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Planning a trip – start

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Planning a getaway is always a fun thing to do 🙂 But sometimes, the excitement confuse us on where to start 😉

Few tips from my experience on how to start planning a trip

1. List down all attractions of your destination – everything, don’t hold back 😀

Then sort the list based on priority, which attraction you would like to visit most, and less.

 

2. Make simple table in a spreadsheet to start your itineraryaaa

Day – to remind you , because day matters (some attraction like museum is closed in particular day).

Date – put the date

Agenda – put the attraction name that you want to visit that day. Not everything in your #1 list will fit into the itinerary (depend on how long will you stay), that’s the reason to sort it based on the priority. Don’t be too sad, the list of places that cannot make it to your itinerary is a motivation for you to make another trip! Hehe

Lodge – doesn’t have to be spesific hotel/hostel, but the area where you will stay the night.

Remark – useful link of the attraction, etc.

When starting the itinerary, I usually downloaded area and transporation maps to help me understand the mobility (so I know how to group attraction based on their location and how to hop on to next destination).

 

3. Calculate the budget

I always travel on a budget, so this part is vital for me 😀

Add more columns to your itinerary

abbLodge – budget for hotel/hostel each night. If you don’t have exact amount, make approximation by searching general hotel/hostel fare in the area.

Transport – transportation budget from one attaraction to another, or approximate by day if you don’t have the detail. (For Japan, you can use this site)

Meals – budget for meals & snack per day

Misc. – for misc expense like admission fee to attraction, airport tax, souvenirs, etc.

You’ll have the overall budget. Then you can see if still fits your budget, and adjust the itinerary accordingly (remove some attraction with expensive admission fee? cut off the meal budget? stay in hostel rather that a hotel?).

 

There you go, you have the simple travel itinerary now 🙂 this will also be useful when you’re applying for visa (the embassy usually asks for travel itinerary).

Happy traveling!

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Useful Links for Planning Travel to Japan

Few sites I found very useful when planning travel to Japan

1. Japan Guide – almost all information you need about Japan and a useful forum to ask questions/share.

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2.  Hyperdia – super useful on checking transportation in Japan including timetable and fares. I also have the apps one installed in my phone.

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3. JNTO (Japan Nationa Tourism Organization) – useful interaction maps and itinerary suggestion.

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4. Tokyo Metro – for Tokyo Subway Maps

One thing I did not find is a site that provides a good downloadable maps of Japan. Whereas I consider this very important on planning my trips. I need to know geographically the places to decide travel route (together with subway/train maps).
I did find what I was looking for in form of brochure, when I arrived in Japan in Tourist Information Center.

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Hope this is useful for you who is going to exlplore Japan. Happy traveling!

2

Fujiko F Fujio Museum

Ever since I knew that this museum exist from my friend’s pics in FB, I was determined that I HAVE to visit the museum on my next visit to Japan 😀
As a loyal viewer of Doraemon, I would love to ‘meet’ his creator, also to meet the ‘real’ Doraemon. So there it was, listed on our must-visit in our trip to Japan last April.
The thing was, the ticket museum must be purchased in advance via loppi machine in Lawson convenient store in JAPAN. To visit the museum, we need to purchase the ticket a month – 2 weeks prior the visit. And we only started to arrange itinerary around 3 weeks before the visit. We’re doomed! 😀
My sister in Tsukuba helped us to purchase the ticket, so we are saved for April 25 2013, 10 am.

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Fujiko F Fujio Museum tickets

The ticket is 1000 yen for adult, and you must determine the visiting date and time when purchasing the ticket. There are 4 options of visiting time: 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, and 16:00. The website states that we need to enter the museum no later than half an hour within the reservation time.
The museum is located in Kawasaki, nearest stations are passed by JR Nanbu Line (Noborito and Shukugawara sta.) and Odakyu-Odawara Line (Mukougaoka yuen and Noborito sta.) from Tokyo.
It’s a long journey for us since we departed from Tsukuba, so we have to leave early in the morning after the exhaustion in Tokyo DisneySea the day (night) before. Aaandd..we missed the train so we need to wait for the next one and it screwed our plan. We were anxious whether we can get to the museum on time (or 10:30 am the latest).
We took the Tsukuba Express train to Akihabara then JR Chuo Line to Shinjuku, then JR Odakyu Odawara Line to Mukogaoka yuen station. It was a looong ride and we made plenty of unwise decisions here 😀 First, taking Chuo Line in work rush hour is very bad decision – it is packed!
Second, we should’ve gotten off in Noborito station and take the shuttle bus to the museum instead of got off in Mukogaoka yuen and walked to the station. We thought that we can still make it, but the stated 16mins walking distance from Mukagaoka yuen to the museum in the website turned out to be JAPANESE WALKING distance and the distance is actually about 1km. Hahaha
So anyone who’s visiting Fujiko Fujio Museum, please take shuttle bus from Noborito station. It’s moreee convenient and the bus is cute too 😀

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Noborito Station, shuttle bus to the museum is just in front of it

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Shuttle bus to the museum. Kawaiii 😀

By some miracle we made it to the museum at 10:30 and greeted warmly by the museum staff. In the front office, we were briefed what to do and must not do in Museum. The museum has 2 exhibition rooms, a theater, playing room for kids, a cafe, backyard and rooftop for taking pictures and have a walk.
The two exhibition rooms tell story about Fujiko Fujio life and masterpieces. We were lent a guiding device to hear information of each item exhibited. Taking picture is not allowed on the exhibition rooms. My favorite section in room 1 is hologramic screens showing the process of making manga 🙂 The exhibition section also has the replica of Fujiko’s office which is packed with science fiction books, dinosaur books and figurines. Giving the thought, Doraemon is also a science fiction movie rather that ordinary “imaginary” manga. There I know where Fujiko got his inspiration and that his work resembles very much of his interest.
At the end of exhibition sections, we were asked to return the guiding device to the staff there. The drawer to store the devices is in the form of Doraemon magic pocket 😀

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Would love to have similar in my house :p

The next room is play room for kids (no adult allowed to enter) and a long bench to read Doraemon manga (unfortunately in Japanese hiks).

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Meet Doraemon and Dorayaki 😀

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Manga

On the 3rd floor is Doraemon cafe, the menu seems delicious and cute buuutt very expensive so we skipped this area (we bought some dorayaki for take away though). And finally the backyard and rooftop with some of Fujiko’s movie character to take picture with.

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Pintu kemana saja - it's on top of my magical wishlist

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characters

It’s been a lovely day in the museum. Downside: it’s a small small building and I expect more Doraemon to meet hehe..

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Kokeshi Hunting

This is the story of how we (finally) get these two lovely Kokeshi.

I always fascinated by cute stuff, figurine, and I started collecting them a few years back. Mostly kokeshi, the irresistibly-cute Japanese wooden doll. So when we got the chance to actually visit Japan last May (owe this blog the trip story), I HAVE TO go home with (at least) one.

Our first visit was to Kyoto and there are A LOT of Kokeshi in Kyoto. Kyoto is a tourist town with lots of temples and good sightseeing places (sort like Bandung in Indonesia) so there are a lot of gift shop along the streets and near tourist spot. Well, when stuff looks near and scatters around you, there’s always tendency to postpone. That’s what happened. There are a lot of great Kokeshi around the Kiyomizu-dera Temple but I decided to wait in case we found better one in other stores 😀

Our next destination was Osaka. In my mind, Osaka will be much bigger city than Kyoto and there will be more souvenir shop over there. We moved on to Osaka and I was totally wrong, there are not a single Kokeshi shop we found around the city! Near our departure date, I started panicking. How can I go home without my-most wanted souvenir when I have the chance to visit its origin place??! 😦 We started googling for Kokeshi stores in Osaka. There are several recommendation but they’re not convincing. Most of the results pointing out that you should by Kokeshi in Kyoto. DANG! I fainted.

Anyway, we tried and written down all the shops address. So on our last day in Osaka, we literary went store to store but found nothing. There are no Kokeshi in Osaka! *panic*. To be honest, it’s crossed my mind to go back to Kyoto to find Kokeshi 😀 We have an early flight the next day and I have to give up. The only hope we have is to find Kokeshi on the airport store but our flight is 8.30 in the morning, not sure if the airport store is open.

Arriving at the airport the next day, there’s no store open yet. Well, make sense since it’s only 6 in the morning. We looked around the stores and found that there are actually some stores selling Kokeshi in Kansai International Airport. We just walked around the stores (as if it will turned them open :p) waited for our boarding time. Unexpectedly, at 7 o’clock (sharp – i have to say this), all the stores are open at the same time! I looove that they open early and I love it more that the Japanese are so punctual :’)

You can guess that I finally had a chance for last minute Kokeshi shopping. Really thank God for that, almost like miracle considering we tried so bad to find Kokeshi a day before 🙂 There’s a shop called ‘Kyoto Souvenirs’ (or so) that selling cute Kokeshi in Kansai Airport, we bought these two Kokeshi there.

Lesson learned are..  >> If you are Kokeshi lover, Osaka is not the place to get one, Kyoto is 😀  >> Know what you want and never delay  >> Love Japan with its punctual habit  😀

Hope I will get another chance to visit Japan again and add some Kokeshi to my collection 🙂

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Sungkyunkwan Scandal

This movie has been my favorite drama lately. It got me addicted since I watched it for the first time in KBS world.

Love the characters: straight Lee Seon Joon, brave Kim Yoon Hee, cool and radical Moon Jae Shin, and everything-will-be-ok Gu Yong Ha.

I like the themes brought by this colossal drama: friendship, learning spirit, spiced up by wise words and romance.

This drama tell story about a girl from Namin (ordinary, poor) family in Joseon kingdom (old Korea). She tried to make a living for her family (a mother and a sick brother), disguising herself as a man. She is a smart and talented writer, but the law of Joseon will not allow woman to work nor study. Family debt then force her to make money using illegal way: being a substitute test taker for the prestigious Sungkyunkwan university.

During the test, she met Lee Seon Joon, son of the Left Prime Minister, a very straight and intelligent man who will become her best friend (and later her lover) in Sungkyunkwan. Realizing Kim Yoon Hee’s (or Kim Yoon Shik) talent, Lee Seon Joon set her up to take a real test and enter Sungkyunkwan. Apparently, this is a life-changing moment for her to study and make friends with Moon Jae Shin and Gu Yong Ha. The four of them will be known as Jalgeum Quartet.

This film talks mainly about good vs evil. Protagonist character represented by the Jalgeum Quartet will later stands up against social classes happened inside and outside Sungkyunkwan, reveal the corruption and injustice by Joseon government officer, and fight for reformation of Joseon. And as the other Korean/Japanese drama do, this film really brings up the viewer’s emotion by its human interest (friendship, romance) aspects.

Another interesting thing about the movie is the setting. Since this is a colossal movie, instead of modern outfit and tall buildings, we see traditional Korea outfit (hanbok – love its beautiful and colorful design!), traditional Korea house (hanok), and the gorgeous natural views. This film just makes me longing to visit Korea even more! 😀

Well, from my personal opinion, this movie is truthfully worthy to watch =)

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my craft

 I’m currently worked on craft project- just for fun. Got these books from Gramedia Grand Indonesia several weeks ago (two? or three?). Nice way to “escape” from my routines, haha..

Membuat Boneka Peri 3D dengan Paper Quilling by Indira

Berkreasi dengan Paper Quilling by Stephanie

If I’m not mistaken, this Indira and Stephanie both are the same person 🙂
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cute lil chickn

this one went to Lya
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chicken, tall bird, dog, cute duck

they stay at my house
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butterfly-decorated card

 

lil girl on a flower

these two are for my colleague’s newly born baby 🙂

 
To tell you a secret…actually, i mis-used a paper shredder in office to help me cutting papers for this crafts. psssst…please don’t tell anyone =P