Apart from doing experiments / 実験 (jikken) I also visited several places in Japan on the weekend. It’s true that on the weekdays I spent most of the time in the lab, although I visited AEON Mall and Book-OFF almost every night after dinner…
But on the weekend, I really had precious moments with my new friends, visiting many places in Japan.
First, on the first weekend, Sunday 5th of July, I walked around Okazaki by myself in the morning. I visited Okazaki Castle, Hatcho Miso Factory, and Okazaki Garden. The places were nearby so it only took about 20 minutes to go from my hotel.
I took selfie photos and asked stranger to take pictures of me, see below!^^
The Countryside of Japan
In the afternoon, I went to a Japanese countryside with Shimizu Sensei and Tatsuro. We visited a museum, temple sites, mountains, and dam. I am so lame.. I couldn’t remembered the name of the places, but they are located still in Ai-chi perfecture, although not so near to Okazaki, it’s a countryside..
Anyway, the nature was really fresh and neat! The weather was chilly even though it was summer at that time. We took some pictures together, of course.
Actually, in autumn (around September) this place is even more amazing, because the momiji leaves もみじの葉 turn red so it’s gonna be a breathtaking scenery. But I found several trees has started turning yellow/orange so I felt really lucky to see it^^!
After we finished, it was already evening, so we went back to Okazaki and have dinner in the Books and Tabi Cafe. I have post my culinary experience here.
Inuyama & Nagoya
On Sunday, 6th July 2014, I and Tatsuro went to Inuyama Castle by train in the morning. We arrived in Inuyama Station around 9 am, then we went to the castle. Inuyama Castle 犬山城 is one of the national treasure of Japan, the temple itself is pretty I think, and we can see the Inuyama city view from the peak of the castle.
After visiting Inuyama, we moved to Nagoya and met Tatsuro’s friends to chat together. Nagoya city is really much more noisy and busy compared with Okazaki. It is not unexpected since Nagoya is the third biggest city in Japan, after Tokyo and Osaka. In Nagoya, you can find several train lines, and many people busy passed the station, from workers to tourists who come from or going to the airport. While in Okazaki, the train station is only passed by Meitetsu line, not even JR Line (biggest train line in Japan). They have many undergound shopping malls and really tall skyscrappers building in Nagoya. The skyscrappers’ architecture and design were really sophisticated and cool! 😀
We spent the afternoon and evening in the cafe, eating a really monster sized-bread with ice cream. I personally don’t really like pastry, but the bread taste sweet and crusty, so it was delicious. From the cafe we went to the tallest building in Nagoya to have dinner and see the Sky Promenade. To see the Sky Promenade we went to the 50th floor using a special elevator which only has 2 option of destinations, 1st and 50th XD
From the Sky Promenade, you can see around Nagoya city in the evening, including Nagoya Castle. It was really beautiful because many street lamps, traffic lamps, cars, buildings light the city at night. It was quiet and chilly at that time, because there was light rain, and I felt like going to heaven, lol.
My tour in Nagoya ends around 09:00pm, and I and Tatsuro went back to Okazaki by train that night.
The next weekend, on Saturday 12th July 2014, I went together with Watanabe-san and her kids Dai-chan and Ko-chan, Suzuki-san with her son Atsushi-san, and Tatsuro. We went by Suzuki-san’s car, she was really kind to spent time together with me. Our destinations were Tokoname 常滑 and Minamichita 南知多.
Tokoname is a city near the Centrair International Airport. The city is famous for its’ pottery work and the origin of Manekineko 招き猫, Japanese lucky cat. Here, we visited the pottery path with many manekineko statues and stoneworks, and also a giant Nekonyan which is placed on the top of a bridge. It was like a manekineko open-air-museum, so cool!
After visiting Tokoname, we visited Senbei せんべい Factory. Senbei means rice crackers in English, and inside the factory, we can find so many kinds of senbei, from salty-flavoured-senbei like tempura, miso, nori, seafood, etc to sweet senbei even wasabi senbei which tasted spicy! 香ばしい~
But the best part is that we can make our own big senbei and even draw on the senbei. I with Atsushi and Ko-chan made each for ourselves. 😀
We went back to Okazaki and ate dinner in Suzuki-san’s friend’s restaurant.
Sunday in Kyoto! 京都
Ho, this was a hard core tour afterall. Yesterday I just arrived to my lodge around 10pm, then in the following morning at 5am, I went to Kyoto with Fuku-chan and Tatsuro. Fuku-chan was very very kind to drove us to Kyoto. Kyoto is the former capital city of Japan previously, so the atmosphere in Kyoto is much more traditional and cultural apart from other parts of Japan (people said), you can find many traditional houses and alleys in Kyoto and often meet Maiko-san 舞妓さん, Japanese woman wearing a kimono on the street. FYI, Kyoto and Okazaki is not located nearby, we had to spent about 3 hours driving to reach Kyoto, so we went early in the morning.
Arrived in Kyoto, first we visited Rokuanji Temple. Usually it was really crowded because this temple is popular in Kyoto, but because we arrived in the morning (around 8am) the temple is still quiet, so we could relax and view the temple site. It was beautiful because there are many temples located in the site and there is this love stone, which has story in legend.
There are also many cute souvenir shops selling many kinds of souvenirs!^^
From Rokuanji, we moved to Ginkaku-ji 銀閣, another temple which was a national treasure of Japan, the temple was formerly the castle of shogun family, 将軍, so now it become popular as a tourist destination. Let’s take a look at some photos.
Still in Kyoto, we went to Gion Area 祇園エリア to see the traditional street of Japan. I met a maiko and had fun taking pictures in Gion. Then we had a marvelous lunch before we went back to Okazaki n the afternoon.
Well, I feel really really grateful and lucky to have this much! Such a memorable weekends I had in Japan, in two weeks time I could visit Inuyama, Nagoya, Tokoname, Minamichita, and Kyoto. All was such an unforgettable moments and surely one of the best moments I had in my life. Thank you all my new friends, Fuku-chan, Tatsuro, Suzuki-san, Watanabe-san, Dai-chan, Ko-chan, Atsushi-san, and all Tatsuro-san’s friends from Nagoya to create this precious time together with me.
I really hope you can visit Indonesia so I can introduce Indonesian culture to you. I hope to see you sometimes in the future!!^^
Have a good life!
With smile 😀 and hugs!