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Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018

Hello good people!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Today is the last day of winter holiday. I really just want to spend it lazily. Well, we (me and Mas Yu) will have afternoon tea double date together with my bestfriend and her husband 🙂 But; in the morning I am free, I almost finished my abstract for March conference so I decide to wake up late and spend the morning writing about 2017. A dramatic year full of drama, I guess. What happened in 2017? Let me just give me a quick review!

 

2017 started with mega drama number one. Since everything is over now and I have made peace with the main actor, I really cannot mention the content of the drama here (however, I have a little review about that here).

That time everything was quite blurred I guess. I would not make it without my best friend and in total four times visit from my parent and my sister. During spring and summer, I had a little stolen holiday to Kyoto and Osaka, as well as Izu and Nagoya with good friends.

 

In terms of academic, actually nothing changed much. I am right now Doctoral Second year student, first semester. This year I managed to attend 3 conferences (2 national (Chemical Society of Japan and Biocatalysis Symposium) and 1 international, Biotrans at Hungary). I also try to speak about science in Science なう event! I also found myself a new interesting topic about synthesizing drug derivatives.

In lab? It is getting more complicated but still very fun, as one of the oldest right now I have 12 kouhai in total with 2 directly under my supervision. Challenging but still happy! I wish we all can do research with love and dedication, and I can somehow be a good role model 🙂

My focus next year will be more of computational study (crystal structure refinement) and docking study; plus writing my publication! I will have to start thinking as well about my future career, meaning searching for a faculty position or post-doctoral position in Japanese university.

 

This year I tried also to post more on my youtube channel and do vlogging (which I found to be quite fun!). I know what I am doing in youtube is not that “trending” or so called eye-catching, I am just doing it for fun (but with my heart into it). Ah, I also learn to wear hijab more often, trying to incorporate it with my own style 🙂

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All of these things happened together with mega drama number two and mega drama number three. Really cannot mention the content of the mega drama number two however I have a little snippet here and there. I guess I am quite content with the problem solving of mega drama number two right now.

 

And mega drama number three? Finally I am completely releasing myself from my toxic love relationship for 4 years! Here is the snippet, yes, Mas Yu found me 😀 together with wonderful friends from Kanagawa International Student Music Festival!!

 

although we are so far away from settling down. We need gazillion works to be done to face our huge barriers. But to be honest, I am completely at peace. We learn something new everyday, kudos for him for his patience and willingness to learn.

 

In the end, I wrap up this year with a peaceful state of mind.

What are the keys?

 

  1. Self acceptance

I am accepting myself right now, I am not the smartest and I am slow at doing things. But whatever, I keep moving forward slowly everyday. I mean, my dear family, bf, and best friends, they are all able to accept me with my strength and especially, weakness. Why should I be reluctant to accept myself?

  1. Not trying to please everyone

I learned the hard way this year no matter how hard you try to make someone like you; they will not do that if they do not feel that way! So don’t try to please people, be yourself. They will love you if they love you.

  1. Listen and care only to those who really love you

Not all things should be heard and be put into the deepest core of our heart. Follow your heart, listen only to those who matters the most.

Critic will always come to your life. If they come and bother you, just ask yourself two questions. 1) Have I put my heart while doing it? Have I done my best? 2) Do I have good intention on doing this? If the answers are yes, just proceed. It’s the right thing for you.

(Yu, 2017)

Actually actually, those beautiful words in point number 1 to 3 is not mine. I should put some reference…. thank you Yu Teguh golden ways, lol.

 

 

So that is all for my 2017.

I do not have big and detailed resolution for 2018. I am only taking baby steps cherishing everyday and be grateful to Allah for all of His blessings.

Well, I have to publish a paper and search for job this year, hopefully postdoc or academic position in Japan. These are the only focus.

 

Goodbye, 2017.

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Bismillahirrahmanirrahim welcome 2018 ❤

 

 

With loads of love,

 

Afifa Ayu Koesoema

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Sanrio Puroland!

Hello everyone and happy golden week! 🙂

So yesterday I went to Sanrio Puroland with my bestfriend Hilda. And since we are sort-of a Sanrio-addict we were really-really excited! We even managed time to get the same dress for this particular occasion.

Before I told you about our adventure there, let me give you a general information for this park.

So, what’s Sanrio Puroland?

Outer Look of Sanrio Puroland!

Inner look of Sanrio Puroland!

Definitely from the name it is an all Sanrio-character theme park located at Tama City, Tokyo. It is located just a short walk from the South Exit of Odakyu Tama Center Station (Odakyu-Tama Line). You can basically meet any Sanrio character there from the famous Hello Kitty, My Melody, and Little Twin Stars, to the little known ones like Monkichi (or it’s just me that don’t know Monkichi?).

In my opinion this park is really popular for Japanese (but we spotted some foreigner, though) and popular for toddlers and children (though we also spotted other grown up women, mainly come in pair with twin dress, just like me and Hilda). It was Golden Week so the park was kinda fully packed with people, but it’s indoor and the queuing is nothing like Disneyland, so don’t worry!

What’s the main event currently held there?

When we came, Sanrio Puroland also celebrates My Melody 40th Anniversary (geez, she’s that old). So they made special shop for her and the theme is just all for her! Good for me as a huge Melody fans!

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What’s the main attraction there in Sanrio Puroland?

Character Boat Ride

The boat ride is the first thing you will see at the entrance. During the first half of the ride you will get an overall introduction of all Sanrio Characters. During the second half of the ride you will see them all inside Hello Kitty’s Party! The decoration and character are so cute, you can even smell cinnamon when you see the cinnamon roll!

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Lady Kitty House

Next thing up is Lady Kitty House. But please note that Lady Kitty is not Hello Kitty (Kitty White), Lady Kitty is actually Rose White, Hello Kitty’s Grandmother. How can you see the difference? Rose White wears rose instead of red ribbon!

But the house itself is super cute and magnificent! You can go inside the house, look around all the cute stuffs, take picture, and in the end take picture with Lady Kitty :3 (but you will have to pay 1600 Yen more to get your photo printed). You will be greeted by Lady Kitty’s baby grand piano upon arrival and after that you can see Lady Kitty’s huge teddybear, her make-up, her dress collection, her bed, and everything!

It’s definitely a perfect place to take pictures!

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And this is me and my twinnie official picture with Lady Kitty Rose ❤

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Kiki & Lala – Twinkling Tour

This adorable twin is also my favorite and they also have attraction related to Kiki and Lala! Inside the Twinkling Tour you will watched a video about their born and also why did they descend to earth 😀 You will also learn about Kiki and Lala’s magical power and about a cloud machine that can grant anything that you wish for!

After we’ve finished watching the video, we will walk inside Kiki and Lala’s cloud house, it’s very cute!

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And of course, a photo with Kiki and Lala 🙂

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My Melody and Kuromi – My Meroad Drive

My Meroad Drive is another attraction hosted by My Melody and Kuromi. You can ride a very cute melody vehicle and the attraction mainly tell you about My Melody’s birth. The ride itself is only about 3 minutes but we have to wait for 1 hour for that, however, it is still worth it.

Any Musical, Parade or Character Greeting?

Yes, they are. But we did miss the parade and character greeting, though. Due to golden week, they did not have character greeting for main character (Hello Kitty, Melody, etc.) but only for some minor unknown character. But the musical, Hello Kitty in Wonderland is really excellent! Kitty is helping Kyle to search for Heart Queen’s lost heart (which was stolen by Joker, but Jack was the culprit).

You can watch it in youtube just search for ‘Hello Kitty in Wonderland (Sanrio Puroland)’ (but I think the feeling will be different than watching it directly)

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What i love the most of the musical is the song with very touching lyrics : 君にがいる大好きな家族、どんなに喧嘩しても、愛してる :’) (You have your loving family and no matter how hard you fight or have quarrel with each other, you will still love each other :’)

How about the shopping experience?

It is definitely a shopping paradise for Sanrio lover! :3 They have so many stores, like store special for Hello Kitty, My Melody, and Little Twin Stars. But we explored the biggest one located near the main entrance, it had the combination of all characters! They basically sold everything related to Sanrio. From common things like doll, accessories, until shoes, bag, and even trunk!

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I ended up buying three Melody-related things. One stuffed toy (but not the LLL size probably only the L size), one melody-shaped tupperware, and one Melody transparent bag 🙂

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So, in overall?

I rated it 10 out of 10 (because i’m a Sanrio maniac, lol) 😀 I really want to come again later when it’s not Golden week, so we can get more photos with the main character!

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See you sooner or later, Sanrio Puroland! ❤

Love,

Afifa Ayu Koesoema

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Spring 2015 : Hanami

Hello everyone!

It has been so long since my last post! Now it’s already April and Sakura season has almost ended here in Tokyo, Yokohama and its surrounding. Since i came back to Japan from my spring holiday in the right timing, this year I could enjoy the beauty of Sakura in Tokyo! So, let me share you my story about this year Hanami (Japanese tradition of flower viewing experience!

26 March 2015 – Ueno Park

Access : JR Ueno Station, ~3 minutes walk

Entrance fee : Free

This spot is really popular because they have numerous sakura trees lined up where you can do hanami just underneath. Spaces are already provided and partitioned, according to the rules you can use it for about 1 hour. Not only you can do Hanami here, but you can also visit many museum, Ueno Zoo, and many temples. You can also enjoy local delicacies by buying snacks from food stalls (Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki, Grilled Corn, etc.)

I went there when the Sakura had not bloomed 100% yet but the place was already quite full. So please expect it to be really crowded during Sakura full bloom. P.S : try the Sakura Cake from Starbucks located nearby, it’s so delicious!

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Enjoying Hanami with Starbucks

IMG_2183Local food stalls in front of temple :)

27 March 2015 – Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

Access : Tokyo Metro Shinjuku Sanchome Station (Shinjuku Gate) ~5 mins walk, Tokyo Metro Shinjuku Gyoenmae Station (Okido Gate) ~ 5 mins walk

Entrance fee : 200 Yen for Adults, 150 Yen for Group Admission

One of the most popular hanami spot in Tokyo due to its vast lawn, selections of park, and selections of beautiful sakura trees. Beware! The park is very huge! Do take the map and take a look carefully on where the sakura trees are located. Generally sakura trees are clustered around English Landscape Garden (nearer to Okido Gate). There are also some individual trees located in French Formal Garden and Japanese Traditional Garden.

During the time i went there it was pretty early so only some sakura trees had bloomed. We had the chance to watch some early blooming Sakura : Yokohama Hizekura (bright pink one), Youkou Sakura (light pink), and Ooshima Koshioyama Zakura (white)

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Line of Youkou Sakura Tree

Line of Youkou Sakura Tree

29 April 2015 – Tama Plaza

Access : just outside Tama Plaza Station of Den-en-Toshi-Line

Entrance fee : Free

There is a street lined with sakura trees just outside Tama Plaza Station and it’s quite beautiful.

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Sakura trees lined beyond the busy neighbourhood

Sakura trees lined beyond the busy neighbourhood

31 April 2015 – Tokyo Institute of Technology Suzukakedai Campus

Access : Den-en-Toshi Line Suzukakedai Station (5 mins walk)

Campus is (surprisingly) lined with beautiful sakura trees! The sakura trees are just everywhere! It lined up beautifully on the main intersection, it grew also in the canteen area (and there were dozens of it), and also it scattered in some other spot, like near J1 Building.

near the main intersection

near the main intersection

Welcome to J3 Building!

Welcome to J3 Building!

Just behind our canteen!

Just behind our canteen!

forming a sakura-forest pathway behind our canteen!

forming a sakura-forest pathway behind our canteen!

I went to the Suzukakedai PPI Tokodai Mini Hanami, it was fun to eat just under the sakura trees!

Mini-hanami!

Mini-hanami!

Selfie under the sakura tree!

Selfie under the sakura tree!

3 April 2015 – Naka Meguro River Side

Access : Tokyu Toyoko Line Naka Meguro Station, Main Exit (~3 mins walk)

Who said that sakura can only be viewed during daytime? Night time sakura viewing is called Yozakura (夜桜)and it is as popular as the regular hanami! The several meter line of sakura trees were lit up during Naka Meguro Festival! It created such a spectacular and beautiful view. You can also enjoy the atmosphere by eating some locally sold Yakitori, and Grilled Sausage. I went here with Kak Ay, my former band friend, and also met new friends there! 🙂

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along the river!

along the river!

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みんな!(my first night Hanami 夜桜)

4 April 2015 – Shinjuku Gyoen

I visited Shinjuku Gyoen once more and this time with PPI Tokodai (Tokyo Tech Indonesian Student Association). At this time, it was the first weekend after the full bloom, so the park was packed with people! But still the park was huge, it was still spacious! The sakura was sort of falling into the ground, creating a lush beautiful pink carpet on the grass and also on the lake! I did a little photoshoot with Hilda and explore the park more than my last time.

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Sakura trees falling into the lake!

Sakura trees falling into the lake!

new kind of sakura :)

new kind of sakura 🙂

We didn’t only get beautiful sakura pictures but also our own picture ! (happy, thank you Hilda)

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After that, we did the hanami! The activities were fun from Potluck, games and cooking competition. Today, i had breaded chicken cutlet and tamagoyaki with sesame-mayo dressing, i also had green salad with olive-sesame dressing I tried to join the cooking competition and got a takoyaki maker as a prize. Happy!

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My hanami menu!

Takoyaki Maker

Takoyaki Maker

So in overall my Hanami for this year is perfect! See you in next year’s Hanami, Sakura!

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Love

Afifa Ayu Koesoema

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Spring trip with my Girls!

Hello all!

Tokyo and Yokohama has been quite hot lately, so i guess spring is almost over now! So that’s why now i want to write about one of my memorable spring moments!

So at May 10th, i went to a flower viewing tour with my dear girls from YSEP program, Apichaya, Shuyin, and Jew. The tour was organized by クラブツーリズマ. It was a very exciting trip, we followed a one day tour to go to some flower viewing spots. We were being picked up at Mizonokuchi Station at 7.30 AM and directly go to the place with a bus. At that time we were a bit surprise because almost all of the other tour member that day was… elderly :p

For this trip we had to pay 7000 Yen each person, but i think it was okay because we got the transportation, ticket, lunch box plus some sample food (omiyage) from the place that we would go to. So, during that day we did not only go to the flower viewing spot but we also went to another tourist attraction place 😀

On the way we stopped at the rest area, but it was so cool (the rest room was so huge) and from the parking lot we could see the sea! 😀

me and Apichaya, like sister? :D

me and Apichaya, like sister? 😀

 

First stop was Shibazakura Matsuri(芝桜祭り)at Kawaguchiko.

After about 2 hours journey from Mizonokuchi Station we arrived at this place. Please don’t confuse Zakura with Sakura here, because it’s a different kind of flower. This particular flower is small and so beautiful, if you are interested to go, this festival is open from 13th of April to 2nd of June 2013 (so chances is still there!) 🙂

So, it was such a vast area covered with petite flower in the color of pink, purple, and white. And the best part was it is located near to the Mount Fuji. So we can see Mount Fuji altogether with those beautiful flowers!! There are fifth particular kind of flower there (i will write those that i can read in katakana) スカーレット フレーム、マックダニエル クッシヨン、 オートムローズ、リトルドット、and another flower which is written in japanese and I cannot read LOL (and for the katakana please just guess what’s the english word because frankly i am also quite unsure :p)

小さい 花

小さい 花

かわいい

かわいい

リトルドット

リトルドット

They also had a viewing deck where you could see the whole park! So beautiful, let’s just see the pictures!

Finally 富士山!

Finally 富士山!

the girls and fuji san :D

the girls and fuji san 😀

view from the viewing deck :D

view from the viewing deck 😀

perfect!

perfect!

After that we went back to the bus and eat our lunch at the bus.

 

Our second stop was Wasabi House (わさび の 故郷)

Basically it just sell everything, every food with wasabi as its main ingredients. One of my biggest mistake was to try eating wasabi soft ice cream. Actually the ice cream itself not that bad, but then they give some wasabi salt sprinkle on top of it and it was just… so.. からい… >>.<<

wasabi plant :D

wasabi plant 😀

here it is.. wasabi soft cream!

here it is.. wasabi soft cream!

 

Third stop is つつじ。しゃくなげフェア (Tsutsuji) located at Hotel de Yama right beside Hakone Lake (Ashinoko Lake)

Actually we came to this place in not a very good timing. Because the weather was still a bit cold, so the flower hadn’t bloomed fully yet 😦 But the characteristic of this place was the (kind-of) round shape tree with colorful flowers blossoming on it. So cute! 😀

not fully bloomed yet :(

not fully bloomed yet 😦

Ashinoko lake from faraway!

Ashinoko lake from faraway!

Pink pink pink!

Pink pink pink!

Hiding between the bushes :D

Hiding between the bushes 😀

The flower and the lake :)

The flower and the lake 🙂

But the best part was also the Ashinoko Lake! The wind was strong but it was so beautiful and huge! 🙂 Let’s see some pictures 😀

yahooo! ^^

yahooo! ^^

Hey!

Hey!

Beside the lake :3

Beside the lake :3

 

Last stop was Suzuhiro Kamaboko Village, the place that i’ve visited for the SJCI tour also (please see here for more information) 😀

Fishes for Kamaboko:3

Fishes for Kamaboko:3

Kiss the fish!

Kiss the fish!

Suzuhiro Kamaboko Village ;)

Suzuhiro Kamaboko Village 😉

And the one day tour ended, we arrived around 5 PM at Mizonokuchi Station. We were so happy and satisfied with the tour! What a great short escape from the laboratory! 😀 Should do this again sometime with the girls :* Thank you so much, Apichaya, Shuyin, and Jew *hugs*

 

See you in next post! :3

 

 

Afifa Ayu Koesoema

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SJCI : a Visit to Tsukuba Space Center, JAXA!

Hello all, how’s your saturday night? 😀

Tonight I will give you a little report for my last Study on Japanese Companies and Industries visit! It was a visit to Tsukuba Space Center of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), yes, just imagine, a visit to Japan’s NASA! 😀 For me it was really amazing, although i don’t look like a big fan of those mighty-guy-stuffs actually i do love aviation and aerospace! Can you believe that my favorite National Geographic TV Show is Air Crash Investigation? 😀

 

At that day, we arrived at Tsukuba Space Center at about 2 PM, after going through 1,5 hours trip by bus. In front of Tsukuba Space Center there was a huge rocket model! So cool! 😀 JAXA Tsukuba Space Center is open to public twice a year, and we were one of the lucky one to visit it this year!

Rocket!

JAXA’s Rocket!

 

After that, we were given explanation about this space center, mainly about the environmental test technology center. At first we were given the understanding about how important spacecrafts such as satellites for our life. For daily usage, we always use GPS from satellite to help us navigate. For expertise, satellite can help them to record many data such as the temperature fluctuation in the earth to predicts the global warming pattern. We have to admit that nowadays, we will not have such an convenient life without spacecrafts.

We were given explanation about the importance of creating spacecrafts that can withstand the extreme condition so that each of the components will functions optimally. During the launching of satellite using rockets, it has to withstand the extreme condition of rocket machine vibration, acoustic pressure, and acceleration. During separation of the satellite with the rocket it will also create a great shock, so it has to be tested as well. 

When it’s operating at the space, it has to withstand thermal vacuum (due to the situation of non-atmosphere it  will have no convection in space so the satellite will experience such a huge temperature gap up to 300 Celcius). At the space there would also be radiowave and magnetic wave that can cause interference to the satellite.

There were a lot of tests to be performed to ensure that satellite can function properly. From the explanation, i think JAXA really has a leading facilities related to spacecrafts testing. It even has the largest space chamber to simulate the high vacuum, cryogenic and solar light environment in space with the size of 13m 😀 it was such a pity that we cannot see the facilities directly 😦

 

After that, we were given a tour of astronaut course. Actually i was expecting to see the real facilities but again it was only like a museum.

First we saw an astronaut suit. I did not remember exactly how many layers are there in astronaut suit, but it was so many, mainly composed of insulation layer and some life support. Inside the helmet there was a drinking bottle, and i also remembered that astronaut is using diapers when they are wearing those suit! I also remember that because the helmet is too big astronaut cannot read directly so they have a mirror in their arm part to help them reading. So interesting! I can never imagine to be an astronaut!

Astronaut Suit :)

Astronaut Suit 🙂

Second we saw facilities of biomedical studies, the scientist were mainly working to reduce the space-sickness that astronaut always experience in their first days in space. They use tilting and rotating bed and chair to simulate it.

Biomedical Research Facility

Biomedical Research Facility

Third, we saw isolation chamber, use to simulate the spacecraft condition. It was a huge room without window, inside is painted white and there are no windows at all. It is used to train and as well select astronaut because when they are in space they have to withstand this stressful condition everyday. In the end we saw some astronaut food! 😀

Isolation Chamber

Isolation Chamber

Astronaut Food :D

Astronaut Food 😀

 

After the astronaut course tour, we were directed to the Space Dome, some kind of an exhibition hall. Here we learned that satellites are always covered with a golden colored material to help it withstand the harsh temperature changes. We also saw some model of Japan’s rockets and satellites from times to times, But the most fun part is taking picture of course!

Golden colored insulation of Satellites

Golden colored insulation of Satellites

 

JAXA's Rocket from time to time :)

JAXA’s Rocket from time to time 🙂

 

Astronaut wanna-be :)

Astronaut wanna-be 🙂

Space dome

Space dome

Rocket Engine! to the Outer Space!

Rocket Engine! to the Outer Space!

 

I really wish i could have another opportunity maybe later on to visit JAXA again and discussed more about their other mission to send small animals to the space and examine their physiological condition, etc. like sending small fish to space, let it hatch, and bring back the baby fish to the earth.

I really want to know whether they have sent any bacteria or microorganism to the space 😀 Being a space microbiologist seems to be awesome! 😀

 

See you in the next post!

Love,

 

Afifa Ayu