Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018

Hello good people!


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 🙂


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.


Bismillahirrahmanirrahim welcome 2018 ❤



With loads of love,


Afifa Ayu Koesoema


January Favorite Things!

Hello everyone!

Welcome back to my blog. Yes, I haven’t written anything for such a long time I’m really sorry. Many things have happened, including me graduating from master program and now becoming a doctoral degree student~


My graduation day!! – photo credit to Antonius Priyo

The last 6 months have been difficult in many aspects (study, lab-life, human relation, love relation, etc.) and apparently i am in a point where I feel to busy and cannot handle it until I decide to slow down a little bit >.< BUT, at least right now I only have 2 more deadlines : my grant final report and my publication.



So I am now trying to slow down myself by developing four habits : cooking, singing and playing violin, writing food journal, and… start to write in this blog again regularly.

Let’s start with something simple : JANUARY FAVORITE THINGS!!

So yes, as you maybe already know, I love kawaii (cute) things and it is such a heaven to live in Japan. Japan is full of cute things, and these are my favorite things in January!

  1. Pink sweets haul from school shop20170204-3i just love these! They are pink and super delicious! First, ふわふわ Pocky Midi (ストロベリーふローマジュ – Strawberry Fromage) — this is not the ordinary Pocky, Pocky Midi is shorter and a bit fatter (chibi, in my opinion). The taste of this? So delicious! ふわふわ means fluffy and this pocky tastes like fluffy strawberry cheesecake! 🍰 Chupa Chups ストロベリークリーム- Strawberry Cream  delightful old-fashioned lollipop! Tropicana Essentials 食物繊維 Peach Blend  食物繊維 means dietary fiber and this juice is really delicious! This is my favorite juice this month.

2.  Unicorn Iphone Case and Mobile Battery


So well yes, I am obsessed with iphone case because I think phone case is also an important item for your fashion statement! Mainly I will go with book type case (it is super safe for your phone) with girly, pink and cute tone or elegant. My main themes as you can see are princess, disney or sanrio 😀

This month i bought a unicorn-motif case from Rakuten altogether with the unicorn mobile battery. I’m feeling pretty much like in a fairy-tale land.



3. Purple Glitter Sailor Moon Nail Polish


Sailor Moon Nail Polish JPY 700+tax, Nail Oil Stick JPY 1400+tax (all from Its Demo Aobadai Shop)

This nail polish comes from my favorite shop, Its Demo, located dangerously outside my train station (lol). I am already longing for this nail polish for long time because it’s sailor moon special series, for God’s sake! It’s purple, glossy, and glittery. As an addition to my nail polish, I also bought a nail oil stick. It is like a lipbalm for your nail and it will keep your nail moisturized especially during this cold and dry winter.


And… above is my masterpiece by using this nailpolish!! Combining it with my 100 JPY light purple nail polish from Cando I can make a lame gradation imitation nail, lol. Quite beautiful isn’t it?

P.S : this kind of nail art will cost around 3000-4000 JPY in proper nail salon, lol.


So these are my January favorite things! Anyone want to share their favorite things to add up my kawaii Japan things?



With loads of love,



Afifa Ayu Koesoema


Kyoto 2016 : Maiko Dress-up Experience

Hello! Really long time no see :3

I was really busy with my research lately, but this week I have a “legal spare time, lol. I will attend a the annual meeting of Chemical Society of Japan in Kyoto, and since I have morning presentation I can go the day before. Since conference has not started yet today, so I have the opportunity to stroll around!


Because i have visited most of the notable temples in Kyoto.

This time I will only want to treat myself with a… Maiko Dress-up Experience! ❤


*that was me, really


In case you want to try the same experience with me, I will give you explanation in detail!


What is Maiko and Why?

Maiko is a women that perform dance, sings and traditional instrument for visitors during feast. Maiko is the apprentice geiko and usually aged 15-20 years.

Their appearance is always very beautiful to me, all white make-up with a detail of red and pink. Beautiful hair style with enchanting hairpiece and of course the kimono! ❤

Right now in Kyoto, there are many shops that offer Maiko Dressing-up Experience for tourists. So that is why, right now it is very common for normal people to have one day experience dress-up as a Maiko.


Okay, so how do you select the right shop?

The shop that i chose is Maica. in Gion, Kyoto Basically I just typed “Maiko dress-up in Kyoto” using google and found this shop. The website has quite good English explanation and prices are also reasonable. They have variety of package so that you can choose which one suits your budget the most.

The package that i chose is “Okigaru” Plan, right now on sale for 6500 JPY (excluding tax). This package cover make-up, hair, kimono rental, wig rental (you can only choose whole wig), hair accessories rental, one studio photograph (printed in B5 size), and one hour of free photo time inside the house.

If you want to do longer, they also have package including walking outside (Gion area) or even guided tour to farther temple, but it also comes with higher price.




It is actually described well here, but I will just retell you my own version.

Upon arrival we will have to fill a short form (it has English, don’t worry, generally all staffs can speak English quite well!). We will be given plastic bag for our shoes and we are escorted to the third floor. Photography is forbidden at third floor and during make-up and dressing-up process 😦

First thing is kimono selection, although Okigaru plan has limited kimono selection, it is still all very beautiful for me. After that, we have to pay (please note purchase under 10.000 JPY has to be paid in cash). We will then be escorted to the second floor where we have to put all of our camera-related thing in a safety deposit box. After that we will go to the locker room to store our other belongings and change to kimono inner wear and room socks. *we have to pay 200 JPY for the locker

Then… make-up time (which was fast, they just paint our face white with little pink and red detail). Honestly it was really thrilling because they don’t put MIRROR in the make-up room! After make-up then wig placement, which was… heavy, really heavy. And finally, kimono!! There were so many layers, so so so so many and they just keep tightening it more and more 😦


Tada! Suddenly I transformed into Maiko!

And after that, photo time! One studio photograph was taken and if you come alone (like me) the staffs will help us to take picture (Up to 5 pictures). Other than that we can just explore the house by ourselves and selfie stick is allowed. Although it is small, almost every parts of the house are beautiful with classic Japanese decoration.


Full body picture with the help of the staff


Beautiful neck detail


Tea ceremony, one of my most favorite picture!


The studio photograph 🙂

Oh, i forget to mention that you can wear contact-lenses for the make up and also don’t worry about the make-up, it is actually light. You can remove it without ease using any kind of makeup remover you bring, they will also help you to remove the neck makeup.


I was really satisfied with my experience in Maica! I mean, who doesn’t want to look like a beautiful Maiko? <3<3 Staffs are friendly and helpful (and they keep praising me for my Japanese speaking, lol). I discovered that actually being Maiko is really tough. It was tough with all of those tight kimono (it was even hard to kneel down and get up again) and that heavy wig? Honestly, i feel tortured, yes maybe beauty is pain ^^



That’s all for today’s post!

I hope that i will have successful presentation tomorrow! ❤ enjoy Spring break, everyone!




Afifa Ayu Koesoema



Summer 2015!

Hello everyone,

Very long time no see! So, right now the summer is almost over here, it’s getting colder everyday so I will make a post about how my second Summer in Japan’s going!

I experienced many things in this second summer, including the heat and heat exhaustion lol. Maybe the only thing that i did not do is going to the beach. It’s okay, still have 4 summers more.

So here are some highlights of my summer!




What? Hydrangea is the flower that starts blooming in the beginning of rainy season. Once the rainy season has gone, voila.. you have the real summer and the real heat and everything! This flower is really beautiful and colorful (some said the difference of the color is due to the soil’s pH difference)

When? Late May to early June, so basically the weather is still pleasant!

Where? There are a lot of choices but we decided to go to Hase Dera (Hase Temple) in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture. Hase Temple has a trail for hydrangea viewing. They will give you number tags to allow you get in to the trail in particular time, this is to avoid congestion inside the trail and be aware, the trail is a bit steep! But it has a good downhill view and in some other part of the temple you can have the mesmerizing view of the sea!

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How to get there? Take Enoshima Electric Railway (Enoden, for short) from JR Fujisawa Station (Tokaido Line) or JR Kamakura Station (Yokosuka Line), hop off at Hase Station and take a few minutes walk to the temple.


Although i could not go home this summer, my family visit me and we spent wonderful time in Kansai plus celebrating the Eid Al Fitr together! 🙂 We stayed in Kobe so that we can shuttle back and forth between Osaka and Kyoto!

As an aquarium lover family, finally we went full team to the Osaka Aquarium, Kaiyukan (i have posted about Kaiyukan here before). We explored a bit more in Kyoto by going to the Fushimi Inari temple and exploring Gion District.

Fushimi Inari Temple

What? This is one of the most beautiful and famous temple with its gazillions of Red Gate in Kyoto. It is located on the hillside and the red gate will continue up to the top of the hill. There is no admission fee for this temple.

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How to get there? Take JR Nara Line from JR Kyoto Station and hop off at Inari Station, the temple is just outside the station. Using Kyoto city bus is a bit more complicated and crowded too.

Gion District and its Yukata Experience

What? Gion District is one of the preserved Geisha district in Kyoto. Besides enjoying the sudden appearance of geisha or maiko on the street you can also enjoy the wooden merchant houses architecture. The streets are also filled with shops, tea houses, souvenir shop, and ice cream shops. I will write about recommended ice cream shops in Gion in the next post. One of the interesting part is the yukata experience. Gion is filled with yukata-renting shop, so you can walk around with yukata along the traditional wooden houses! The renting price differs among the venue, if you are lucky you can get a one day yukata rent around 3.000 yen for whole day! 🙂

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How to get there? There are variety of Kyoto city bus going to Gion (number 7, 205, or Kyoto Loop Bus) and stop at Shijokawaramachi stop. From Kyoto Station, train requires transfer.



What? The true Japanese Summer experience will not be completed it you haven’t watched fireworks or hanabi yet! Hanabi (花火、literally means flower and fire) in Japan are held throughout summer’s weekend (July-August) in various places, usually along the river side or beach. It is really beautiful and special in my opinion. I think Japan really has the latest technology for the fireworks that make it really beautiful. The experience is further fulfilled with attending it using yukata with your friends and chatting plus sort of doing picnic while waiting for the fireworks!

And take purikura (Japanese cute-styled photo box) after it while wearing yukata! The memory will last ❤

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Where? This year i visit Tokyo Bay Fireworks and watched it from Odaiba Beach. The magnificent view as you can see, is the graceful rainbow bridge with the beautiful fireworks!

What to expect? CROWDS!! There will be people everywhere, loads of it. But as long as you stay alert, and follow instructions from the officer it will be okay I guess. If you want to get a good spot, you can come to the watching place the night before, put a tarpaulin cloth and stick your name on it. Since Japanese are polite, they will not disturb your place and you can just come around 2 hours before the fireworks start.

N.B : But be careful if you use bus to the watching place, sometimes the road is closed if it’s already nearing the launch time! So I still advice you to come in advance.


What? Last thing to make your summer complete? Sunflower viewing! Japan has plentiful of vast sunflower garden and the sunflowers are really tall and beautiful!

Where? This year, i pick a near viewing spot from my home, Zama Sunflower Matsuri (Matsuri means festival) in Zama, Kanagawa-ken. Along with the sunflower garden, they also have small festival containing food stalls. The festival was held only several days from late July to Early August.


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How to get there? This sunflower festival provides free shuttle bus from Odakyu Soubudaimae Station.

What to expect? Heat of course, wear adequate UV protection, bring umbrella or hat and water to prevent dehydration. Uneven terrain, of course. It is a field, so the terrain will be uneven, wear comfortable shoes! Full cellphone or camera battery, believe me the view will be breathtaking, both for serious photo hunter or selfie hunter like me :3

So, these are all my experience for this Summer! Let’s fight for the new semester!

Welcome, Autumn :*

Afifa Ayu Koesoema


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 ❤


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 🙂


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!


See you sooner or later, Sanrio Puroland! ❤


Afifa Ayu Koesoema