01.09.2017 // Traveling in Japan part 1

Long time no blogging again! And finally I`m in the mood again to write LOL *as usual's excuse.

Updated (2017)
Said happy new year all! Guess it`s already 2017 now. LOL! I`ve been working on this post since last october 2016 but I always procrastinate until now I decided to finish this post off LOL....

Actually, I`d already wanted to write about how my life is going on in Japan and the places I`ve gone to while I`m here since ages, but due to my lack of time since I have to study Japanese dilligently  due to my laziness, I never actually do it in the end LOL.

So, I went to Nagano-ken (長野県) during school`s autumn break*, the place that I really wanted to go since 2012, (the first time I came to Japan), and it was super amazing that I thought I want to share the pics and write the details of the trip and while I`m at it, thought that I`d also write about the other places I`ve visited also in Japan in full details, hopefully in my next, next, next blog posts!!!! (Hope I can be consistent to my words, this time LOL). 

*A little "curcol" here;
Actually, even tho it was supposed to be autumn break, but it was not much of a holiday, in reality, LOL, since I already got accepted as an intern in a Japanese company from last september, I got to work from monday-friday. Altho It`s only 5 hours per day, from 14:00-19:00, sadly, national holidays is included, too. So, even tho I got no school due to school break, it`s like the same since the real holiday I got is just saturday and sunday (LOL). Luckily, my boss was kind enough to give me permission to take a day off for last travel, since I`m still an internship kid, LOL. That`s why my last travel was suuuccch a breather, a short escape from my daily routine now. :) 
Ok, enough for the short "curhat" and back to the main story. haha.

Actually, I love traveling in the first place. I just love the idea of exploring the new places I`ve never been to *could take a lot of pics and post it, too LOL. (I`m sorry I`m such a narcissist.) Ok, if you read my blog from the beginning, you should know the fact that my favorite country ever since my childhood days is Japan...** So, since I love traveling, and I love Japan, too, so Travel + Japan = a perfect combination for me!!! Since I already live in Japan now, I guess I have this privilege to explore this country and take this chance more to travel around Japan, not only to the already mainstream tourist places, as Japan is not just about Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka, but there's still so many hidden gems here that`s also worth visiting that much people probably not know about.

**A little "curcol" again here;
Even tho ever since I live here I got to accept the fact that living by yourself in another country, well, in my case, my dream country, Japan, is not as easy/fun/perfect as I had imagined before and despite the happy/fun moments and photos I uploaded in social medias, there're many hardships I also went through to be able to survive in this country, that are not uploaded, of course. *LOL. Well, Japan is beautiful. The beauty that attracts people to fall in love with it in a second. But despite its appearance, Japan is also another country, which also have so many flaws, *talk about reality* but nevertheless, I still love Japan no matter what. :)

OK, back to the main story....

So, if anyone invited me to go to somewhere in Japan, as long as that`s the places I`ve never been to, and the activities I could do there interest me, the chance is I`d almost definitely accept the invitation, pack my bag and go! (if the time and of course, money, matches. LOL!)

So, Japan have 9 regions and 47 prefectures in total. And I don`t know since when, I got this dream to explore all 47 prefectures in Japan* LOL. (Much of a dream, tho) :'( *not necessarily have to, but at any rate, I just want to explore Japan as much as I can while I still can. YOSH!

Current visited prefectures ; 15-16/47, I guess? ^^' still a long way to go, LOL.

Will be a long post! Hope you're not bored already, haha. 
Japan's Map and list of all 47 prefectures
Pic from google

While I`m at it, thought I`ll put the list of my have visited places in Japan here and will update this list if there's any change as a reminder and an encouragement for me to keep traveling in Japan more (?) LOL

Map ; from top to bottom
A-I ; Name of the region
1-47 ; Name of the prefecture

JAPAN (日本)

A. HOKKAIDO (北海道) (1/1) :
1. Hokkaido (北海道) (v) 
Popular known city in Hokkaido : Sapporo, it`s capital city.
The first place where I saw snow and touched it for the first time! *achievement *moved (tho, ever since I live in Japan, I hated winter which makes me hated snow, too since I know the fact that snow is only good in your eyes, LOL.) Went here with tour around december 2013, (before I came to study in Japan) for about a week. The name of the cities in Hokkaido that I remembered visiting was only Sapporo and Hakodate? LOL. I remembered we also visited the bear farm, ninja village, seaweed and beer museum (?), and there were other places, too but I already forgot. LOL. *have to look at my Hokkaido's photos first.* And I remembered it was very cold in Hokkaido even though it was just around early december at that time.
And as I went there with a tour, I haven`t got that much freedom to choose only the places I want to visit, of course (TBH, I hate museum-visit, except if the content interest me) and plus, Hokkaido is very big, so if I got the chance (time and money,HAHA), I really want to go there again, but maybe next time! :)

B. TOHOKU (東北) (1/6)
2. Aomori (青森)
Popular with its apple's production.

3. Iwate (岩手)
4. Miyagi (宮城)
Popular known place in Miyagi : Sendai, its capital city.

Want to visit there too, since my friend lives there but haven`t got a plan yet because it`s sooo far from Osaka. :(

Finally got to visit Sendai last winter holiday just a week ago! Sendai is pretty far from Osaka (see the map above) and its costly to go there by using shinkansen (the Japanese' bullet train) but if you use a night bus from Osaka, it takes real time... Plus it`s hard to find someone who also shares the same interest with me and want to go as far....

So, I used the chance last winter holiday when my bros and sis came to visit me in Japan, and I included Miyagi in our itinerary as I really wanted to explore northern Japan, and I especially wanted to visit the fox village!!! As they could buy JR pass from Indonesia, it would be cheaper for us to go there. Unfortunately, I can`t buy JR pass so I, reluctantly paid the regular fare for shinkansen... (bye money, *sob) but it`s ok since I got a companion now and a reason to go there since I probably wouldn`t get a chance like this in the future, anyway.

THE FOXES!!!!!!!
The journey from Osaka to Miyagi was pretty far and tiring, since we had to depart from early morning from Osaka, as it`s winter now that if we didn`t arrive early, it will be dark already when we arrived there. And also, I had the responsibility for taking care of my bros and sis and to ensure they didn`t stray or.., (many things happened along the journey... but I can`t write the full detail here, maybe in another post. LOL).

So, we visited Sendai, met my friend, Rian, who`s my ex-student when I worked as a consultant in Indonesia before, who`s now enrolling as a high school student there, who`s very different now! :0

The next day, we went to the fox village accompanied by a very kind Japanese, Mi-san who`s the host of the airbnb`s place where we lived. We were very lucky to met Mi-san cause the way to fox village is pretty costly as it doesn`t have direct public transporation so one got to take taxi back and forth to go there. (As you know, the cost of taxi in Japan is.....)

Mi-san didn`t only take us to fox village, but he also took us to many other places we wouldn`t visit if we weren`t locals, I guess. I was happy I could speak at least enough Japanese to communicate with him as he smiled to me and said how grateful he was that he could speak properly with me as he usually took non-japanese people out and it`s hard to communicate with others if there`s language barriers as he can`t really speak english.

Me, hugging he cute, cute fox.
But he's very kind as in his spare time he loves to do this kind of thing as a way to introduce his city to other people for free! He even said that he already goes back and forth to the fox vilage for the 14th times with us! He usually dropped the guest until the entrance of the fox village and wait for them outside and don`t enter as he already got bored of it (naturally) and the entrance fee cost you 1000円. But Mi-san entered inside with all of us as he said "久しぶり" / "long time no go inside". :)

with the kind Mi-san in front of Shiroishi Castle, Sendai
(btw it was freezing as hell, I can`t even felt my hand)

Thank you for your hospitality, Mi-san! My bros and sis even admired Mi-san and until this day, they always said how good Mi-san is! Till we all meet again! ;)

I will probably write about this Sendai-Miyagi trip in another detailed post, later... (If I`m not lazy ;P)
(still so many pictures I want to upload!)

5. Akita (秋田)
6. Yamagata (山形)
7. Fukushima (福島)
The place where the 9.0 M great earthquake which resulted in tsunami and nuclear accidents happened in 2011.

These are the only information I knew about Tohoku and I haven`t really searched that much yet as I haven`t really gone there, LOL, since it`s super far from where I live now, Osaka. Till next time, Tohoku, ;)

C. KANTO (関東) (2/7 / 1/7?)

8. Ibaraki (茨城)
9. Tochigi (栃木)
Popular known place in Tochigi : Nikko, which is famous for it's nature and hiking spots, especially during autumn as a side trip from Tokyo.

10. Gunma (群馬)
11. Saitama (埼玉)
12. Chiba (千葉) (v)
Only if visiting Tokyo Disneyland and Disneysea counts. As it is actually located in Chiba, not in Tokyo, LOL. *cheated one here :P

13. Tokyo (東京) (v)
Probably when you talk about Japan, this city will most definitely come into your mind first. Japan's most mainstream and the most must-visit city in Japan (?). Went there twice! The first one was on my first trip to Japan with my friend (not with a tour) around dec'12 - jan'13 and the second time was with the same occassion with the Hokkaido trip I mentioned above. Missing Tokyo so much as I`ve not gone there again, yet. And there's stil so much places in Tokyo that I want to visit! 
Got a plan to finally visit Tokyo again for this christmas and new year holiday, tho. :) Hope everything's going well! hehe!

Re-visiting Tokyo - success! :D

The 4M siblings reunited
Max, Mari, Mich, Mario
It was sooo fun but so tiringgggg as I got this responsibility to take care of this "bocah2" LOL
Sorry, wrong pic as this pic is definitely not taken in Tokyo
Despite all of that, I love you guys!!!! 

---> Will probably make a detailed post about my Tokyo trip, later :P

14. Kanagawa (神奈川)
Popular known city in Kanagawa ; Yokohama, its capital city.
Ever since I heard stories from few of my friends who had visited this prefecture about how beautiful Kanagawa is, I already put this place on my next-to-go-list too!
Especially, Yokohama and Kamakura. In Yokohama, there is a place called Minato mirai (港未来). Direct translation : Future's port / "pelabuhan masa depan" where my best friend's brother who had lived in Japan before said that it was his most favorite place in Japan and he strongly advice me to go there if I got a chance. 

Minato Mirai at night.
So beautiful!
Pic from google
While Kamakura, maybe known as the place where there is a great big Buddha statue and there's also an island named Enoshima, where my friend (a guy) said that he cried (?) when he visited that place becasue it felt like he's really inside the anime-world when he went there. LOL. Well, maybe he's just like to exaggerate things as well, but after I searched on the internet, I think it's worth a visit. ^^
Planning to go there during this christmas and new year holiday along with the Tokyo trip, too since it's not far from Tokyo!

Updated ;
I didn`t get to go to Yokohama, after all since our schedule was packed with another itinerary as it turned out that my best friend that I haven`t met for 2 years and her family also visiting Tokyo (YEAAAAAAH) so I had to re-arrange my plan. But the last winter holiday was the best as I got to spent last days of 2016 and also first days of 2017 together with my beloved family and friends in my favorite country, Japan!

Well, I still get another chance in the future to go to Yokohama, anyway. ;)

Lilies, Putri (My sis), Lilies' mom, Me
Literally my family and my second family
With 2 beautiful sisters from another mother!
Guess we had known each other since elementary school!
Which was more than 15 years ago!
From Australia -> Japan ;)


D. CHUBU (中部) (2/9)
15. Niigata (新潟)
16. Toyama (富山)
17. Ishikawa (石川)
18. Fukui (福井)
19. Yamanashi (山梨)
20. Nagano (長野) (v)
Went there during my last autumn break** as I mentioned above. Thinking to make a detailed post about this Nagano trip in my next post. (If I`m not lazy later, LOL).

21. Gifu (岐阜) 
Popular known place in Gifu ; Shirakawa-go
I think many of you must have heard about Shirakawa-go, which is famous as a historic village with its traditional farmhouses, which was registered as a UNESCO world heritage site, also.

Shirakawa-go in spring/summer (?)

Familiar with this pic, right?
Pics all from google.
As much as I hate winter, (because I couldn`t stand cold! As expected from an Indonesian who is used to live in a tropical country where it is hot all year long!), I admit that snow is photogenic as it is beautiful in eyes. Like, who could resist not to visit those beautiful villages, winter wonderland, when all the things is covered with snow, at least once?
Actually, had planned to go there with a friend on february next year, LOL. Like, I got so many holiday planned already and have not thinking about how my job`s going on that time, LOL. Just let it flow with the wind~ We'll see what the future me do~ (風に任せる) (So irresponsible, sorrynotsorry) :(

22. Shizuoka (静岡)
Popularly known as where the most famous mountain in Japan, Mount. Fuji (富士山) is located.
Actually, I had already planned to see mount Fuji since the first time I went to Japan in 2012, thinking that we could go to Mount Fuji as a side trip from Tokyo. Due to our lack of information that time, (We didn`t have internet connection outside, only depending on avalaible wi-fi and much worse, none of us could speak japanese also as the only japanese phrases we knew was only sumimasen, arigatou gozaimasu and such LOL!), we kinda lost our way, rode wrong direction of trains, and when we finally back on the right track, it turned out we were too late to be able to see mount fuji that day. The Japanese lady at the station's information desk said that we needed like 1-2 hours more to go (if I`m not mistaken?) and by the time we went there, it will be already pretty dark, and since that day was pretty cloudy, there's no guarantee that we'd be able to see the mount fuji clearly so it`s not adviseable. :(((
So, we went back to Tokyo just like that, and gave up on that since we couldn`t make it in another day since it`s already packed with another schedule and different cities to visit...... and so I haven`t saw mount fuji till now, LOL.
If there's a time, maybe I`ll try my luck again during this year's planned Tokyo trip, too. LOL. But maybe it`s more worth a visit during spring, along with the Fuji shibazakura festival. (pink moss flowers.)

LOOK AT THOSE BEAUTIFUL PINK FLOWERS with mount fuji as its backdrop!
Pic from google
If fate says that I`m still living in Japan, next year, I`d definetely visit Fuji for real that time! :)

23. Aichi (愛知) (v)
Popular known city in Aichi ; Nagoya (名古屋), it's capital city. 
Went there during golden week last may (2016) with 2 friends and surprisingly not too far from Osaka. Still a managable distance. Actually, the one who suggested first to go to Nagoya was my friend, and although a lot of things happened along the trip, but well... it was still pretty fun I guess. Not only Nagoya, we also visited Gamagori, where there's a theme park named Lagunasia / Laguna Ten Bosch, which also have a really beautiful flower park, illumination at night, and a big thousand sunny ship where you can actually ride and sail on it with the straw hat crews! *will make the detailed post about my Aichi trip, later if I`m in the mood. ;)

For all of you, One Piece lover!
Pic from my instagram account : @mariin23
Feel free to follow me for more pictures of me Japan, LOL.

Cause this post is already too long and it takes time to finish it of until 47, :( And I`m so sleepy right now as tomorrow marks the first day of school after winter holiday ... :'( I will cut this for now and to be continued to part 2, to the remaining 5 regions, Kansai *place where I live, Chugoku, Shikoku, Kyushu and Okinawa.

Stay tuned! ;D


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