik): saya adalah penggemar ninja, jadi saya juga menyempatkan diri untuk berkunjung ke kota Iga yang adalah tempat ninja berasal. Disana juga sedang ada festival ninja setiap weekend di bulan April. Klik untuk website info: Jepang Korea Selatan.

Booking segala sesuatu yang sekiranya perlu jauh-jauh hari.

– Buat jadwal sedetail mungkin dan berikan jarak waktu untuk kemungkinan tersesat atau bertanya pada orang lain.

– Siap-siap untuk improvisasi (plan B, C, D, dst) jika ternyata traveling tidak berjalan sesuai rencana. Tadi ada juga pertanyaan tentang jika tiba-tiba terjadi kerusuhan saat kita traveling. Saran saya: catat alamat dan nomor telepon kedutaan atau konsulat jenderal Indonesia. Tetap tenang dan jangan panik supaya kita tetap bisa berpikir jernih serta mengambil keputusan yang tepat dalam kondisi yang tidak baik. Miliki juga asuransi yang bisa di-claim di seluruh dunia supaya kita gak parno kalo sakit saat traveling.

contoh itinerary

6. Budgeting

– Informasi juga sangat penting dalam budgeting, jadi kita sebaiknya mencari tahu kisaran harga-harga terbaru untuk penginapan, makanan, transportasi, tiket masuk tempat wisata, sampai souvenir (buat yang mau bawa oleh-oleh).

BOCORAN — buku panduan traveling biasanya “menipu”. Saya baca traveling murah 5 hari ke Jepang cuma Rp2,5juta. Ternyata hari pertamanya adalah: sampai di Jepang jam 11 malam dan pulangnya adalah hari kelima: pergi ke airport pagi-pagi! Ouch! Secara praktek, jalan-jalan di Jepangnya cuma 3 hari, tidak termasuk tiket pesawat PP dan visa. Tapi bukan berarti bukunya gak berguna. Disitu juga banyak informasi yang bagus buat masukan.

Dibawah ini saya berikan contoh budgeting traveling ke Jepang dan Korea Selatan berdasarkan pengalaman saya April lalu. Ini adalah perhitungan secara garis besarnya saja. Kalau kamu sudah punya cukup banyak informasi sesuai minat, boleh buat yang lebih detail sendiri supaya bisa memperkirakan dana yang dibutuhkan.


jepang budget

jepang foto 1

jepang foto 2

jepang foto 3


korea budget

korea foto 1

korea foto 2

korea foto 3


jepang korea budget



thank you

Special Thanks to: Couchsurfing Purwokerto, Blasta Casual Resto, SatRio (biangkerok), dan semua pihak yang sudah mendukung acara ini 🙂



Posted: May 21, 2013 in COUCHSURFING, JAPAN

General info * Tokyo * Kawaguchiko * Kyoto Iga

Day 7: 14 April 2013

The subway in Osaka is more simple than Tokyo (of course). You can buy one day pass for JPY 600. There are also tourist information staffs in uniforms at bigger stations. They speak English, they have maps, they have the informations you might need.

There’s nothing much I could see in Osaka. The most important thing is to take the pictures of the famous running Glico man and the Doraku Crab in Dotonbori area. Hahaha… well, they are the icons of Osaka so far. You can enjoy spending time in Dotonbori, finding some good food to taste. Try the smoked crab legs. There’s also Sakaisuji street where you can shop.

Doraku crab

Doraku crab

running Glico man

running Glico man



Sakaisuji street

entrance to Sakaisuji street

Then, visit Osaka Castle and Shitennoji temple.


Osaka castle

a part of Shitennoji temple

a part of Shitennoji temple

There is Universal Studios Japan as well. I chose to look around at Universal City Walk only, because it’s already 4pm.


Universal City Walk

At night, I worked parttime at the cozy Nocosarejima bar for 3 hours. It’s near the Tsutenkaku tower at Shinsekai. They also have bicycle rental, JPY 500 per day. It’s fun to cycling in Osaka, but you must not forget to lock the bike. I knew the owners from Couchsurfing.

Tsutenkaku tower

Tsutenkaku tower

Nocosarejima bar

Nocosarejima bar

my name tag :D

my name tag 😀

Day 8: 15 April 2013I woke up a bit late because I had nothing to do except for going to the harbor for my ferry to Busan. Unfortunately, I was also late to notice that there is an artistic wedding chapel near the harbor! The White Chapel, located just behind the Hyatt Regency.

I would board Panstar Dream cruise. The station officer told me that I should have stopped at Cosmo Square station, not Ferry Terminal station. I rode the wrong bus because there was Panstar Dream sign on a bus stop, but not only Panstar bus stop there.

There’s no restaurants near the harbor, but you can find Lawson about 400m from the harbor if you’re hungry… or bring some food before you come here.



One day pass (subway)



Train ticket


Dinner (Yoshinoya – gyuudon)


Chocolate drink (supermarket)


Drink (vending machine)



Lunch and snack (Lawson)



Panstar ferry to Busan


Fruit juice 2x


Links: * General infoTokyo * Kawaguchiko * Kyoto * Iga