Sabtu, 28 Mei 2011

big bowl of Ice-cream

The world is like a big bowl of Ice cream. You think you know what you are ordering, which is probably based on the beautiful pictures of that Ice cream bowl you saw on the menu. But when the bowl came, you know that its too small, even if the taste is just as good as you have imagined, or probably even better than what you expected, but the portion is not what you want. That's how everything in this world works, the world is filled up with  built up images of grandeur things, when in reality things are just small, and probably simple.

After the first order, when you finished your bowl of Ice cream only one question remains, if you ever come back to that restaurant, would you ever want to order that same bowl of Ice cream? You probably promise yourself you will not make the same mistake again, but you know that there will always be next time, because although that bowl was a lie, but that lie was good, and it was worth it.

Rabu, 18 Mei 2011


Red street by asihsimanis
Red street, a photo by asihsimanis on Flickr.

I said in my earlier Post, that the Sapporo Yuki Matsuri is not worth the fuzz of travelling, but dont get me wrong, Sapporo itself I think is worth travelling to.

The Japanese people are very cold people, meaning that they dont likely express their feelings of joy and warmth in the way that other nations might do, so it has been difficult for me to fit in, simply beacause my nation, Indonesia, is the complete opposite of that, we are warm and very open.

Sapporo people are somewhat just as cold, but they are very welcome and Hokkaido is famous for its northern hospitality, so where else to best experience it other than in the biggest city of Hokkaido, Sapporo?

Another thing about Sapporo is that unlike other places in Japan, you can see a lot of old western influences, like old western buildings, but you can still see the typicall Japanese buildings, and the food in Hokkaido is amazing.

If you are a seafood lover, then this is the place to be. everything is very fresh, which makes it a thousand times more delicious.

I think that Sappro, unlike Kyoto which is a super Japan tourist destination, and Tokyo the big metropolitan, if you were to come to Sapporo with a significant other, you might actually be able to enjoy it. its lovely really. and the peak season of going to Hokkaido would be in the summer, because they say the flowers there are nice. In February they have those Snow festivals which might be interesting to visit. so why not plan your date to Sapporo? hehe.

Sabtu, 14 Mei 2011

Sapporo Yuki Matsuri

Its world famous. It is huge. It has amazing sculptures. Attracts probably thousands of people from within Japan and from outside of Japan to come each year, but well that's it.

I remember thinking when I received my scholarship to Japan, that while I am there for a year I have to go to Hokkaidos infamous Snow Festival, I have heard from it for so much and I have built this perfect scene in my head on how it must be. So when the opportunity came to go, I wasn't going to say no to it.

We went using a ship, and there were 12 of us, the ship ride was 18 hours from Niigata, and we would only be in Hokkaido for one night, so we were probably spending 50% of the whole trip on the ship, but it was the cheapest way to go, I could never have been able to afford it if we didn't take the ship.

My Sensei was worried sick of me when I told him I was taking the ship to Hokkaido, because he is from Hokkaido and he said to me that the waves are particularly bigger in Winter, and we were going in the peak of winter. So yeah, I was scared. I prepared a lot of traditional Indonesian Medicine called Tolak Angin, which is supposed to keep your body warm and therefor will help you not get sea sick. So I drank that thing and I did not get sick, a lot of my friends did however, the waves were huge!

Hokkaido was not as cold as we all have expected, probably because everyone kept saying it was so freaking cold, so we had this really big expectation for it, but it wasn't really, we could survive.

The Sapporo Yuki Matsuri was however not as pretty as I have expected, it was really big and beautiful and everything , but I just didn't get the goosebumps when I was there.

Sapporo however had succeded in becoming my second most liked city in Japan after Tokyo, it just has that really nice vibe to it. I really like that northern hospitality everyone keeps talking about.

Should you go to Sapporo Yuki Matsuri, maybe no, because I don't think it was worth it, but there are other festivals in Hokkaido which I think are just so much prettier than this one, I will show them to you later.

Kamis, 12 Mei 2011

todaji, Nara

reflection by asihsimanis
reflection, a photo by asihsimanis on Flickr.

For those outside Japan, who are not that interested in Japan, you might probably never heard of Nara. The cities people usually know is Tokyo, followed by Kyoto, all the other cities are a little bit blur in every ones mind, or so I think it is.

However here in Japan, Nara is a big hit, inside my Japanese Learning Books, this city is mentioned over and over again, so yes, the Japanese people love the place, and that's why, after a lot of people selling to me how beautiful it is, I finally decided to go to see for my self.

Nara is the old capital of Japan, it has been the capital of Japan before Kyoto, so historically -and this is simply speaking , so I wont bore you with my lack of knowledge-, this is the real real real and true feeling of Japan. because first there was Nara, then Kyoto and last Tokyo. In Nara, Japan was still very much secluded from the outside world, Kyoto has been touched by more of foreign influences, and Tokyo (Edo) is even more influenced. So they say that the architecture here in Nara will represent that. Sounds really interesting and amazing right?

This picture I included here is a shot of the Todaji temple, which is exquisite because it is the biggest wooden structure in the world. You thought you would now that right, but still people are more amazed by the Golden temple in Kyoto, I wonder why Gold interest people so much.

There are a lot of temples and shrines in Nara, but from all the ones I actually saw, I love this one the most.

I must say however that I wasn't really that impressed with Nara, yes it had some deers in it, who were very cute, yes there is a lot of history in Nara, yes there are a lot of architecturally important buildings there and it really does have everything I usually fall in love with, but I didn't.

For me the whole town was gloomy, there was no festivity at all happening there, just plain history and architecture, which I didn't really like. So if you are not that much of an Old -Japan freak, I think you can conveniently skip this place.

Rabu, 11 Mei 2011

fushimi inari shrine

inari shrine by asihsimanis
inari shrine, a photo by asihsimanis on Flickr.
it is located in the outskirt of Kyoto. I dont know whether it is famous or not, but I think that a lot of people wish to visit the place because it is very artistic, photographic and it was used in the movie Memoirs of a Geisha.

This is what I think, I think the place is boring. Yes the trail of thousands of Inari gates -those orange gates you see, which were given by thousands of companies and individuals in hope that the Gods will reward them with good fortune -is beautiful artistic and superbly photographic, but that is basically all you willsee. The trails of these gates are neverending, you can see more info about the place here. But the scene is more or less the same.

I went to the place twice, the first time I went alone, and it was in the mid of december. I went there at probably 4 or 5 p.m, so it was getting dark. It wasnt a touristy season at that time, the place was empty, no one was there and it was raining. The shrines were located inside some woods, with trails of gates connecting each. I went up to the shrines, through the gates by myself and I was totally scared.

There was this mystique feeling in that place, it felt like there was magic in the air -and not good magic, scary magic-. I finally decided- after getting bored with the look of the gates from the inside,which for me looked the same - to get out of the gates trail as soon as possible, and try to get new angles from outside the trails -which I obviously failed at-. And the woods were even scarier. At last I hurried back as soon as I can, I just dont like the place.

The second time I went at the peek of the tourist season, while there was a ceremony being held at the shrine -sadly we were not allowed to take pictures, I did managed to take some actually, but felt rather weird posting them, since I had no permission to take them in the first place-, and all the scary mist there was before was not there, so I guess it was just bad timing before. However this shot I took here was taken on my first visit, which is why I managed to get a clean shot. If you were to come on the peek season, this shot is super difficult to get I think.

The question is should you or should you not come? If you love Red, love artistic things, love photography, then you might like it, however, I must add that there is a smaller version of this in Tokyo, located inside the Ueno Park. That version is smaller, friendlier, much easier accesible, and for me much nicer. The gates are not as big and as cool as the ones in Kyoto though. If you are interested in seeing other angles of the place here is the link of my album of the place on Flickr.

Selasa, 10 Mei 2011

the dare of dares

I can wait for a week, but my thoughts might not.
I can wait for a month, but my feet might not.
I can wait for a year, but my heart might not.
No matter how long you need I might wait for you

you the unaware
deep within
shall compare
of what might have been
for in this dare of dares
I will win

Senin, 09 Mei 2011

entering tokufuji

entering tokufuji by asihsimanis
entering tokufuji, a photo by asihsimanis on Flickr.
People have said that I over exaggerate about things, they don't believe me anymore, because they think to me everything is beautiful, everything is interesting. I am sorry for that but seriously, people you need to trust me! I know what I am talking about.

this picture was taken in Tokufuji in the fall, it is not like I was planning on going there, but I had one day to myself in Kyoto, I had the ichi nichi kippu with me, and I decided to take the 206 bus and stop on every temple that bus goes to. I knew from the book of must see places in Kyoto that Tokufuji was famous for its fall colors, but I was not really that convinced, because I have never heard from it before.

Tokufuji was located in a very posh neighborhood, they were so many huge old houses which look like a temple to me, and I was a little bit lost, because there weren't any street signs showing where Tokufuji was. when I arrived there however I was amazed. I came late fall, which means that all the leaves had fallen down, but the place still looked crazy beautiful.

It consisted of a small valley with a so called river which was only like half a meter wide. I have no idea why anyone needs to build 3 -not just one, but 3- gorgeous bridges across a river that is only half a meter wide, but even though it makes no sense, the bridges are excellent and the scene was amazing. I was so in love with the place I took pictures of it for almost 2 hours, I couldn't get enough of it. It was not until I reminded myself that I needed to see other places, when I started to move on.

there is a legend that this place was the living place of a woman who was the most beautiful woman at that time, everyone loved her. But even though everyone fell in love with her beauty, no body loved her for her, so she never accepted any of those love. She died here in this place very old and alone, because she chose to live for God instead. I can totally understand why she decided to do it here, this place is definitely God searching material.

I know that maybe after all the post I have written, you might not trust me anymore when I say that this place is amazing, but I am not lying to you, it is amazing. I still look at my pictures from that day in awe. This place has inspired me to take some of my most amazing pictures. I am very fond of it.

I took this picture very blur because I felt like I was entering a dream. I wanted to show my feeling through my pictures, of course I have sharp pictures of the place too. You probably cant enjoy the beauty of this place by seeing blur pictures of it. I shouldnt put the blur version of the place, but I kinda like this shot, so if you would love to see the-un-blur version, please access my pictures here. Hopefully my pictures talk louder than my words, the place is beautiful, its such a pity if you are not interested in visiting because I have not sell the place right.

I hope you still trust me, so the next time you are in Kyoto, at fall, this is a must see place.


an ultra cool bycicle by asihsimanis
an ultra cool bycicle, a photo by asihsimanis on Flickr.
I know that when you hear the word Harajuku, this image is not what you think of. You think of crazy looking people, who expresses themselves through crazy clothes, but let me tell you, Harajuku is so much more than that.

I have been lucky enough to be able to visit the place every time I come to Tokyo, so overall I have came to this place probably fur times or more, and I have also slept in an internet cafe there, showered there, shopped there, ate there, got lost there, and a lot of other things. This place never fails to impress me.

Harajuku is a place for art and culture expressed mostly through fashion. This picture I took is a scene from a museum that was build I think by that crazy community that calls Harajuku their home, its beautiful, and more importantly, this so called museum is free.

I found it rather by accident, so I might not be the person to ask where it really is located, but, that's the beauty of Harajuku. You can be one of those lazy tourist who only wander around the big streets and be happy with what you see because you will a hell lot of good bargains of clothes, crazy outfits and you will meet those crazy looking people you want to see in harajuku and you will be happy. Or you can be one of those more adventurous tourist and get lost inside the small streets of harajuku, and find yourself looking at this museum, and fall in love with it. This is not the only museum around harajuku, I saw a lot of other apartments its residents has painted fully with art, so I promise you that it will not be boring to pay a visit to the worlds capital of crazy fashion people call Harajuku -even when you are not a crazy fashion person-.

to see more of hajajuku from me, visit my Flickr page here.

Sabtu, 07 Mei 2011

takodabashi pier

the first sunrise of 2011 by asihsimanis
the first sunrise of 2011, a photo by asihsimanis on Flickr.

Flickr is an obsession of mine. One of the things I love about Flickr is that it gives me information about things that I might be interested in. So in the break of 2011, I decided I wanted to see the first sunrise in Tokyo, the question was where? Of course I diligently looked for answers in Flickr. Where would the sunrise be nice in Tokyo? Then I saw a very beautiful image of sunrise  taken by this guy named Alfie|japanorama (who by the way takes amazing pictures, and is Tokyo based), and it was taken in this place he said was Tokyo bay. after I asked google about it, I found out that the name of the place was Takodabashi Pier, and it was actually located near Tokyo tower, where I already planned on attending the incredible balloon celebration at the change of the year. It was a perfect plan. 

So that night, together with my best adventure buddy pici (see her incredible Flickr stream here) we had the adventure of a lifetime. At the afternoon of December 31st, we decided we wanted to see the last sunset of 2010 in Odaiba, after that we went to the Tokyo tower, then we spent the change of the year in Zojoji-temple, where we watched thousands of wishing balloons being released at 12 o clock, in the change of the year. After midnight was over, everyone else headed to the Izakayas (drinking bars) near Tokyo Tower, to further celebrate the change of the year, some headed to the karaoke places to get some rest (in Japan, people sometimes sleep at Karaoke places, because it is cheaper than actual hotels), but me and pici took the other route, we went to a 24/7 McDonald's shop to try to get some rest until sunrise was close.

It turns out that you are not supposed to sleep in McDonald's, I found that out because the workers keep waking me up. but I still got some sleep after all. We already checked the sunrise schedule for the day, and started to walk towards Takadabashi Pier about an hour before sunrise. It turns out that the pier has a waiting room, with chairs and everything, so we decided to continue our sleeping there -although this was also done by some other homeless people, and other crazy kids who are there for the same reason, the sunrise -. When the sunrise was near, we moved to our spot to find that this place was really popular. I knew from google, that the Japanese don't usually celebrate New Year the western way -at the change of the 12 pm clock-, what the Japanese do is they watch the first sunrise of the year, and this place was obviously a favorite spot. I felt like we didn't make the wrong decision to come. I could feel the expectations of people around me. It was just a sunrise, yes, but it symbolized so much more. It symbolized the dawn of a new year, it was supposed to be about hope. After loosing my dad the year before, I needed that hope so much, so I felt my heart beat getting faster. I wanted to move on.

The sunrise was beautiful. I have to remind you that at that time it was still winter, so the temperature was really low, it was bellow 5 degrees Celsius, so the sun was like a gift from heave. I loved seeing it rising from between the buildings. I loved how the Japanese are so in awe of this process, it made my day. 

If you want to see the whole collection of pictures I took that day, please go here.thank you so much for visiting my blog. I will try to keep things interesting.


A friend of mine said to me that women spend their whole lives thinking about the future, until they have children, while men start thinking about the future after they have children. I wonder if that is true. I have been feeling like I am so close to my future, like it is so near I can feel it. But what is future? in my definition it means that this is when you will make big decisions that will set course for the rest of your life. The future I think I am near is the future where I actually have no more other options, a future where I will look around and say : well this is it.

I know I am young, people have been rubbing it in my face the whole day. BUt what is age but just numbers.No one can measure someones knowledge or wisdom, or heart, just by their age.  The future is knocking, it feels so real this time. Every decision, every stupid thing everything will directly affect my life from now on. I am not a kid anymore, I am no longer allowed to make mistakes. I have no longer anyone to take responsibility for my actions. I have to start admiting that. Why is  it so damn difficult to get up on your own feet, and finally start living the live you want.

The future is waiting, I can feel it, I can taste it. the question is, am I ready?

Jumat, 06 Mei 2011


my favourite spot by asihsimanis
my favourite spot, a photo by asihsimanis on Flickr.

Odaiba (or Daiba) is a popular shopping and entertainment district on a man made island in Tokyo Bay. It originated as a set of small man made fort islands (daiba literally means "fort"), which were built towards the end of the Edo Period (1603-1868) to protect Tokyo against possible attacks from the sea.

More than a century later, the small islands were joined into larger islands by massive landfills, and Tokyo began a spectacular development project aimed to turn the islands into a futuristic residential and business district .Odaiba developed into one of Tokyo's most popular tourist attractions and date spots with a wide selection of shopping, dining and leisure options. 

THe scenic of the place is incredible, you can see from the picture I took, where else in the world can you have the statue of liberty (a smaller version of the one in New York, but was also given by the French government as a sign of friendship), the rainbow bridge, AND the tokyo tower all in one frame? If that is not a dream scene, I dont know what is.

Odaiba, with Zojoji-temple (look at a picture I took of Zojoji-temple here), and the Shibuya crossroad for me are the best scenic spots in Tokyo, Everything else in Tokyo is more of a bunch of little amazing things you have to experience. Odaiba is something to complete your eye. Not to mention that the Mall near the Liberty has a small Indonesian Restaurant. 

For those people who love photography, and are in to scenic things, than this place is a must see.

Kamis, 05 Mei 2011

disneyland tokyo

Disneys dancers. by asihsimanis
Disneys dancers., a photo by asihsimanis on Flickr.

Tokyo Disneyland is a theme park based on the films produced by Walt Disney. It was opened in 1983 as the first Disney theme park outside of the United States. Modeled after Disneyland in California and the Magic Kingdom in Florida, Tokyo Disneyland is made up of seven themed lands and features seasonal decorations and parades. These seven themed lands are World Bazaar, Tomorrow land, toontown, Fantasyland, Critter Country, Westernland and Adventureland.

Going to Disneyland might not be my idea of Japan, but I have to say it was very pleasing and interesting. Of course Disneyland has that effect on people. It is amazing how Disney has transcended that love with his movies across the globe, he was last centuries Hans Christian Anderson.

I loved that in Tokyo Disneyland they had that 4D movie about Michael Jackson, it was so entertaining. And the Japanese are incredible in decorating the place too. I love the Japanese for dressing up to the occasion, even the grown ups wear cute little Disney accessories in Disneyland. If you ask me, if you have a long stay in Japan, and you love Disney anyway, a visit to Disneyland might be quite fun.


walking down the street in Asakusa by asihsimanis
walking down the street in Asakusa, a photo by asihsimanis on Flickr.

Asakusa is the center of Tokyo's shitamachi, literally "low city", one of Tokyo's few districts, which have preserved a certain atmosphere of the old Tokyo. Asakusa's main attraction is Sensoji, a very popular Buddhist temple, built in the 7th century. The temple is approached via the Nakamise, a shopping street that has been providing temple visitors with a variety of traditional, local snacks and tourist souvenirs for centuries. 

The atmosphere in Asakusa is a little different and more old school than in other parts of Tokyo, which is nice for those who long for the older style of Japan. However I think that it is way too crowded and also way too touristy, meaning that there are too many tourists in Asakusa. You probably will have difficulties to enjoy it if you are one of those people who hate crowds. 

Asakusa can be easily explored on foot. Alternatively, you can consider a guided tour on a rickshaw (jinrikisha, lit. "man powered vehicle"). A 30 minute tour for two persons costs around 8000 Yen. Shorter and longer courses are also available.I myself never rode the rickshaw, they were too expensive for me. but I love seeing those very strong guys who carry the rickshaw. It is fascinating how they have the strength to do that. If you have some extra money I would really much recommend the ride.

One of the things that I find fascinating in Asakusa is their fortune telling paper which they have translated too English, so you could purchase them without understanding any Japanese. My friend said to me that Asakusas has one of the most reliable fortune telling paper. So I would recommend you to get that experience for only 100 Yen.

Rabu, 04 Mei 2011


If there is a point where I want to go back its point zero. I want to redo to retouch to improve. I want to choose a different path walk a different way and become better than me. I have no control over my past there is no point zero to be revisited, no time machine to go back with, but I will always have control over my future. I will fix my mistakes and I will build the me I want. I will try and I will fall, but fallin will make me stronger and I will stand up better. this is the last post of my from A-Z challenge. yes I`ve made it.