Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Shimanami Kaido

Shimanami Kaido
Shimanami Kaido was the main reason why I went to Shikoku. A few months ago, I had an urge to experience something different, something unique, something challenging during this year. I finally decided to take a journey biking along the Shimanami Kaido.

So what is this Shimanami Kaido ? Shimanami Kaido ( しまなみ海道 ) is an expressway which links the main islands of Honshu and Shikoku through a series of bridges and 6 islands ( Mukaishima, Innoshima, Ikuchijima, Omishima, Hakatajima and Oshima ). The best part about it is that you can travel the Shimanami Kaido by bicycle. Cycling is a very popular way of experiencing the Shimanami Kaido. The bicycle route is well maintained, and there are lots of sign pointing you to the right direction so you don't need to worry about getting lost.

The beginner normal bicycle route is about 70 kilometers long. With a little bit of push, you can travel the route within 8 hours. Along the route, there are plenty of places you can visit such as temples and museums. I ended up cycling up to 100 km long. It was quite tough, but a very rewarding experience.

Usually people starts from Onomichi ( Honshu ) to Imabari ( Shikoku ), but I decided to go the other way around from Imabari to Onomichi. Click here to see the route that I took.

Due to the amount of photos, I will split the post into two.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Matsuyama Castle

Matsuyama Castle
Matsuyama Castle (松山城) is definitely the best Castle I've been in Japan. The castle stands proud above the hill, right in the middle of the town. This castle is one of the preserved castle. It is still original, with a little bit of repair here and there because of the fire long time ago. It also offers you a gorgeous view of the city from the top. There is also a place where you can dress up as a samurai inside. And for non Japanese speakers, rejoice ! All of the history and description have very good English translation. It is a very impressive castle.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Matsuyama

Matsuyama
There are four main islands in Japan: Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku, and Kyushu. Shikoku ( 四国 = Four Countries ) is the smallest of the four. It is considered to be the forgotten island among the four. People rarely go to Shikoku. Guide books don't bother mentioning about this island. Even my friend questioning my decision to go to this island.

Let me tell you that Shikoku is Japan's hidden gem. There are lots of thing to do here. Some of them are pretty wild, but if you like outdoor, nature, adventures, and willing to spend some time to venture into the inner part of this place, you will be rewarded with amazing scenic views, natural beauty untouched by human.

I only had a few days off to enjoy the island, but I definitely want to go back to Shikoku again.

I will split the Shikoku review into separated posts, starting from Matsuyama.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Teuchi Udon Kuukai

Teuchi Udon Kuukai
Last month I had a chance to visit to Shuunan City in Yamaguchi Prefecture for business trip. The city itself doesn't offer any interesting sightseeing spot, however the city does have a lot of delicious food to offer.

One of them that I really want to introduce is the Teuchi Udon Kuukai (手打うどんくうかい), the best udon that I've had eaten so far.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Oshino Hakkai

Oshino Hakkai
Oshino (忍野) is a small village in Yamanashi Prefecture. The village used to be a lake called Lake Utsu (宇津湖). Lake Utsu used to be the biggest lake surrounding Mount Fuji. When Mt. Fuji erupted around 800 AD, the lava from Mt. Fuji split the lake into two, Lake Yamanaka (山中湖) and Lake Oshino. Later, the lake Oshino dried up, but the eight spring (pond) still remain and they are called Oshino Hakkai (忍野八海).

The spring waters are underground water that flowed down from Mt. Fuji. When the snow melt into water from the top of Mt. Fuji, it got filtered down the mountain through layers of lava, traveling for over 80 years to finally spring at Oshino Hakkai, resulting a very pure, clear water.

The purity of the water is the proud of the locals. It is said that the water is one of the best waters in Japan.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ryusenji Temple Meguro Fudou

Ryusenji Temple Meguro Fudo
There are probably exist a few thousands of temple and shrine in Japan. It's quite to easy find a temple or shrine close to where you live. One day, I was taking a walk around Meguro and I was surprised to find the Ryusenji Temple (滝泉寺) there. It is also commonly known as Meguro Fudou or Meguro Fudouson (目黒不動尊). It turned out that the temple is one of the oldest of it's kind. It is also the 'Black' temple of the Five Colors of Fudou (五色不動) : White (白), Black (黒), Red (赤), Blue (青), Yellow (黄).

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fuji Shibazakura

Fuji Shibazakura Tour
I first set my eyes on Fuji Shibazakura Matsuri two years ago, right after I went to Hitsujiyama Park Shibazakura. The harmony between mount Fuji and Shibazakura are so mesmerizing that I promised myself that I will definitely go to this place. Last month, I finally able to visit this place. Unfortunately, the weather was not perfect. No blue sky and a bit cloudy. A shame, but nevertheless it's still a gorgeous place.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Doraemon Museum

Doraemon Museum
Japan has so many interesting museums, from Ramen to Gyoza museum, from Parasite to Dinosaur museum, and from Bandai to Ghibli museum. Regardless of your age and interests, you will be able to find some museums that are worth the visit. For Doraemon's fans, the Fujiko F Fujio Museum is definitely a place I would recommend.

The Fujiko F Fujio Museum, also known as Doraemon Museum, was first opened on September 3, 2011. The museum is still new and a bit small, but it has its own charm, especially if you're a big fan of Doraemon.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

20th Anniversary with Danbo





Danbo !! <3

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sakura Shinjuku Gyoen

Sakura Shinjuku Gyoen 2012
My favorite season, the Sakura Season, is here. A couple of years ago while I was still living in Indonesia, I really had no idea why people always making such a big deal about Sakura. The whole idea of enjoying flowers kinda felt like a stupid and girly idea back then. Only after coming to Japan, I could truly understand the joy of watching flowers and Sakura immediately became my favorite flower. And during this time, I would feel really bad if I don't spend time blogging about it. :D

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tonki - Tonkatsu Restaurant

Tonki
Tonkatsu, deep fried pork cutlet, is no doubt one of my favorite Japanese foods. Why, oh why, does fried food taste so delicious ? Tokyo offers lots of Tonkatsu restaurants. The most famous one is probably Wako, a nationwide chain Tonkatsu restaurant. However, when we talk about personal recommendation, there are two places I would recommend. One is Katsukura in Shiodome, and the other one is Tonki in Meguro.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Seaworld Orlando

Seaworld Orlando
There is always something fascinating about the sea creatures and Seaworld is a good place to learn about them. It has a little of everything for everyone. The penguins, the sea lions (I love the show !), the polar bears, the manta rays, Shamu, Kraken (roller coaster), etc. Just be careful that you might get wet. :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wonhobby Broadcast International

Wonhobby Broadcast International
At the end of each Wonder Festival, Good Smile Company usually has a live broadcast called Nama Wonhobby. Last Sunday, for the very first time, they started an English version of it called Wonhobby Broadcast International Ver at Good Smile Tetsujin Cafe in Akihabara. The broadcast was hosted by Danny Choo and Ferlyn Yoshimi using Nico Nico Douga. I was impressed how they both managed to pull it off without taking a break at all for more than four hours. No toilet break either !

The broadcast managed to reach 5000 viewers and 70000 comments. Impressive numbers. The broadcast also had Aki Takanori (Good Smile Company's Big Boss), Akiyama-san (General Manager of Good Smile Company), Digitaro (Nitroplus' Boss), and Matsuura Hiroaki (Sanjigen's Boss).

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Apple Store 5th Avenue

Apple Store 5th Avenue
While in New York, I visited the most beautiful Apple Store I've ever seen, the Apple Store 5th Avenue. The tall glass cube, with Apple logo on the middle of it, stood high and proud among the buildings. It was a beautiful piece of architecture.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Georgetown Cupcake

Georgetown Cupcakes Red Velvet
I rarely eat a cake. Not because I don't like cake, I just prefer to eat other foods. However, if I live in DC, I would definitely treat myself once in a while with these delicious mouthwatering Georgetown Cupcakes.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Georgetown Cupcake, it is a cupcake bakery located in the Washington, D.C. The shop was founded by the two sisters, Katherine Kallinis and Sophie LaMontagne, in February 2008. At that time, the Georgetown Cupcake was the first and the only cupcake bakery in the town. Georgetown Cupcake is a very well know cupcake bakery, they even has their own reality TV show called DC Cupcakes. There's even a story that people come to D.C. just to treat themselves with Georgetown Cupcake.

I was in DC a few weeks ago. I've tried Magnolia and Sprinkles Cupcakes before, so I needed to try Georgetown Cupcake to see how good they are. And they're good. Very, very goodddddd.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

Happy New Year 2012
Happy New Year 2012, everyone ! How was last year ? Did you accomplished last year's goal ? Sorry for not updating this blog as often as I promised. Last year, especially last month, was a bit hectic. Now that things are starting to quiet down, hopefully I will have more time to blog.

Anyway, goodbye 2011 and welcome 2012 ! Hope for more adventures in 2012. Happy New Year ! :)

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The man who loves photography and tries to capture the beauty of life through his camera.

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