Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Jakarta Travels: Taman Bunga Nusantara - National Flower Park (?)

Last week I went to a place called Taman Bunga Nusantara, roughly translated to “National Flower Park” (?), not really sure though. It’s basically a compilation of themed flower garden in a big flower park. Gardens in a park. Erm..

It’s located a little far outside Jakarta. It’s in Puncak, Bogor. I suggest you bring your own vehicle, because the road is unbelievably challenging.

First you will face the famous puncak road (Puncak means summit).On holidays, this road has a one-way-open-and-close system. 2 hours only for one way up, and 2 hours only for one way down. We arrived at the highway when the road is open for “down way” and we have to wait for about an hour before the road opened for “up way”. Kudos to my friend who drove the car!

On the way, we got hungry and decided to eat at a restaurant called “Cimory Resto”. Cimory is a famous yogurt brand in Indonesia. They open up a restaurant with various food, drinks and dessert menu. It was very spacious and relaxing, especially for an office worker like me who just dying for fresh air and green scenery.
The view from our table
We continued the trip and it took about another 2 hours after Cimory restaurant. I think it’s not that far, but the road was narrow and rocky so we couldn’t drive with high speed. When we finally arrive, the sun felt so hot but the air was chilly. We paid Rp. 30,000 for entrance ticket (about USD 3.00).
It's a VERY, VERY spacious park. So happy seeing various and colorful pretty flowers that look like a big carpet. 

I can say that I’m not a huge fan of flowers, but apparently they ARE pretty.

They even have Japanese Garden and they call it 日本苑 (にほんえん - nihon'en), with all the ponds and fishes and bridges. How nice.

We spent about 4 hours in the park and DID NOT make it through all of the themed gardens. It was sooo huge. Well to be fair we did many stops and these stops took much time because we would take a lot of pictures. Like, A LOT. Oh yes, we are the selfie-nuts.

If you want to visit this place, make sure to wear your most comfortable shoes. Because you’ll walk a lot and the shuttle car only goes in the main road of the garden. No need to bring a lot of water because you can find cafes inside. All in all, the hours of trip was paid off.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

4 things that I can conclude from the streets in Tokyo

When I went to Tokyo, I found some amusing things that we don’t have in Jakarta. Or that I found new and different from Indonesia. This is the thing. I can guarantee the people who only know Bali instead of Indonesia is still exist. While Japan, who doesn’t know Japan? Cultural-wise, there’s gonna be A LOT of differences. And you’ll find me journaling the differences on this blog.
Here they are. Some findings I saw generally in the streets of Tokyo.

1. Color variation on houses

It’s like they only have white and brown paintings in Tokyo. I can’t recall finding any house that was painted in orange or blue color. When I stroll down the houses and apartments in Nippori area, I was a little stunned by how ‘plain’ the color of the houses is. I’m talking about the wall’s color here, not the doors, stairs or gate’s color. They make it look very mature, though.
Meanwhile in Indonesia, we do have a lot of painting color variations. Of course white color is still dominant, but you WILL find private houses painted in orange or green or even red. Bold. We’re creative that way.
Plain Japanese house

Bold Magenta Indonesian house

2. Color variation on clothes

Again, it’s like they only have white and brown and additional dark blue and grey color of garments in Tokyo. Well it’s not as plain as the houses and buildings, but I really I think I was the only one who wears red jacket when walking on Shibuya crossroad. Awkward. SO awkward.
In Indonesia, we can have 10 colors all blended in 1 T-shirt, or so. Well, it’s probably because Indonesia is a tropical country. Somehow, people from tropical countries seem to love colors so much. Just picture 2 persons who came from Hawaii and from Russia walking side by side. See my point?
Bold red jacketed Indonesian me in Shibuya crosswalk 

3. Traffic light

There are sooo many traffic lights and crosswalk in almost every little crossroads. Even for a very small road that barely has cars passing on it, it has a traffic light! I’m not joking about the small road. I don’t think it can fit 3 cars passing at the same time. And for every intersection, there’s a traffic light. I just don’t see the point of those many traffic lights. Probably it’s just in Tokyo. I don’t know.
I’m not sure if it’s something that Jakarta should have too. We only use traffic light in big streets and have lots of cars passing on it. People can cross the roads wherever they like, pretty much on all small streets here.

4. Building size

It’s obvious, actually, but I still want to point it out. Geographically, Japan is a small country comparing to Indonesia. That’s why, Japanese are very effective in using space they have. So I think you wouldn’t find any spacious malls or house with spacious backyards in Tokyo. Oh please don’t forget, we are now comparing it to Jakarta. Indonesians will feel that they can barely breathe in Tokyo’s shopping center.
Indonesians seem to get used to huge space in everything. Roads, malls, backyards, etc. Take one example, Grand Indonesia Shopping Mall in Jakarta. If you stand in a corner of west mall and your girl/boyfriend is standing in the opposite corner of east mall, you are now having a long distance relationship. That’s how big Jakarta’s malls are.
Typical spacious backyard of Indonesia house

Those are the things that I saw in Tokyo streets. Pictures other than Shibuya are taken from other websites.

Monday, December 29, 2014

So it begin...

They say when you stop searching, it will come to you unexpectedly. ‘It’ can refer to almost anything. Dream, purpose of life, love, life goal maybe, anything. I think that is exactly what happened to me.

I never dreamed about studying in Japan, but yes, I’ve always dreamed about living abroad. Since I was born and live in a tropical country, I always love it when it’s cloudy and almost-rain-but-it’s-not-raining sky, so probably I can fit in to some Europe country. But that never happen and looking back I never really try to make it happen. So I let this be an eternal daydream. However, here I am, planning toward a 1 year study in Japan. Who knows? Sounds cool, though.

I'll be going to Osaka approximately in beginning of April 2015. It is super exciting that I can leave my boring job and face a new world in Japan. I know it's not going to be raining candy everyday. It's gonna be tough. But it's a challenge and it's a risk I'm willing to take.

I'm going to keep the journal on this blog. But not only that, I'll be posting any interesting things I find both in Indonesia and Japan. Or maybe other country. Hope so.

So… Let the journey begin!