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May 28, 2017

Cards I used in Japan

I'll be making a more useful post this time, it's about the cards I used when I was in Japan, mostly to commute but some can do even more than that! Hehe..

1. JR Pass


The holy JR Pass everyone's keep wondering if it's worth it to buy JR Pass when visiting Japan. For me, it is! Like totally! Because I landed in Kansai and traveling all the way to Tokyo and then get back home from Kansai again, it really saved my money (A WHOLE LOT) by having JR Pass, since Shinkansen can be reaaaally expensive I'd rather spend it on something else.

Honestly, when I first bought my ticket and realized that I had to buy a JR Pass I got a mental breakdown, because although it was supposed to help us save money, it still cost quite a lot too! I bought mine around 29,000 JPY (around 260 USD), as it could only be purchased outside Japan I wasn't sure if I should (but thank God I did!)

So more about this card, as I've mentioned before, can only be purchased outside Japan and for non-Japan residents only, in short, this card help tourists to explore Japan. Once you have purchased it, you can use it whenever you're traveling on JR train and other JR transportation. This includes most of the train in the city and Shinkansen. All you had to do is show this card on the exit/entrance gate (where there's an officer) and they'll check if your card is still valid, if it is, then you can go everywhere all you like~ (as long as you're using the JR lines)

So if you're going to use Shinkansen a lot like me (I traveled back and forth Osaka and Tokyo, I also visited Nagoya), I advise you to purchase it, I've said it multiple times, but it really saved me lots of money.

2. Suica/Pasmo



Bought this card when I met my friend and somehow my JR pass was rejected (they said the JR pass doesn't cover that station-but I still firmly believed that we just went to the wrong gate and showed the pass to the wrong person, I mean, it was Akihabara! No way JR pass doesn't cover that!)

Anyway, this card is useful for many things, if you don't need to purchase JR pass, then this card is the way to go. You can use this card for all train stations, including the smaller subway ones. I mostly use it for that (my station was a subway away from Shibuya).

Other than that, you can use the card for locker, and also to purchase goods in most convenience store. So I think this one is pretty much like the T-card in Korea.

I noticed there are several brands of the cards, but most of the time I saw Suica and Pasmo, guess they're the most popular ones (or the ones from biggest companies).

Bringing this card is pretty useful to lessen the amount of coins in my pocket, so I don't have to bring them everywhere and instead just tap this card and go.

3. One-day card (in Nagoya)

I'm not sure if other cities (or Tokyo) have this, too. Since I only used it when I was in Nagoya. The card costed me 740 JPY, and once purchased I can use it to go to every station in Nagoya. The concept is pretty much similar with JR Pass but this one you insert it into the machine instead of just showing it to the officer.

According to my friend, Mekkan, we saved quite a lot with this because we traveled to lots of stations back and forth. So instead of purchasing one-way ticket, if you're going to go places, you may want to consider this one-day card.

Well, that was all the cards I used in Japan. Hopefully some of you who'd planned to travel there find this useful :) If there's any misinformation, please tell me, I'll edit them since it's only based on my knowledge and experience when I was there.

Ah! Can't wait to travel and discover some more!

May 23, 2017

Konnichiwa and I think soulmate does exist

Just a week ago I finally went to Japan. I remember few years back I wrote that I really wanted to go there and Bangkok, yes! I can scratch them off my list now because I've visited them both!

I'm not really a huge fan of Bangkok, most probably because it looks and feel really similar with Jakarta, which I'm used to. But Japan... Oh Japan, what a beautifully absurd weird magical place you are!

I plan to write a more detailed post about this visit to Japan day by day, but just in case I forgot or just got carried away with life (like I did when I visited Seoul the second time), I'll write the highlight here first of what happened while I was there.


Day 1: Speedy Shinkansen and Busy Shibuya



I've heard of this speedy train since I was a kid, who would've thought I'd be given a chance to ride it one day? Feels sooo lucky! And indeed it was really fast! Like ultra super uber fast! Especially compared to the trains here back home.

I took a video when I rode one, and it was like I took the video on a time-lapse mode (while it wasn't!!!) WHOA! Hehehe... I feel like a such noobs but really, Japan is indeed steps more advanced in everything, lol.

Also, briefly visited Harajuku and Shibuya cross at night, most of the shops are closed when we got to Harajuku, but of course we could still shop in Daiso and Matumoto Kiyoshi, meheheh..

Day 2: Disneyland!




Oh the happiest place on earth, indeed! Mind you, this was the first time I visited any Disneyland, unlike you lucky fellow who lives in the US or Europe, Hongkong and Tokyo Disneyland is the closest Disneyland to my country. So please understand my giddiness arriving here. MWAHAHAH... The little kid in me jumped and soared and flied and shopped and GUH! Everything! Hehe..


Also, we got to see the crowded Tokyo subway in the morning, and by crowded I meant super-ultra crowded there's no more place to stand but you still have to enter the cars because the next subway is as crowded as this one.

Day 3: Senso-ji, Asakusa, Skytree, and Halaal Ramen

pardon my messy sweaty face lol

I met with a friend who's currently studying in Japan, so today, we're going to a popular temple in Asakusa. Met with some pretty girls wearing kimono and entered the temple. It really was a cool experience, although I didn't buy any lucky charm (because I'm pretty petty and I'm not sure what I want lol).

After that, we randomly decided to go to Skytree (just because we can see it from the temple) and walked(!) there! It was pretty far, but the scenery along the way is really pretty and clean, we went through some neighborhood and everything is just so cute!

And because we are muslim, it's kind of a challenge to find halal food in Japan (because most of them contains pork or alcohol). So my friend took us to Halal Ramen, yay!


Day 4: Shopping, shopping, and more shopping! (AKA Shibuya, Tokyo Station, and Ginza)


We dedicated this day to spend our money shopping! LOL, literally all we visited was stores after stores and areas with shops lined up. We spent most of our morning in Shibuya (again, because there are lots of shops there). then moving on to character street where we found souvenirs of almost all characters I've seen on TV on Sunday morning back then.

After that, we went to Ginza and visited GU (to buy some Sailormoon merchandise). And basically spent the rest of our night there.

Not sure if we have any pics of this day since all we did was busy shopping.

Day 5: Meet my bloggy friend: Mekkan, in Nagoya!




We rode Shinkansen again today, to Nagoya! 


This marks my short history of life, the day I finally met one of my very first bloggy friend: Mikari from My Hodgepodge. Totally didn't expect this to happen although I did inform her when I planned to go to Japan. Oh, what a happy day! I'm really totally overwhelmed with the fact that I actually met her! Will blog more details about this happy meeting in a separate post later~

We visited the Nagoya castle and Mikari, being local and volunteering as guide in the castle told me detailed stories about each place we visited, and it totally awed me how every single details have meanings, even the garden!

Also, we met NINJAS!!! Mwuahahahah...

I kinda wish I have spent more time in Nagoya with Mikari, it's really too bad that my time was limited and I had to go back to Tokyo again in the evening because we'll have to go back to Kansai the next day *sobs*

Next time I visit Japan, I plan to stay on more secluded area (compared to the busy Tokyo) like Osaka and Nagoya to experience the culture and interact more with people!

Day 6: Quick Shopping Spree and Going Back to Osaka

Because our flight will be at 11 AM tomorrow, we decided to go back to the airport in the evening and stayed the night in the airport (because who knows what kind of rush we will have to go through if we directly go from Tokyo).

So we did some (really) quick shopping spree in Harajuku and Shibuya until noon then heads to Osaka (with Shinkansen again!) and continued to Kansai to sleep in. Really fortunate that there are lots of spaces to rest in Kansai airport, also, lots of other travelers spending the night there like us, heheh...

Day 7: Going back home

Ah, the part I hate the most... I felt really sad riding the Shinkansen the day before just when the scenery passed by me, I really didn't want to go! It's actually not always like this when I travel. I guess this is the part where I talk about the soulmate I mentioned in the title. Just like Korea, Japan holds a really special place in my heart.

I'm not really sure how or why, but it just do, it clicks right in and fits like a glove. I think that's how it works with soulmate. I have traveled to some countries, but only Japan and Korea left me feeling sad and makes me want to go back for more with such strong pull. Of course I did enjoy the other countries (and cities) too, but... there's just something inexplicable... you know, like the bizarre concept of soulmate.

I guess that was it. I'll be back for more just like what I do with Seoul, got people questioning me why I travel there again and again, guess it's the chemistry between us that calls on me. Now, in addition to Seoul/South Korea, I have Japan on my list.

Dec 31, 2016

Hello Two thousand (sweet) seventeen!



Tomorrow will be my blog bloggiversary, if I'm not wrong (as far as I remember I started writing on this blog on 2nd January, but I kinda forget the year, I think... 2009?).

Year 2016 had been a ride, a wacky, weird ride, but really grateful of it. I think I'm ready to move on even further in 2017, yay! Hehe..

January



So what had happened? I visited some new placed and going traveling quite a lot. I started the year going for Umra to Mecca-Medina with my whole family. It's some sort of little pilgrimage for us Muslim. And although most of the time I feel like I wasn't worthy to be there, yet, I feel really thankful and emotional being able to visit the holy cities and places.

I am not your most religious person you'll ever  meet, so I wasn't really confident visiting all the holy places. It feels weird, I felt like a naughty kid visiting the principal office, you know that feelings? You know you've made a bunch of mistakes and somehow you have to go there, like it's an honor but you're not sure if you should be there. 

And when you were there, you were all nervous and shaky and afraid but then the principal just hug the hell out of you and whispers "it's okay, it's okay, you can still be a good kid," that was what I felt and for some reason, I cried. I mean, yeah... that was exactly what happened to me.

March

(pics not mine, found on pinterest)

Moving on to March, my birthmonth, I always spend it traveling someplace new, and last year I chose Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Originally I was about to visit Penang also, but then I got lazy and just stroll around KL instead, lol. Oh, and I went there with my Mom. She's becoming a traveler like me, haha.. now whenever I plan to go somewhere she will tag along, nah... scratch that, she travels more than I do now.. gee~

The food in KL is superb! I have not found anything I don't like. Like seriously, how can everything tastes sooo goood? Even their Burger King and McD is better than I have ever tasted anywhere in this world! Lolol.. but really, though.. (Maybe because I walked too much and got super hungry? Hehe..)

Anyways, it was a birthday trip well spent. I got really close with my Mommy and we got to take a lot of pics (because when I travel alone I never really remember to).

June

Around June (I think), something happened, I got unwell that I decided to go to the hospital to get it checked, turned out I have a cyst and it would be advised to have it removed through surgery. And starting from this point on, I should start my healthy lifestyle because this illness basically coming from unhealthy habit of a career women o(>___<")o like eating junk food and lack of fruit/veggies/fiber, too much meat and overheated food, grilled food, soda, etc and also stress. Also, because I am at the age of reproducing so my body is kinda ready but nothing happens to it so it causes an imbalance (it produces hormones that's gone to waste since I'm not reproducing yet, something like that..).

So I went through the surgery, healed properly (and surprisingly fast, since I'm actually not sick..) and now I'm living a healthier life. Food and everything, I can manage, now that I am aware of my condition, those MSG-filled food doesn't appeal to me that much anymore. Also, I try to always eat veggies and fruits. The one that's kinda hard to tackle is the stress one, which was actually the biggest factor I should avoid. 


Honestly, I thought of myself to be someone not really easily stressed out, I am someone who takes things slow and not force myself too much. But lately, job's been really hectic and I can feel myself stressing out and then I got even more stressed out because I know I can't be too stressed lololol... oh well this is hard haha..

I really like the job I'm doing right now, even though it's been a little stressful lately but the ambiance and atmosphere is nice, I also feel that my voice was heard and is useful, and that I contribute something to the company. When I first entered, it feels like I'm watching a baby growing up, because it literally was still a baby. It'll only be 2 years this year. So we're still wiggling and figuring things out.

It's actually really amazing to see, and I feel like the baby is growing up already, now it can walk and sometimes even run. Guess that's why it's been more stressing lately, because my energy can't keep up with it yet. But more than anything, I want to have my own baby too..

I've been thinking of resigning (again, but this time isn't because I don't like it here), and really focusing on my own business (drawing and artwork and everything). I've been drawing quite a lot this year, but since I can only create them on my free time (weekends, mostly), I feel like I haven't been really productive. Although this is kinda scary, too... since it's actually really risky... I'm not sure if I won't ever be bored doing that, for example.. hehe..

Also, I noticed most of my entrepreneur friends, they're starting to get bored with their business since it can already walk on its own, which is a good thing, actually. They just want to find something new to do, be it another new business or new activities. I'm glad that we're moving on and about, and not simply be satisfied with what we have but instead get hungry for more. I think it's a good thing.

I guess, at this age, we want to do anything and everything possible to us. Hopping to new chances and taking all the risks, at least that way, there'll be no regrets of not doing something. And I've been thinking, I should jump and take my leap pretty soon. So yeah, 2017 it is. Guess I'll stay until... Maybe March/April, or max June while preparing for the little business. After that, let's cross our fingers that I can run the business smoothly. I still have so many things to learn and I'm actually pretty excited about it.

So let's crush 2017 and make the most out of it! Let's go!





Dec 11, 2016

Seoul Adventure part.3

This one's so long overdue and has been in my draft since... forever! It's even so dusty already lol. Anyway, I'll post it here so someday when I want to read it again, I can. Also, of course share it with all of you :) I'd love to write more about the adventure but I'm not sure my memories is still intact since it's been... what... 2-3 years? kkk I've even gone there again with my mom and brother so yeah.. Anyway, enjoy this one! Haha

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How long has it been since I wrote about my Seoul adventure? Ah well, here I am continuing it again because I just have to share my adventure with you (also, because I have nothing to do at work right now, lol).

So here is the third part, where I will share you what happened in my 2nd day in Seoul (still a loooong way to go! Just in case you forget, I stayed for TEN days!).

The second day started off nicely with me having a breakfast with yet another new friend, her name is Krista (if I remember correctly), she was from... uh... Canada, I think. And she was in Seoul for only two days before she continued on her journey to Japan. Basically she was just visiting her friends in Seoul, which was Jake, the owner of the guesthouse I stayed in. So yeah~

We hit it off quite nicely, in fact, very nicely that by the end of our breakfast session we decided to go shopping together to Edae because she had nothing to do and I seem like a nice companion (lol, amen!). So off we go! Two girls who were strangers just an hour before!

We visited the magnificent Ewha Women University. I really love the architecture of this place, it has this classic Victorian touch. And of course we had to snap snap some pictures. Edae (Ewha univ) for me is a perfect place to shop. Because it has like one of the most famous women university, it is surrounded with cute little boutiques and make up stores (and cute cafes too!).

So yeah, me and Krista had a fun time shopping, choosing clothes for each other like we've been friends since forever, while in fact we just met that morning. Krista gotta go back to the hostel before me, though. Because she had to meet her other friends. And although we might not gonna meet ever again, the memories of our shopping adventure shall be written here so I won't forget, right?

I continued my shopping spree alone after that, if I remember correctly, I bought a pair of new shoes. The owner thought I was a 18 year old girl, lol. Since it happened to me often so I'm no longer surprised, but of course, I'm proud about it, kkk~ :P (there was one time I wasn't allowed to stay in a hotel in Busan because the staff thought I was under-aged! -c-)

I came back with heaps of shopping bags and it was only my second day there, later in the evening I went out for a jog in Han river (again), and went to see YG building (again), I just had to.. haha... I mean, I only have 10 days so of course I have to spend all of it staring at the building I love so much. And Han River is just so... calming and soothing. I originally wanted to rent a bike but I wasn't sure how to, so I ended up walking to the river.

Basically I spent the day shopping and staring at the river, nothing much, I guess... but the most precious would be gaining a new friend to shop together with! It is something addicting and I would love to experience all over again!

Dec 1, 2016

December to Remember

It's already December 2016, which means it's almost 7 years I've owned this blog. Not that I'm fully active here anymore but oh well.. it holds like seriously so much memories here! I always have fun re-reading my older posts and I can't wait to write more.

But I'm getting so busy!!! WHYYYY...

Oh well, it's a good thing, but I kinda wished I have more time to spend for myself... mmm~

Since December is here, this year's almost gone by... I can't believe it omg! -__-" I'm almost 28 aaahh...

So many things happened this year, one of the biggest one is one of my closest friend passed away. He was seriously living his life in a fast lane. And totally living his life to the fullest. I always love hanging out with him because I always do something new or meet new people or found new food to eat. He's like totally adventurous and talented and creative and friendly that he has friends literally every single where!

I cried so hard when he passed, partly because I regretted not spending more time with him when he was sick. The last time I met him, he was already unconscious I'm not sure he knew I was there. And most of the time, since we spent so many times hanging out together, I forgot that he's no longer around. Sometimes I find a new restaurant and thinking "Oh! I should tell him about this, I think he'll love it!" and then I realize that I can't do that anymore. That he's not only gone travelling for a couple of months or even years, he's gone and not coming back ever and that's really hard to accept but I've come to embrace it now, I think.

I can now talk about him without getting teary-eyed, and I can remember him in everything.

And this really taught me to live my life to the fullest. And to never take any relationship for granted. I tried contacting all my old friends, catching up with them and hanging out with them. Sometimes it's awkward, but most of the times, it's not :)

So I kinda miss him right now, but I think I'm good. I will remember to always pray for him and everyone around me.

Guess I have to prepare myself for 2017 now? Hehe..
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