After finishing one task, studying 1 chapter at Nihongo Shokyu 2, practicing Beethoven, and studying a bit about music theory finally i can write again about my holiday 😀 *i don’t know lately I really want to write a lot* so here we go, はじめる！
4 April 2013 (Kyoto 京都 – Yokohama 横浜)
We reached Kyoto using 12.55 train from JR Osaka Station and we arrived at JR Kyoto Station around 13.30. Because we’ve read that using bus was the most convenient way to travel around Kyoto we directly buy one day bus ticket, which was 500 Yen for Adult. Quite reasonable, we thought.
Actually i have visited Kyoto 5 years ago with AFS program and at that time we visited Kiyomizudera and Ginkakuji, so my sister said we should visit any shrine that i have never visited before. So our plan was to first visit Heian Jingu (平安神宮, it is said to be one of the most beautiful Sakura Spot) and after that probably Kiyomizudera. We used bus no 100 to Heian Jingu and it took about 30 minutes.
During the bus ride we could see Kyoto city, and it was completely different from Osaka. I think, this city was really full of temples and shrines and there were no tall buildings nor skyscraper. It gave us a really different impression from Osaka’s and Tokyo’s big city image.
So actually this Heian Jingu was composed of shrine and garden (for Sakura Spot), and to enter the garden we have to pay again, if i’m not mistaken about 500 Yen. The temple was really nice, all red and we found one ‘tree’ which leaves were actually pink omikuji, really cute!
Inside the Heian Jingu Garden? Marvelous! So many sakura and we also got the iconic view of sakura tree plus the lake and the shrine building faraway. But then it was really crowded, it was like we were queuing in a labyrinth full of sakura tree 😀
After that we went to the bus stop to ride bus no 100 again to go to Kiyomizudera. But it was incredibly crowded (the bus). We decided to take taxi, because we had such a limited time (our Shinkansen to Yokohama will depart by 18.32). But when we finally got the taxi we were stuck in a traffic jam. Feeling helpless we decided to stop at Gion Area and after that with a long struggle we finally could get into bus that would take us back to JR Kyoto Station (it was already 16.30 by that time)
My advice was during peak sakura season bus IS NOT the best option to go around Kyoto! The traffic jam was horrendous, really scaring, and they also did not put the air-conditioner on inside the bus although it was full of people. Maybe subway would be a better option.
We reached the station around 17.30, buy some bento, do some omiyage shopping (i bought bunny made of paper), and went directly to Shinkansen platform. Shinkansen from JR Kyoto Station to JR Shin Yokohama Station (because that night we already booked hotel at Yokohama) costs 13000 Yen more or less. We were using Nozomi Shinkansen, one of the latest series and this time this Shinkansen had electrical socket! (unlike my last time from Naeba to Tokyo). It also provided us by free wi-fi inside, however my sister’s laptop could not connect to it and she ended up using wifi from my mobile phone.But i think my sister was having a good time and feeling the sensation for her first shinkansen ride! 😀
We arrived at JR Shin Yokohama Station, i was barely alert because my allergy was triggered by the bentou and it just directly went to headache stage (usually my allergy went from skin rash and itchiness only, but if it was severe i directly feel headache). We took JR Yokohama Line to Yokohama Station where our hotel was located, but i did not know why the train stopped at Higashi Kanagawa station and we had to change by using Keihin Tohoku Line to Yokohama Station. Ah, i really don’t know why, usually it just went directly to Yokohama Station:(
But anyway, we finally reached our hotel, luckily located just outside JR Yokohama Station, Yokohama Bay Sheraton Hotel & Towers. After soaking inside hot water we went to a really deep sleep, that day had been pretty tiring, imagine we went from Osaka, Kyoto and Yokohama!
5 April 2013 (Yokohama 横浜 – Tokyo 東京)
We enjoyed a food buffet galore at the second floor of our hotel! It was an all day buffet and it had everything from Japanese selections to Western selections. Today we decided to go to Sankeien Garden, Mbak Allya found this particular place because it has a tea ceremony place (Sadou) with reasonable price, only 500 Yen.
We took city bus no 8 from Yokohama Station East Exit bus stop and it took about 35 minutes to Sankeien Garden, we had to get off at Honmoku Sankeien Mae Bus Stop. From there we had to walk about 5 minutes to the Garden. The garden was really beautiful, there were three storied pagoda, many traditional Japanese houses replica (from various period), and a huge lake (we even saw turtles, like several dozens of it just lying under the sun). So many people (mostly senior citizens) visited to take a walk, feed the duck on the lake, and do some sketching. Lovely! 🙂
We also met couple doing wedding photo session there using kimono and all, so beautiful! And the most important thing was we joined the tea ceremony. Not only drinking the tea but also making the tea! (so we had to drink 2 cups, and we were really full, but anyway even the tea that we made tasted excellent). Maybe in later post i would explain about Japanese tea ceremony in detail according to what I’ve been experiencing 😀
After that we ate Oden and Dangou for breakfast, it was amazing that they still served Oden (Oden was kind of winter dishes) but it tasted so nice. The dangou was also sakura flavored, really delicious :3 The added value of eating on that place was of course the lake scenery, really gorgeous!
After that we decided to go to Asakusa, for buying souvenirs. Mbak Allya was astonished to see Nakamise Shopping Street. So many people, so many cute things. She bought several souvenirs and for her students she found cute senbe (rice crakers) with cute design 54 senbe in a pack! I ended up buying a neko bag i’ve been long wanting 😀 We ate at the Udon and Ramen restaurant just in front of the Senso-ji Temple, unfortunately we could not also taste the Melon Bread T_T
After Asakusa, we went back to my dormitory to picked up her gigantic suitcase, it was such a struggle to bring that from my dorm until Sheraton (especially in a crowded train from Higashi Kanagawa to Yokohama Station). We also stopped by at Aobadai Tokyu Square, she was having so much fun at Dear Pattsy buying Totoro Stuffs 😀 We ended that day by eating very delicious yakitori! 😀
6 April 2013 (Yokohama 横浜)
Oh, last day of vacation, i always hate that. Meaning that i had to come back to my harsh Japanese life routine. We tried to spend that day by going to Yokohama Bay (but it did not last long due to the huge wind).
We were also visiting my campus (where my sister had several photos inside my lab, including unpublished photos of mad scientist version of hers
Finally we had final shopping at Aobadai Tokyu Square again.
We bought so many things, cute kitchen apparel at Natural Kitchen, shoes at Dilly Dally’s, clothes at Honeys, and unique shop in front of Honeys. In the end, we ate lunch at Gohan Cafe (me, mom, and Dad’s favorite restaurant).
Finally i had to drop her by to hotel and bid goodbye to her, she took 16.27 Narita Express from Yokohama Station directly to Narita. I was crying at that time, I really would miss her (and when i’m writing down this farewell part, actually i was holding my tears too T_T)
And that’s all for my marvelous holiday together with my sister, Mbak Allya :’) I really miss all of my siblings now, i hope sometimes later we (me, Mbak Allya, Mbak Zisa, and Ilham could go on a trip together!)
Afifa Ayu Koesoema