Asia Trip · East Asia · Vacation

#1569 – Indonesia in Japan

ENGLISH

The main posts of my 2015 Spring Trip to Japan series:
1. Getting to Japan
2. Part I: Tokyo (1)
3. Part II: Tokyo (2)
4. Part III: Tokyo (3)
5. Part IV: Hakodate
6. Part V: Sapporo
7. Part VI: Osaka
8. Part VII: Kyoto
9. Back to the Netherlands

***

There is strong connection between Japan and Indonesia so, unsurprisingly, there are a few things here and there which show this link in both countries. In my recent 2015 Spring Trip to Japan, I happened to encounter a few of these links as well. And here they are that I can think of:

At the Shinjuku Metropolitan Government Building

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku
The Shinjuku Metropolitan Government Building in Tokyo

During our visit to the FREE observatory floor of the Shinjuku Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku, we had a chat with an officer who was responsible for the elevator ride to the 45th floor while we were waiting in line. And upon knowing we were Indonesian (So she asked “Where are you from?“, a question which was quite tricky for me to answer, haha 😛 ), the officer, who was an elderly Japanese lady, said that she knew an Indonesian song!

So naturally we asked what song it was. She couldn’t remember it right away, but after awhile she started humming it. And it turned out to be this song:

Yes, the elderly Japanese lady knew the song “Nona Manis”!! 😯 Okay, obviously she did not remember the lyrics (as it was in Indonesian), but she definitely remembered the tone 😀 .

And upon hearing us with our conversation, there was another Japanese man in the elevator who said he also knew an Indonesian song. And then he started humming this song:

Yes, the man knew the song “Rasa Sayange”, hehe 🙂 .

It was totally an unexpected event for us!! 😀

A “Greeting” from Sapporo

In the Sapporo Underground Walkway in Sapporo, we were greeted with this:

A greeting from Sapporo
A greeting from Sapporo

No word needed. Even though I think “di” would have been more appropriate than “ke” 😛 .

Sugeng Rawuh

Then, later on in Osaka, we saw this sign:

A sign saying "Sugeng Rawuh" in Osaka
A sign saying “Sugeng Rawuh” in Osaka

Yes, the sign also said “Sugeng Rawuh“. It was not in Indonesian, but it was in Javanese, the local language of Central and East Java. I know, so random!!

Btw, and obviously “Selamat Datang” is Indonesian.

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting utama dari seri 2015 Spring Trip ke Jepang:
1. Getting to Japan
2. Part I: Tokyo (1)
3. Part II: Tokyo (2)
4. Part III: Tokyo (3)
5. Part IV: Hakodate
6. Part V: Sapporo
7. Part VI: Osaka
8. Part VII: Kyoto
9. Back to the Netherlands

***

Ada hubungan yang kuat antara Jepang dan Indonesia sehingga, tidak mengejutkan, ada beberapa hal disana-sini yang menunjukkan hubungan ini di kedua negara. Dan di perjalanan musim semi 2015-ku ke Jepang baru-baru ini, kebetulan aku melihat hubungan-hubungan ini juga. Dan berikut ini beberapa yang aku ingat:

Di Gedung Pemerintahan Metropolitan Shinjuku

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku
Gedung Pemerintahan Metropolitan Shinjuku di Tokyo

Di kunjungan kami ke lantai observasi GRATISAN di Gedung Pemerintahan Metropolitan di Shinjuku, kami mengobrol dengan seorang petugas disana yang bertugas untuk mengoperasikan lift ke lantai 45 ketika kami sedang mengantri lift-nya. Dan ketika tahu bahwa kami dari Indonesia (Jadi ceritanya ia bertanya “Where are you from?” gitu, sebuah pertanyaan yang amat sulit dan membingungkan untuk aku jawab btw, haha 😛 ), petugasnya, yang mana adalah seorang ibu-ibu tua orang Jepang, berkata bahwa ia tahu satu lagu Indonesia loh!

Nah, jelas kan lalu kami bertanya lagunya lagu apa. Awalnya ia tidak terlalu ingat, tetapi kemudian ia mulai menyenandungkan nada-nadanya. Dan ternyata lagunya adalah lagu ini:

Ya, ibu-ibu tua orang Jepang itu tahu lagu “Nona Manis”!! 😯 Oke, memang sih ia tidak ingat liriknya sama sekali (ya iya lah secara liriknya dalam bahasa Indonesia), tetapi ia jelas ingat nada dan iramanya 😀 .

Dan setelah mendengarkan percakapan kami, ada bapak-bapak lain di liftnya yang juga bilang bahwa ia tahu lagu Indonesia juga. Dan kemudian ia mulai menyenandungkan lagu berikut ini:

Iya, bapak-bapaknya tahu lagu “Rasa Sayange” loh, hehe 🙂 .

Benar-benar sebuah kejadian yang tidak terduga!! 😀

“Sapaan” dari Sapporo

Di Sapporo Underground Walkway di Sapporo, kami disapa oleh ini:

A greeting from Sapporo
Sebuah sapaan dari Sapporo

Haha, jelas lah ya. Walaupun menurutku “di” lebih cocok untuk konteksnya itu daripada “ke” sih 😛 .

Sugeng Rawuh

Lalu, beberapa hari kemudian di Osaka, kami melihat tanda ini:

A sign saying "Sugeng Rawuh" in Osaka
Sebuah tanda bertuliskan “Sugeng Rawuh” di Osaka

Ya, tandanya juga bertuliskan “Sugeng Rawuh“, yang mana artinya adalah “Selamat Datang” dalam bahasa Jawa. Iya, random banget memang!!

Btw, dan jelas itu juga ada tulisan “Selamat Datang”-nya ya.

Asia Trip · East Asia · Tips · Vacation

#1562 – The “Air Pass” Ticket for Travelling in Japan

ENGLISH

The main posts of the 2015 Spring Trip to Japan series:
1. Getting to Japan
2. Part I: Tokyo (1)
3. Part II: Tokyo (2)
4. Part III: Tokyo (3)
5. Part IV: Hakodate
6. Part V: Sapporo
7. Part VI: Osaka
8. Part VII: Kyoto
9. Back to the Netherlands

***

I am quite sure a lot of people already know the existence of the powerful JR Pass ticket for travelling within Japan with trains for a certain period of time. However, I am quite certain that significantly less people know about the existence of an “Air Pass”, the airplanes equivalent of the JR Pass. So here, I would like to share this new piece of information (which I just found out myself while preparing for my recent trip to Japan).

The Air Pass

Originally, our plan to go from Tokyo to Hakodate was to take the trains with the JR Pass. First, we would take the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Aomori and from there we would take another (slower) train to Hakodate. In total, the trip would take 6 hours (and would have cost around ¥20,000 (around €156) per person without the JR Pass). But then, upon browsing, I came accross the following page where I found a useful information about the existence of what was called the “Air Pass”. An Air Pass was basically like a JR Pass, terms and conditions-wise, but it was for a flight operated by the issuing airline. And from all the possible options, there was only one solution for our situation: the “ANA Experience Japan Fare” Air Pass which cost ¥10,000 per person one way (plus tax).

The tricky thing about this special fare was that it did not appear in the normal booking page (At the time of booking which was in February 2015. Lately, it seems that it does). And the booking page was just a normal booking page with a table showing the available flights, their schedules, and the ticket price (ranging from the lowest to the highest which were still available by the time of access). So for this reason I initially did not notice the existence of this “Air Pass” ticket.

So after reading that article in Japan-Guide, I googled “ANA Experience Japan Fare” which led me to a special page in ANA’s website where I could start browsing flights with this special fare! Yay! It was like party time! Hahaha 😆 .

What I found amazing was that this special fare (which was lower than the lowest available price in the normal booking page) was available in ALL flights! 😯 By this, in our case, ANA flew five direct flights from Tokyo-Haneda to Hakodate; and the best schedule for us was the NH 553 flight which left Haneda at 10:25 AM. In the normal booking page, this flight was the most expensive out of the five at the rate of ¥18,000 (around €134) for the cheapest one if I am not mistaken. But then, in the Air Pass page, all five flights could still be booked with this special Air Pass fare!!

In general, if you think about it, this ticket is very useful if you are about to fly long distance domestically within Japan.

The Air Pass versus Budget Airlines (Low Cost Carrier/LCC)

So the definition of “Air Pass” here is a little bit different from of “JR Pass”. In some sense, basically the “Air Pass” is just a special sub-class of economy class with some extra terms and conditions (which involve nationality and residency, haha 😆 ).

One suggestion I can make regarding the “Air Pass” ticket for budget-conscious travellers is to compare the price with some LCCs serving the same route. Remember, the Air Pass is issued by Japan’s two biggest airlines, Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA), while there are more airlines in Japan, including some LCCs.

Peach's Airbus A320-200 reg JA803P which brought me to Osaka-Kansai from Sapporo as flight MM122 today
Peach, a Japanese LCC

In our case, the route of Tokyo-Haneda to Hakodate was only served by JAL and ANA per April 2015 so it was straight-forward. But some other more popular routes were served by some other LCCs as well. For instance, the second domestic flight we did in Japan was from Sapporo to Osaka. JAL and ANA offered their “Air Pass” on this route as well with the same price (¥10,000 + tax). However, Peach Aviation, a Japanese LCC, at that time offered a one way ticket with a basic price of around ¥5,950. After adding everything up (tax, luggage fee, seat selection, etc), I ended up with a total price of ¥8,470 per person. You see?

Requirement for The Air Pass

Information about the requirement and eligibility for an “Air Pass” ticket is available here so you can read it yourself. Basically you need to be a non-Japanese (or a Japanese who resides abroad) and you are in Japan for a short period of time (to prove this, you need to provide the information of your outbound flight from Japan while booking the ticket).

***

Yeah, so I hope I have informed you enough about a possible way to travel within Japan 😉 .

p.s: A little bit unrelated to the content of this post, so it turned out that my Haneda-Hakodate flight with ANA qualified for some frequent flyer points for my Garuda Miles membership, haha. This was so because of ANA and Garuda Indonesia’s cooperation. Unfortunately though, ANA did not havy any cooperation with Air France/KLM so consequently I could not transfer this miles to my Flying Blue account instead.

ANA's Boeing 777-200 reg JA 8198 which would bring me to Hakodate as NH553 today
I bought our tickets of this ANA flight NH 553 from Tokyo-Haneda to Hakodate with the Air Pass special fare

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting berisi cerita utama dari seri 2015 Spring Trip ke Jepang:
1. Getting to Japan
2. Part I: Tokyo (1)
3. Part II: Tokyo (2)
4. Part III: Tokyo (3)
5. Part IV: Hakodate
6. Part V: Sapporo
7. Part VI: Osaka
8. Part VII: Kyoto
9. Back to the Netherlands

***

Aku cukup yakin banyak yang sudah tahu keberadaan tiket JR Pass yang mutakhir itu untuk bepergian di dalam Jepang dengan kereta api dalam masa waktu tertentu. Namun, aku cukup yakin bahwa ada jauh lebih sedikit yang tahu mengenai keberadaan “Air Pass”, sebuah tiket ekuivalennya JR Pass untuk pesawat. Nah, disini, aku ingin berbagi informasi ini (yang aku sendiri baru tahu ketika mempersiapkan perjalanan ke Jepang yang lalu).

Air Pass

Awalnya, rencana kami untuk pergi dari Tokyo ke Hakodate adalah dengan menaiki kereta api dengan JR Pass. Pertama-tama, kami akan naik Shinkansen (kereta peluru) ke Aomori dan dari sana naik kereta (yang lebih pelan) ke Hakodate. Totalnya, perjalanan ini akan memakan waktu 6 jam (dan harga tiketnya sekitar ¥20.000 (sekitar Rp 2,17 juta) per orang tanpa JR Pass). Tetapi kemudian, ketika sedang survey, aku menemukan artikel ini yang berisi informasi berguna mengenai keberadaan tiket yang bernama “Air Pass”. Sebuah tiket “Air Pass” pada dasarnya mirip seperti JR Pass, dalam hal syarat dan ketentuannya, tetapi hanya berlaku di penerbangan yang dioperasikan oleh maskapai yang mengeluarkannya. Dan dari semua kemungkinan yang ada, hanya ada satu solusi untuk situasi kami: Air Pass “ANA Experience Japan Fare” yang harganya ¥10.000 per orang sekali jalan (ditambah pajak).

Nah, yang tricky dari harga khusus ini adalah harga ini tidak muncul di halaman booking biasa (Ketika aku membuat pemesanan tiketnya di bulan Februari 2015. Akhir-akhir ini kayaknya muncul sih). Halaman booking-nya adalah halaman booking biasa yang menampilkan penerbangan yang tersedia, jadwalnya, dan harga tiketnya (dari yang termurah hingga yang termahal yang masih tersedia di waktu akses tersebut). Oleh karena inilah awalnya aku tidak menyadari keberadaan tiket “Air Pass” ini.

Jadilah setelah membaca artikel di Japan-Guide itu, aku meng-googleANA Experience Japan Fare” yang membawaku ke halaman spesial di website-nya ANA dimana aku bisa mulai mencari penerbangan dengan harga khusus ini! Hore! Kayak pesta deh ini rasanya! Hahaha 😆 .

Yang aku sukai dari tiket ini adalah (yang harganya lebih murah daripada harga tiket termurah di halaman booking biasanya loh), tiketnya tersedia di SEMUA penerbangan! 😯 Maksudku, di kasus kami, ANA terbang lima kali sehari dari Tokyo-Haneda ke Hakodate; dan jadwal terenak bagi kami adalah penerbangan NH 553 yang berangkat dari Haneda jam 10:25 pagi. Di halaman booking biasa, ini adalah penerbangan termahal dari kelima pilihan itu dengan harga tiket termurah sekitar ¥18.000 (sekitar Rp 1,96 juta) kalau nggak salah. Namun, di halaman Air Pass, kesemua lima penerbangan masih bisa dibeli dengan harga khusus Air Pass ini dong!!

Secara umum, kalau dipikirkan lagi, tiket ini amat berguna apabila kita akan terbang domestik jarak jauh di dalam Jepang.

Air Pass versus Budget Airlines (Low Cost Carrier/LCC)

Jadi definisi “Air Pass” disini agak berbeda dari “JR Pass” yah. Di satu sisi, sebenarnya “Air Pass” tidak lain dan tidak bukan adalah sebuah sub-kelas khusus dari penerbangan kelas ekonomi dengan syarat dan ketentuan ekstra (yang melibatkan kewarga-negaraan dan tempat tinggal, haha 😆 ).

Satu saran yang bisa aku berikan mengenai tiket “Air Pass” ini bagi para traveller yang sadar budget adalah untuk tetap membandingkan harganya dengan tiket beberapa maskapai LCC yang melayani rute yang sama. Ingat, Air Pass hanya dikeluarkan oleh dua maskapai terbesarnya Jepang, Japan Airlines (JAL) dan All Nippon Airways (ANA). Padahal di Jepang kan ada banyak maskapai penerbangan juga, termasuk beberapa LCC.

Peach's Airbus A320-200 reg JA803P which brought me to Osaka-Kansai from Sapporo as flight MM122 today
Peach, sebuah LCC-nya Jepang

Di kasus kami, rute Tokyo-Haneda ke Hakodate hanya dilayani oleh JAL dan ANA saja per April 2015 jadi gampang deh. Tetapi beberapa rute lain yang lebih populer juga dilayani oleh beberapa LCC juga. Misalnya, penerbangan domestik kedua kami di Jepang adalah dari Sapporo ke Osaka. JAL dan ANA menawarkan “Air Pass” di rute ini dengan harga yang sama (¥10.000 + pajak). Namun, Peach Aviation, sebuah LCC-nya Jepang, waktu itu menawarkan harga tiket satu arah dengan harga dasar sekitar ¥5.950. Setelah menjumlahkan semuanya (pajak, biaya bagasi, biaya memilih kursi, dll), total harga tiketnya adalah ¥8.470 per orang. Nah kan?

Persyaratan untuk Air Pass

Informasi mengenai persyaratan untuk tiket “Air Pass” bisa dibaca disini jadi bisa dibaca sendiri disana deh ya. Pada dasarnya, seseorang harus bukanlah berkewarga-negaraan Jepang (atau orang Jepan yang berdomisili di luar Jepang) dan berada di Jepang untuk kunjungan singkat (untuk membuktikan ini, kita harus memasukkan detail informasi ini ketika memesan tiketnya).

***

Ya, segitu dulu deh, mudah-mudahan posting ini sudah memberikan informai baru mengenai salah satu cara untuk bepergian di dalam Jepang 😉 .

p.s: Agak tidak nyambung dengan isi posting ini, ternyata penerbangan ANAku dari Haneda ke Hakodate bisa memberikanku poin untuk frequent flyer Garuda Miles-ku loh, haha. Ini dikarenakan ANA dan Garuda Indonesia memiliki kerjasama gitu deh. Sayangnya ANA tidak memiliki kerjasama dengan Air France/KLM sehingga poinnya tidak bisa aku masukkan ke keanggotaan Flying Blue-ku, haha.

Asia Trip · East Asia · Vacation

#1561 – Flying from Osaka Back to Amsterdam

ENGLISH

Previous posts on the 2015 Spring Trip to Japan series:
1. Getting to Japan
2. Part I: Tokyo (1)
3. Part II: Tokyo (2)
4. Part III: Tokyo (3)
5. Part IV: Hakodate
6. Part V: Sapporo
7. Part VI: Osaka
8. Part VII: Kyoto

Previously on 2015 Spring Trip: Zilko went to Japan for a conference where he would later extend his stay in Japan for a trip after the conference where he met his parents and brother. After staying in Tokyo for twelve days, in Hokkaido for four days, and in Kansai for another four days, it was now time for him to fly back to the Netherlands.

***

What was convenient was that my flight and my parents and brother’s flight would depart at a pretty similar time. My KLM flight back to Amsterdam was scheduled to depart at 10:30 while my parents and brother’s AirAsia X flight to Kuala Lumpur was scheduled at 11:30. So we could go altogether to the airport in the morning.

Because we knew the airport was so far away, we decided to leave our hotel at 06:00 today. Long story short, after a mini drama including hassle-full transit to change trains to the airport and decided to upgrade our ticket to the super cool Nankai Railway Airport limited expess, which looked extremely cool like this btw:

The super cool Nankai Line train. My own photo was blurry so this one was taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nankai50000Series_Rapit01s4s2880.jpg
The super cool Nankai Line train. My own photo was blurry so this one was taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nankai50000Series_Rapit01s4s2880.jpg

we finally arrived at Kansai International Airport at around 07:30.

The check-in counter for the KLM flight was already full of people. But thanks to my Silver Flying Blue card, I could check-in at the priority line so I only needed to wait for one person only in the queue, haha 😆 . In total I just spent like 5 minutes for check-in, including the queuing time. After that we went to AirAsia X’s check-in counters. After about a good 40 minutes, we finally finished the check-in for my parents and brother’s flight.

Then it was the security check, which was ridiculous in my opinion because there was this one super long line for the security check. The line started at the security gate and snaked its way circling around the peripheral of the security gate. It took us another good 30 minutes just to finally get to the security check. No wonder the AirAsia X’s check-in lady warned us to immediately go to the security check. After the security check, it was the custom and immigration desk. Btw, the custom work in Japan was so efficient btw, where at the airport they just needed to tear out the tax-free receipt from our passport. And that was all. So it was really quick! Good job, Japan!

Making a special cameo appearance in this post is this Garuda Indonesia's Airbus A330-300 reg PK-GPD which would later fly to Denpasar/Bali from Osaka-Kansa
Making a special cameo appearance in this post is this Garuda Indonesia’s Airbus A330-300 reg PK-GPD which would later fly to Denpasar/Bali from Osaka-Kansai

Anyway, after the security check, we had to go our own ways because our flight would depart from different gates that were apart from each other. I went to Gate 35, where a KLM’s Boeing 777-300ER reg PH-BVG named “Nationaal Park Wolong” was already waiting for me to fly as flight KL 868 to Amsterdam today.

The boarding started at 10:00 AM, and the departure had to be delayed a little bit because there were some 15 people who were still stuck at the security and immigration line. At 11:00 AM, we could finally depart. My flight took off from runway 06R of Osaka-Kansai International Airport, and here is the taking-off video:

So, see you, Japan!!!

The Trip Report

General Impression and Service

So, here is the flight route map of today:

The flight route map today from Osaka-Kansai (KIX) to Amsterdam (AMS). Map created with gcmap.com
The flight route map today from Osaka-Kansai (KIX) to Amsterdam (AMS). Map created with gcmap.com

PH-BVG was about three years old today so it was one of KLM’s youngest fleet indeed. And the plane and the interior looked like in a good condition indeed. However, as much as I love KLM’s color (blue is my favorite color), I felt the blue dominated cabin somehow felt “cold” to me. I did not notice it that much when flying short-haul with KLM; but this time that I was, for the first time, flying long-haul with KLM, I started to notice. It was not necessarily a bad thing though, but all other long-haul flights which I have taken with other airlines designed their cabin to be “warmer” (for instance, Garuda Indonesia with the brown seatings in economy) so this was why I noticed the difference.

On board KLM's Boeing 777-300ER reg PH-BVG with 3-4-3 seat configuration in a blue-dominated cabin
On board KLM’s Boeing 777-300ER reg PH-BVG with 3-4-3 seat configuration in a blue-dominated cabin

Btw, PH-BVG, a Boeing 777-300ER, was configured with the standard 3-4-3 seating in economy, just like Air France’s. It was still comfortable but of course it felt cramped if I compared it with Garuda Indonesia’s Boeing 777-300ER which was in the 3-3-3 seat configuration in economy. But as I said, it was still alright.

The cabin crews themselves were typical European crews: very professional and friendly enough to the passengers, just enough though but I definitely would not file any complaint.

The Meal and Snack Service

About one and a half hour after take-off, the lunch service began. The options were Japanese or Western menu. Well, having eaten (mostly) Japanese food for the past three weeks of my life, this time I felt like having some Western meal, haha 😆 . So I got a very delicious chicken menu with some salad and cheese. For drink I opted for a bottle of white wine.

The Western lunch service
The Western lunch service
The second meal service
The second meal service

About two hours before landing, the second meal service was served. For this one, however, there was no option so we just had to pretty much go with whatever they served. It turned out to be a chicken fried rice with some salad and cuts of fresh fruit; which was very nice as well.

Throughout the entire flight, snacks and drinks were readily available at any time. There were a couple of time where the cabin crews went around distributing some of those snacks, the first one was a bag of peanuts and the second one was a nice waffle like snack with ice cream in the inside, but you can just go to the galley at any time and there some snacks and drinks were already prepared for you to take. And many times the cabin crews went around the cabin offering some drinks as well. At one point a cabin crew asked me if I wanted tomate juice; and I wanted tomato juice so I said yes. But then it turned out to be a Virgin Mary, lol 😆 .

A glass of Virgin Mary
A glass of Virgin Mary

The IFE

The size of the IFE screen was okay, the same as in Air France’s and Garuda Indonesia’s Boeing 777-300ER. However, I was not that amused with the contents to be honest, especially in the music department which mostly contained a lot of dance and party music (and not the others). I know, this type of music is indeed very popular in the Netherlands for partying obviously, and I actually also like it. But sometimes in a flight like this obviously I didn’t feel like dancing, did I? Haha 😆 .

The IFE Screen
The IFE Screen
Begin Again
Begin Again

The movies library was also okay. I decided to watch Begin Again (partly because of this Joey’s post also 😀 ), which was a good movie which, indeed, revolved around the theme of “moving on”, haha 😆 .

The games collection, on the other hand, was impressive. I occupied myself with playing a lot of different games, from pacman to sudoku, from tic tac toe to the cave man 🙂 .

Landing

At 15:20, 11 hours and 20 minutes after taking off from Osaka-Kansai, we landed safely and smoothly at runway 36R of Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport. Here is the landing video:

The captain apologized for not being able to recover from the initial delay from Osaka. Apparently quite a number of the passengers today were connecting passengers with different connecting flights out of Schiphol. So this delay might affect their transfer.

A KLM's Boeing 777-300ER reg PH-BVG which brought me back to Amsterdam from Osaka
A KLM’s Boeing 777-300ER reg PH-BVG which brought me back to Amsterdam from Osaka

In conclusion, my first long haul flight with KLM was comfortable enough. The 11 hour and 20 minute flight felt much shorter than 11 hour and 20 minute, a good indication that I enjoyed the flight. Even though there might be a couple of things here and there where I felt that KLM was still behind some other airlines I had tried on long-haul flights, overall I still found KLM’s product to be good enough.

Anyway, after that it was the usual business. I passed the immigration desk without problem (the officer just asked me a few questions in Dutch like where did I fly from and how long I stayed in Japan) and my luggage was the first to come out at Schiphol as well. Then I took the train to go back to Delft.

And here, my amazing three weeks spring trip to Japan, officially, ended.

THE END.

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting sebelumnya dari seri 2015 Spring Trip ke Jepang:
1. Getting to Japan
2. Part I: Tokyo (1)
3. Part II: Tokyo (2)
4. Part III: Tokyo (3)
5. Part IV: Hakodate
6. Part V: Sapporo
7. Part VI: Osaka
8. Part VII: Kyoto

Sebelumnya dalam 2015 Spring Trip: Zilko pergi ke Jepang dalam rangka sebuah konferensi dimana ia akan memperpanjang masa tinggalnya disana untuk jalan-jalan setelah konferensi bersama orangtua dan adiknya. Setelah menginap di Tokyo selama dua belas hari, di Hokkaido selama empat hari, dan di Kansai juga selama empat hari, sekarang adalah saatnya untuk kembali ke Belanda.

***

Kebetulan yang enak adalah penerbanganku dan penerbangan orangtua dan adikku memiliki jadwal yang hampir sama. Penerbangan KLMku kembali ke Amsterdam dijadwalkan berangkat jam 10:30 pagi sementara penerbangan AirAsia X-nya orangtua dan adikku ke Kuala Lumpur dijadwalkan berangkat jam 11:30 pagi. Jadilah kami berangkat bersama-sama ke bandara di pagi harinya.

Karena kami tahu bandaranya jauh sekali, kami memutuskan untuk berangkat jam 6 pagi hari ini. Singkat cerita, setelah drama mini yang melibatkan transit yang ribet banget untuk pindah kereta ke arah bandara dan memutuskan untuk meng-upgrade tiket kereta kami ke Nankai Railway Airport limited express yang keren banget yang penampakannya seperti ini btw:

The super cool Nankai Line train. My own photo was blurry so this one was taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nankai50000Series_Rapit01s4s2880.jpg
Kereta Nankai Line yang keren banget. Fotoku sendiri blur parah sehinga foto ini aku ambil dari: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nankai50000Series_Rapit01s4s2880.jpg

kami akhirnya tiba di Bandar Udara Internasional Kansai sekitar jam 07:30.

Antrian konter check-in untuk penerbangannya KLM sudah panjang banget waktu itu. Tetapi untuk karena aku punya kartu Flying Blue Silver, aku bisa antri di antrian prioritas dimana aku hanya perlu mengantri di belakang satu orang saja, haha 😆 . Jadi totalnya aku hanya perlu menghabiskan sekitar 5 menit deh, termasuk mengantri, untuk check-in. Setelahnya kami pergi ke konter check-in-nya AirAsia X. Empat puluh menit kemudian, akhirnya kami selesai check-in untuk orangtua dan adikku.

Setelahnya adalah pemeriksaan sekuriti, yang nggak main-main banget menurutku karena antriannya mengular panjang banget. Antriannya dimulai dari gerbang sekuritinya dan mengular berbelok-belik mengelilingi pagar sekuriti. Kami harus mengantri selama 30an menit lho untuk akhirnya bisa diperiksa sekuriti. Nggak heran deh petugas check-in-nya AirAsia X mewanti-wanti kami untuk langsung masuk ke pemeriksaan sekuriti. Setelah sekuriti, kami melewati meja bea cukai dan imigrasi. Btw, bea cukai di Jepang efisien banget lho, dimana di bandara mereka hanya perlu menyobek nota tax-free dari paspor kita. Dan udah gitu aja. Jadi semuanya sangat cepat!  Good job, Jepang!

Making a special cameo appearance in this post is this Garuda Indonesia's Airbus A330-300 reg PK-GPD which would later fly to Denpasar/Bali from Osaka-Kansa
Bintang tamu spesial di posting ini adalah pesawat Airbus A330-300-nya Garuda Indonesia beregistrasi PK-GPD ini yang nantinya akan terbang ke Denpasar/Bali dari Osaka-Kansai.

Anyway, setelah itu kami harus berpisah karena gate keberangkatan kami berbeda. Kemudian aku pergi ke Gate 35, dimana sebuah Boeing 777-300ER-nya KLM beregistrasi PH-BVG yang bernama “Nationaal Park Wolong” sudah menungguku untuk terbang sebagai penerbangan KL 868 ke Amsterdam.

Boarding dimulai jam 10 pagi, dan keberangkatannya sedikit terlambat akibat ada sekitar 15 orang yang masih terjebak di antrian pemeriksaan sekuriti dan imigrasi. Jam 11 pagi, akhirnya kami bisa berangkat juga. Penerbanganku lepas landas dari landasan pacu 06R Bandar Udara Internasional Osaka-Kansai, dan berikut ini video lepas landasnya:

Sampai jumpa, Jepang!!!

Trip Report

Kesan Umum dan Layanan

Berikut ini kurang lebih rute penerbangan hari ini:

The flight route map today from Osaka-Kansai (KIX) to Amsterdam (AMS). Map created with gcmap.com
Rute penerbangan hari ini dari Osaka-Kansai (KIX) ke Amsterdam (AMS). Peta dibuat dengan gcmap.com

PH-BVG berumur sekitar tiga tahun hari ini sehingga termasuk sebagai salah satu armada termudanya KLM. Dan pesawat dan interiornya sendiri memang nampak dalam kondisi yang bagus. Namun, walaupun aku suka banget warnanya KLM (biru adalah warna favoritku), entah mengapa kabinnya yang didominasi warna biru terasa “dingin” bagiku. Aku tidak pernah merasakannya ketika terbang jarak dekat dengan KLM; tetapi kali ini ketika aku terbang jarak jauh, ini untuk pertama kalinya lho aku terbang jarak jauh dengan KLM, kesan ini jadi terasa. Bukan berarti ini adalah hal negatif sih, hanya saja penerbangan jarak jauh lain yang pernah aku naiki adalah dengan maskapai yang mendisain kabinnya dengan nuansa “hangat” (misalnya, Garuda Indonesia dengan nuansa coklat di kelas ekonominya) sehingga karena inilah aku merasakan perbedaannya.

On board KLM's Boeing 777-300ER reg PH-BVG with 3-4-3 seat configuration in a blue-dominated cabin
Di dalam pesawat Boeing 777-300ER milik KLM dengan registrasi PH-BVG dengan konfigurasi 3-4-3 dan kabin yang didominasi warna biru

Btw, PH-BVG, sebuah Boeing 777-300ER, dikonfigurasi dengan susunan kursi 3-4-3 di kelas ekonomi, sama seperti miliknya Air France. Masih nyaman kok tetapi tentu saja terasa lebih sempit apabila dibandingkan dengan Boeing 777-300ER-nya Garuda Indonesia yang dikonfigurasi dengan susunan kursi 3-3-3 di ekonomi. Tetapi seperti yang kubilang, 3-4-3 ini masih nyaman-nyaman saja.

Kru kabinnya secara umum sama seperti kru-kru kabin maskapai Eropa: sangat profesional dan cukup ramah kepada penumpang, “cukup” saja ya tetapi aku tidak akan komplain karenanya.

Layanan Makanan dan Snack

Sekitar satu setengah jam setelah lepas landas, layanan makan siang dimulai. Pilihan menunya adalah menu Jepang atau menu Barat. Yaa, karena sudah makan (kebanyakan sih) makanan Jepang selama tiga minggu belakangan, kali ini aku ingin makan makanan Barat deh, haha 😆 . Jadilah aku mendapat menu ayam yang enak banget dengan salad dan keju. Untuk minumannya aku memilih satu botol anggur putih.

The Western lunch service
Layanan makan siang Barat
The second meal service
Layanan makan yang kedua

Sekitar dua jam sebelum mendarat, layanan makanan yang kedua diberikan. Untuk yang ini, tapinya, tidak ada pilihannya sehingga mau tidak mau kami harus menerima saja apa yang mereka sajikan. Ternyata yang disajikan adalah nasi goreng ayam dengan salad dan potongan buah segar; yang mana rasanya enak juga.

Di sepanjang penerbangan, snack dan minuman juga tersedia sepanjang waktu. Ada beberapa kali dimana awak kabinnya berkeliling membagikan snack, yang pertama adalah satu pak kacang-kacangan dan yang kedua adalah snack berbentuk waffle yang di dalamnya berisi es krim yang enak banget. Di galley-nya sendiri telah dipersiapkan snack dan minuman yang mana kapan pun boleh diambil. Dan banyak kali pula awak kabinnya berkeliling membawa nampan berisi minuman. Di satu waktu seorang pramugari menawarkan apakah aku mau jus tomat atau tidak; dan karena memang lagi pengen jus tomat, jadilah aku jawab iya. Dan ternyata minumannya itu Virgin Mary dong, haha 😆 .

A glass of Virgin Mary
Segelas Virgin Mary

IFE

Ukuran layar IFE-nya oke lah, sama seperti di Boeing 777-300ER-nya Air France dan Garuda Indonesia. Namun, aku kurang puas dengan isinya sejujurnya, terutama di bidang musiknya yang kebanyakan berisi musik dance dan party (sementara genre lainnya relatif sedikit). Oke, aku tahu sih jenis musik begini memang populer di Belanda (untuk party jelas lah ya), dan aku juga sebenarnya suka kok. Tetapi kalau lagi terbang gini tentu aku lagi nggak pengen buat berjoget kan ya? Haha 😆 .

The IFE Screen
Layar IFE-nya
Begin Again
Begin Again

Koleksi filmnya juga oke lah. Aku memutuskan untuk menonton Begin Again (setengahnya karena teringat posting-nya Joey yang ini 😀 ), yang mana merupakan film yang bagus dan, memang, tema utamanya adalah tentang “move on” ya, haha 😆 .

Koleksi game-nya, di sisi lain, lengkap banget. Aku menghabiskan banyak waktuku dengan bermain berbagai macam game deh, mulai dari pacman sampai sudoku, dari tic tac toe sampai cave man 🙂 .

Mendarat dan Penutup

Jam 15:20 waktu setempat, 11 jam 20 menit setelah lepas landas dari Osaka-Kansai, kami mendarat dengan selamat dan mulus di landasan pacu 36R Bandara Amsterdam-Schiphol. Berikut ini video pendaratannya:

Kaptennya meminta maaf karena tidak bisa menutup keterlambatan dari keberangkatan di Osaka. Ternyata banyak penumpang penerbangan ini yang memiliki penerbangan lanjutan dari Schiphol. Keterlambatan ini mungkin akan berpengaruh ke transitnya mereka.

A KLM's Boeing 777-300ER reg PH-BVG which brought me back to Amsterdam from Osaka
Sebuah Boeing 777-300ER-nya KLM dengan registrasi PH-BVG yang membawaku kembali ke Amsterdam dari Osaka

Kesimpulannya, penerbangan jarak jauh pertamaku dengan KLM ini berlangsung cukup nyaman. Waktu tempuh 11 jam 20 menit terasa jauh lebih singkat daripada 11 jam 20 menit, yang mana merupakan indikasi baik bahwa aku menikmati penerbangan ini. Walaupun ada satu, dua hal yang menurutku KLM masih kalah dari beberapa maskapai lain yang pernah aku naiki di penerbangan jarak jauh, toh secara keseluruhan produknya KLM masih oke kok.

Setelahnya seperti biasa deh. Aku melewati meja imigrasi tanpa masalah (petugasnya cuma iseng aja sedikit bertanya kepadaku dalam bahasa Belanda aku baru terbang dari mana dan berapa lama aku di Jepang) dan bagasiku adalah bagasi yang pertama keluar di Schiphol juga. Setelahnya, aku naik kereta untuk kembali ke Delft.

Dan disini, perjalananku yang seru selama tiga minggu ke Jepang, secara resmi, berakhir.

SELESAI.

Asia Trip · East Asia · Vacation

#1558 – 2015 Spring Trip (Part VII: Kyoto)

ENGLISH

Previous post on the 2015 Spring Trip to Japan series:
1. Getting to Japan
2. Part I: Tokyo (1)
3. Part II: Tokyo (2)
4. Part III: Tokyo (3)
5. Part IV: Hakodate
6. Part V: Sapporo
7. Part VI: Osaka

Previously on 2015 Spring Trip: Zilko went to Japan for a conference where he would later extend his stay in Japan for a trip after the conference where he met his parents and brother. After staying in Tokyo for twelve days and staying in Hokkaido for four days, he was now already in the last stop of this trip: the Kansai region. During his stay there, we went on two day trips to the former imperial capital of Japan: Kyoto.

***

Getting to Kyoto

The reason we went on two day trips to Kyoto (as opposed to, like, actually staying in Kyoto) was because we could not find any available hotel in Kyoto. Yes, everything was literally full! When I browsed for hotels in booking.com, I immediately got the warning that 97% of all hotels they had there had been fully booked! And those 3% were the super expensive ones with rate of, say, €500 per night for a normal room, lol 😆 . So the moral of the story here is that if you plan to go to Kyoto during peak-season, book your accommodation(s) way way in advance! The solution for us was to just stay in Osaka and went to Kyoto whenever we felt like going there; as the two cities were close anyway.

Anyway, to go to Kyoto, we decided to take the train on the Hankyu Line, which btw was run by a privately-owned railway company[1]. And the ticket fare between Osaka and Kyoto with the Hankyu Line was surprisingly cheap for just ¥400 (around €3.05) one way! 😯 Seriously, it was such a nice surprise for us because we expected something like around ¥1,000 (around €7.62) one way, haha 😆 .

Umeda Station, the main station of the Hankyu Line in Osaka
Umeda Station, the main station of the Hankyu Line in Osaka

The trip with the Hankyu Line train from Osaka to Kyoto took one hour. Being a privately owned company, the line obviously did not use JR’s lines and hence did not stop in the “main” stations like Osaka Station or Kyoto Station. In Kyoto, we got off at Kawaramachi Station. This was actually perfect because Kawaramachi was basically just accross (the river of) an important district of Kyoto which I really wanted to visit: Gion.

Gion

Nine years ago, I read the novel Memoirs of a Geisha and also watched, a few days later, its movie adaptation and I actually really liked it (especially the novel). The setting for a good part of this novel was the district of Gion in Kyoto, which indeed was (is) famous for being the most exclusive geisha district in Japan.

Gion
Gion
A busy street in Gion
A busy street in Gion

To me, Gion delivered. The atmosphere there still felt like it was a few hundreds years ago: with the buildings, the streets, and the temples; well, except probably the electricity poles and all the cars, haha 😆 . Unfortunately we did not see (let alone meet) any geisha though during our short visit there. But it was still very nice to just stroll around in Gion and visualized how Nitta Sayuri, Mameha, and Hatsumomo lived there in the novel 🙂 .

The Temples in Kyoto

Fushimi Inari-taisha

This temple was on the top of our priority list of site to visit in our trip to Kyoto. So actually before going to Gion, we decided to go to this temple first, haha 😆 . Why? Well, because I wanted to take picture like this:

The famous Fushimi Inari-taisha temple in Kyoto
The famous Fushimi Inari-taisha temple in Kyoto

which was so Facebook cover photo material, wasn’t it? Lol 😆

Yes, Fushimi Inari-taisha was the temple with the famous thousands of orange[2] torii gates. And indeed it was very famous because a lot of people were flocking the temple; making it practically impossible to take a picture without being accidentally photobombed by others, haha 😆 .

We spent about two hours in the temple (which entrance was free of charge btw, yay! 😀 ) before going back to Gion.

Kiyomizu-dera

Another temple which we visited on the other day of our day trip to Kyoto was the Kiyomizu-dera temple. This temple was located on top of a hill so from the nearest bus stop, we had to walk up the hill to reach it. For this temple, however, the entrance was not free of charge. But the entrance fee was just as small as ¥300 (around €2.29) person so it was actually not a big deal anyway.

What was unique about this temple was its wooden balcony which was “hanging” 13 meters above the hillside. Okay it was not actually hanging because there were wooden supports underneath it, but I hope you get my point 😆 .

Kiyomizu-dera Selfie with its wooden balcony
Kiyomizu-dera Selfie with its wooden balcony

The other parts of the temple was also beautiful. And again, being one of the most celebrated temples in Kyoto in combination with the low entrance fee, this temple was also flocked with tourists! Hahaha 😆

More Spots in Kyoto

The season for sakura in Kyoto!
The season of sakura in Kyoto!

I also found strolling around in Kyoto very enjoyable. The atmosphere of the city was very nice: crowded in one part (read: the touristy areas) and serene in the other parts (read: the housing neighbourhood). Plus, in combination with it being a hanami season even made the atmosphere more magical! The sakura petal was falling down everywhere. It was extremely beautiful!

Fallen sakura petals in Kyoto
Fallen sakura petals in Kyoto

We also went to some other gardens accross Kyoto, and all of them were very beautiful! 🙂

Arashiyama

Another spot in Kyoto which was in the top of our list was Arashiyama, especially its bamboo grove! So on our second day trip to Kyoto, we changed our Hankyu line train at Katsura station to a shorter line from there to Arashiyama. At first it was difficult to spot where the bamboo grove was because our map did not pinpoint exactly where it was. It actually showed the presence of some bamboo forests somewhere else so at first I mistakened these forests for the grove. Luckily we asked a local there who showed us the right direction to the grove!

The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove in Kyoto
The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove in Kyoto

The bamboo grove was a little bit below our expectation. We expected it to be much bigger than it actually was. But nevertheless it was still a nice place to visit. Again, being a popular spot in Kyoto, it was also impossible to take pictures of the bamboo grove without being photobombed by people, haha 😆 .

Next to the bamboo grove was the Tenryuji temple which was a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While we were already there, we decided to pay a visit as well (literally, as the entrance was not free). It was a nice temple with a very beautiful garden.

The Food

Sushi at Chojiro Sushi

Once we had lunch at the Chojiro sushi in Kyoto which, obviously, served sushi and its kind, haha 😆 . We felt like this restaurant should be a good one because we had to wait in line first for about 30 minutes – in which during we grumbled but were already too lazy to switch restaurant – before we finally got a table.

A very fresh and delicious sashimi at Chojiro
A very fresh and delicious sashimi at Chojiro
A very fresh and delicious sushi set at Chojiro
A very fresh and delicious sushi set at Chojiro

After this trip to Japan, I can say that sushi is definitely not my favorite Japanese dish. I mean, the sushi I had in Japan was very good though. However, now if I am given the choices, I will definitely go for the other dishes than sushi. The sushi we had in Chojiro was indeed the best sushi (and sashimi) we had on this Spring Trip to Japan.

p.s: And I did enjoy it

Kichi-Kichi

Another notable restaurant which we visited in Kyoto was Kichi-Kichi. Again, I know the existence of this restaurant from Jendluvu‘s blog from this post of her. I have to say that we were lucky to be able to dine there. On our first day to Kyoto we went there but the restaurant was fully booked so Kichi, the owner slash the chef, could not let us in.

We tried to make a reservation there for our second day but we got no luck. So on the second day at 5:30 PM we just went there hoping to get some luck. And luckily we did. Someone made a reservation at 5 PM but did not show up so we could get it. Btw, at 5:40 PM, the group which made the reservation at 5 PM actually came and Kichi refused to let them in because they were late by 40 minutes. He literally said (in English, because they were not Japanese) “You are late by 40 minutes. Five minutes is okay, but not 40 minutes. Sorry but I can’t let you in“. Lol 😆 . Seriously. Was I in a class with a strict lecturer or something?

The famous chef of Kichi-Kichi.
The famous chef, and yes he had two glasses
The famous Omurice at Kichi-Kichi
The famous Omurice at Kichi-Kichi

Anyway so obviously I ordered the famous omurice, with the attraction of course, haha 😆 . Do I like it? Well, I have to say I found the fried rice to be too bitter for my liking. It was still good though, but I could not say it was the best fried rice I have ever had in my life.

But I have to say the main attraction of the restaurant was Kichi himself, who was very funny to watch in his own way 🙂 .

TO BE CONTINUED…

Next on 2015 Spring Trip:
– Back to the Netherlands
– My first intercontinental flight with KLM
Experiencing 31 hours in one day, literally

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting sebelumnya dalam seri 2015 Spring Trip ke Jepang:
1. Getting to Japan
2. Part I: Tokyo (1)
3. Part II: Tokyo (2)
4. Part III: Tokyo (3)
5. Part IV: Hakodate
6. Part V: Sapporo
7. Part VI: Osaka

Sebelumnya dalam 2015 Spring Trip: Zilko pergi ke Jepang untuk sebuah konferensi dimana nantinya ia akan memperpanjang masa tinggalnya di Jepang untuk sebuah acara jalan-jalan bersama orangtua dan adiknya. Setelah tinggal di Tokyo selama dua belas hari dan di Hokkaido selama empat hari, ia kini akhirnya sudah berada di perhentian terakhir dari perjalanan ini: daerah Kansai. Disana, ia menyempatkan untuk pergi dua kalu ke bekas ibukota imperialnya Jepang: Kyoto.

***

Ke Kyoto

Alasan kami pergi dua kali perjalanan harian ke Kyoto (dan bukannya, misalnya, sekalian menginap di Kyoto aja) adalah karena kami tidak bisa menemukan hotel yang masih memiliki kamar kosong. Iya dong, semua penginapan disana penuh waktu itu! Ketika aku browsing-browsing hotel di booking.com, aku langsung mendapatkan peringatan bahwa 97% hotel disana sudah habis dipesan di tanggal kunjunganku kesana! Dan yang sisanya 3% itu adalah hotel-hotel yang tarif per malamnya, sekitar, €500 (sekitar Rp 7,28 JUTA) per malam untuk kamar yang biasa, haha 😆 . Jadi pesan dari ceritanya adalah: kalau mau bepergian ke Kyoto di masa peak season kayak gini, pesanlah hotel dari jauh-jauh hari banget sebelumnya! Solusinya bagi kami adalah dengan menginap di Osaka dan pergi ke Kyoto ketika kami ingin kesana; karena kedua kota ini toh lokasinya dekat satu sama lain.

Ngomong-ngomong, untuk pergi ke Kyoto, kami memutuskan untuk naik kereta di Jalur Hankyu, yang mana dioperasikan oleh sebuah perusahaan kereta api swasta[1]. Dan harga tiketnya dari Osaka ke Kyoto (dan sebaliknya), mengejutkan nih, murah banget loh karena cuma ¥400 (sekitar Rp 43.000,-) saja satu arah! 😯 Beneran deh, ini adalah kejutan yang menyenangkan bagi kami karena kami kira harganya akan sekitar ¥1,000 (sekitar Rp 108.000,-) gitu deh satu arah, haha 😆 .

Umeda Station, the main station of the Hankyu Line in Osaka
Stasiun Umeda, stasiun utamanya Jalur Hankyu di Osaka

Perjalanan kereta Jalur Hankyu dari Osaka ke Kyoto memakan waktu sekitar satu jam. Karena dimiliki oleh perusahaan swasta, jalur ini jelas tidak menggunakan jalur kereta apinya JR sehingga mereka juga tidak berhenti di stasiun “utama” seperti Stasiun Osaka atau Stasiun Kyoto. Di Kyoto, kami turun di Stasiun Kawaramachi. Ini malah enak banget karena Kawaramachi pada dasarnya berada di seberang (sungai) sebuah distrik penting di Kyoto yang ingin banget aku kunjungi: Gion.

Gion

Sembilan tahun yang lalu, aku membaca novel Memoirs of a Geisha dan juga menonton, beberapa hari kemudian, versi filmnya dan aku amat menyukainya (terutama novelnya sih). Nah, setting dari sebagian besar cerita di novel ini adalah distrik Gion di Kyoto ini, yang memang terkenal sebagai distrik geisha paling eksklusif di Jepang.

Gion
Gion
A busy street in Gion
Jalan yang ramai di Gion

Untukku, Gion keren banget dah. Atmosfernya memang terasa seperti ratusan tahun yang lalu: dengan bangunan-bangunannya, jalanannya, dan kuil-kuilnya; ya, kecuali tiang-tiang listriknya dan kendaraan-kendaraan yang lewat sih ya, haha 😆 . Sayangnya kami tidak melihat (apalagi bertemu) dengan geisha seorang pun disana. Tetapi masih seru banget rasanya bisa berjalan-jalan santai mengelilingi Gion dan membayangkan bagaimana Nitta Sayuri, Mameha, dan Hatsumomo hidup disana di ceritanya 🙂 .

Kuil-Kuil di Kyoto

Fushimi Inari-taisha

Kuil ini berada di prioritas teratas untuk dikunjungi di Kyoto bagi kami. Nah, jadi sebenarnya sebelum pergi ke Gion itu kami pergi ke kuil ini terlebih dulu, haha 😆 . Mengapa? Yaa, untuk foto-foto semacam ini gitu deh:

The famous Fushimi Inari-taisha temple in Kyoto
Kuil Fushimi Inari-taisha yang terkenal banget di Kyoto

yang mana cocok banget buat dijadiin cover photo di Facebook kan ya? Huahahaha 😆

Iya, Fushimi Inari-taisha adalah kuil yang terkenal dengan ribuan gerbang torii yang berwarna oranye[2]. Dan memang kuil ini terkenal banget karena dipenuhi orang-orang; sehingga praktis mustahil deh untuk bisa foto tanpa di-photobomb oleh orang lain, haha 😆 .

Kami menghabiskan sekitar dua jam di kuilnya (yang mana masuknya gratis loh btw, hore! 😀 ) sebelum pergi ke Gion.

Kiyomizu-dera

Kuil lain yang kami kunjungi adalah kuil Kiyomizu-dera. Kuil ini berlokasi di atas sebuah bukit jadi dari pemberhentian bus terdekat, kami harus berjalan naik ke atas bukit untuk kesana. Untuk kuil ini, biaya masuknya tidak gratis. Tetapi harga tiketnya toh masih murah sih menurutku, yaitu seharga ¥300 (sekitar Rp 32.500,-) per orang sehingga nggak masalah deh.

Yang unik dari kuil ini adalah balkon kayunya yang “menggantung” 13 meter di samping bukitnya. Oke, memang nggak menggantung sih karena ada rangka kayunya di bawahnya, tetapi masih keren lah ya 😆 .

Kiyomizu-dera Selfie with its wooden balcony
Kiyomizu-dera Selfie dengan balkon kayunya

Bagian lain dari kuilnya juga indah banget. Dan lagi, karena ini adalah kuil terkenal di Kyoto ditambah lagi dengan harga tiket masuknya yang murah, kuil ini ramai banget dikunjungi turis! Hahaha 😆 .

Tempat-Tempat lain di Kyoto

The season for sakura in Kyoto!
Musim sakura di Kyoto!

Aku juga merasa berjalan-jalan di Kyoto itu asyik banget. Atmosfer kotanya nyaman sekali: ramai di satu tempat (baca: tempat-tempat turis) dan amat tenang dan damai di tempat lainnya (baca: area tempat tinggal penduduknya). Apalagi, dikombinasikan dengan saat itu yang sedang musim hanami, atmosfernya menjadi terasa semakin menakjubkan! Kelopak-kelopak bunga sakura sedang berguguran sewaktu itu. Indah sekali!

Fallen sakura petals in Kyoto
Kelopak bunga sakura yang berguguran di Kyoto

Kami juga pergi ke beberapa taman lain di Kyoto, dan semuanya indah! 🙂

Arashiyama

Tempat lain di Kyoto yang merupakan prioritas utama kami adalah Arashiyama, terutama hutan bambu kecilnya! Jadi di hari kedua kami ke Kyoto, kami berganti kereta Jalur Hankyu kami di Stasiun Katsura dan dari sana naik jalur lain yang lebih pendek ke Arashiyama. Awalnya agak sulit untuk mengetahui dimana lokasi hutan bambunya karena peta kami tidak menunjukkan lokasi persisnya dimana. Bahkan di petanya ada gambar hutan bambu di tempat lain sehingga awalnya aku kira di tempat lain itulah hutan bambunya. Untungnya kami bertemu penduduk setempat yang menunjukkan lokasi hutan bambunya yang benar!

The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove in Kyoto
Hutan Bambu Arashiyama di Kyoto

Sejujurnya hutam bambunya agak sedikit di bawah ekspektasi kami. Ekspektasi kami hutannya kan besar gitu. Ah, walaupun begitu masih indah kok tempatnya, hehe. Lagi, karena ini tempat terkenal di Kyoto, mustahil deh bisa foto-foto disini tanpa di-photobomb oleh orang lain, haha 😆 .

Di sebelahnya hutan bambu adalah Kuil Tenryuji yang termasuk dalam UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mumpung sudah disana, ya sudah sekalian kami membeli tiketnya dan masuk. Kuilnya bagus juga dengan taman yang amat indah.

Makanannya

Sushi di Chojiro Sushi

Sekali waktu kami makan siang di Sushi Chojiro di Kyoto yang, jelas, menyediakan sushi dan semacamnya, haha 😆 . Kami menduga restoran ini seharusnya bagus karena kami harus mengantri dulu selama sekitar 30 menit – sambil ngomel-ngomel tentunya tetapi kami terlalu malas untuk berpindah restoran, haha – sebelum mendapatkan meja kosong.

A very fresh and delicious sashimi at Chojiro
Sashimi yang amat segar dan enak di Chojiro
A very fresh and delicious sushi set at Chojiro
Sushi set yang amat segar dan enak di Chojiro

Nah, setelah perjalanan ke Jepang ini, aku bisa bilang bahwa sushi bukanlah makanan Jepang favoritku deh. Maksudku, memang sih sushi yang aku makan di Jepang itu enak-enak. Tetapi, jika bisa memilih, aku masih jelas akan memilih makanan lain selain sushi deh. Sushi di Chojiro ini memang adalah sushi (dan sashimi) terenak yang aku makan di perjalanan musim semi ke Jepang ini.

p.s: Dan toh aku menikmatinya kok

Kichi-Kichi

Satu restoran lain yang kami kunjungi di Kyoto adalah Kichi-Kichi. Lagi, aku tahu keberadaan restoran ini dari blognya Jendluvu‘s melalui posting yang ini. Aku harus bilang bahwa kami beruntung lho bisa makan disana. Di hari pertama kami ke Kyoto, restorannya sudah penuh sehingga Kichi, pemilik sekaligus kokinya, tidak bisa menerima kami.

Kami mencoba membuat reservasi untuk hari kedua kami ke Kyoto tetapi kami tidak beruntung. Jadilah di hari kedua jam 5:30 sore kami langsung aja datang kesana, untung-untungan aja. Dan untungnya kami datang lho. Ada yang ceritanya membuat reservasi jam 5 sore tetapi orangnya tidak datang sehingga kami bisa mengambil tempat mereka. Btw, jam 5:40 sore, orang yang membuat reservasi jam 5 sore itu baru datang dan oleh Kichi orangnya dilarang masuk loh karena mereka telat 40 menit. Ia berkata ke mereka seperti ini (dalam bahasa Inggris soalnya orangnya bukan orang Jepang) “Kamu terlambat 40 menit. Lima menit sih nggak papa, tetapi tidak bisa kalau 40 menit. Maaf ya tetapi kamu tidak bisa masuk“. Huahahaha 😆 . Beneran loh. Ini ceritanya aku sedang berada di restoran atau di sebuah kuliah yang dosennya tegas dan galak sih?

The famous chef of Kichi-Kichi.
Kokinya yang terkenal dan ya, itu dua kacamata
The famous Omurice at Kichi-Kichi
Omurice yang terkenal itu di Kichi-Kichi

Ngomong-ngomong, jelas aku memesan omurice-nya yang terkenal itu, dengan show-nya tentunya, haha 😆 . Apakah aku menyukainya? Hmm, mungkin gini aja deh. Menurutku bumbu cokelat nasi gorengnya itu agak terlalu pahit untuk seleraku. Masih enak-enak aja sih, tetapi harus aku bilang bahwa ini bukanlah nasi goreng terenak yang pernah aku makan.

Tetapi harus aku akui bahwa menurutku atraksi utama restorannya adalah si Kichi-nya itu, yang mana lucu dan antik juga dengan caranya sendiri  🙂 .

BERSAMBUNG…

Selanjutnya dalam 2015 Spring Trip:
– Kembali ke Belanda
– Penerbangan antar-benua pertamaku dengan KLM
Mengalami 31 jam dalam satu hari

Asia Trip · East Asia · Vacation

#1555 – 2015 Spring Trip (Part VI: Osaka)

ENGLISH

Previous posts on the 2015 Spring Trip to Japan series:
1. Getting to Japan
2. Part I: Tokyo (1)
3. Part II: Tokyo (2)
4. Part III: Tokyo (3)
5. Part IV: Hakodate
6. Part V: Sapporo

Previously on 2015 Spring Trip: Zilko went to Japan for a conference where he would later extend his stay in Japan for a trip after the conference where he met his parents and brother. After staying in Tokyo for twelve days and staying in Hokkaido for four days, he was ready to fly back south to Honshu Island. His next destination was the Kansai region.

***

Getting to Kansai

The flight route map today from Sapporo-Chitose (CTS) to Osaka-Kansai (KIX). This map is made using gcmap.com
The flight route map today from Sapporo-ShinChitose (CTS) to Osaka-Kansai (KIX). This map is made using gcmap.com

There was no question at all that we would definitely fly from Sapporo to Osaka, our next destination, due to the distance (it would simply take too long if we chose to take the trains). Osaka was served by three different airports: Kansai International Airport (KIX) in Izumisano, Osaka International Airport (ITM) in Osaka, and Kobe Airport (UKB) in Kobe. Of course we chose the airport based on the cheapest far which we could find, haha 😆 . And at that time, the best option for us was a Peach Aviation, a Japanese low-cost carrier, flight which flew to KIX.

Btw, I was very excited that we would fly to KIX because KIX was one of the many airports which was in my bucket list of airports to visit, haha 😆 . Why? Well, KIX is located on an artificial island in the Bay of Osaka. Yes, an artificial island, how cool is that! 😀 Well, actually I knew that I would get to KIX anyway since my flight back to Amsterdam would leave from KIX. But now I would get the chance to record a landing video at KIX, haha 😆 .

Kansai International Airport is on an artificial island in the Bay of Osaka
Kansai International Airport is situated on an artificial island in the Bay of Osaka

Anyway, so we took a local train from Sapporo Station to go to New-Chitose Airport Station which was connected to the airport. There was actually a shuttle bus service departing from near our hotel but it would take too long due to the traffic. So we opted for the train of course, haha 😆 .

I found checking-in at New-Chitose Airport was quite a hassle. First of all, the check-in desks for Peach Aviation were not in the same area as the other airlines’, in fact it was on the same level as the arrival hall, haha 😆 . Secondly, after checking-in, we ourselves had to bring our checked-in luggages to the security check before they could let the luggage in.

Peach's Airbus A320-200 reg JA803P which brought me to Osaka-Kansai from Sapporo as flight MM122 today
Peach’s Airbus A320-200 reg JA803P which brought me to Osaka-Kansai from Sapporo as flight MM122 today

Long story short we successfully check-in and passed the security check. At 10:35 AM, we boarded our airplane: a Peach Aviation’s 3 year old Airbus A320-200 reg JA803P flight MM122. At 11:22 AM, we took off from runway 19R of Shin-Chitose International Airport of Sapporo. The weather was, again, not the best today where it was cloudy all the way from Sapporo to Osaka. And as Peach was an LCC, it was just another uneventful flight with LCC, haha 😆 . Prior to landing, the captain reminded us to put our seatbelts on because he expected some turbulences just before landing. At 13:15, we landed at runway 06L of KIX. Here is the landing video:

As you can see in the video, the landing was not smooth. In fact, we experienced what was called as a “bounced landing”, where the airplane touched the runway, bounced, and then touched the runway again. The first touchdown was at 02:44 and the second one was at 02:47 in the video above. Even though it was certainly less comfortable, but it was actually a normal event in aviation. So if you ever experience one, don’t worry and, more importantly, don’t panic 🙂 .

Anyway, because Peach was an LCC, they used Terminal 2 of KIX. But the train station was located in Terminal 1. So after taking our luggage, we took the free shuttle bus to Terminal 1 and from there we took a local train to downtown Osaka. KIX was quite far away from the city centre btw, as it took us more than one hour to get to Osaka Station, haha 😆 .

Osaka

Shinsaibashi and Dōtonbori

Shinsaibashi in Osaka
Shinsaibashi in Osaka

Our first destination in Osaka was the famous Shinsaibashi and Dōtonbori street. And these two streets were, indeed, very crowded! Haha 😆 . And I liked both streets, especially the food stalls Dōtonbori with the very creative signs, like these four for instance:

We already had dinner before going to Shinsaibashi and Dōtonbori so we did not feel like having another big meal. But of course we still some street food there, like takoyaki, somefried chicken on sticks, and some other Japanese snacks. Which were mostly good! 🙂

Osaka Castle

Probably the most popular tourist attraction in Osaka, obviously we also visited Osaka Castle. The weather was not the best on the day of our visit where in the morning it just rained, so we could see puddles here and there. Plus, it was cloudy and windy so it was actually quite chilly.

The Osaka Castle
The Osaka Castle

We did not enter the castle but we enjoyed the park surrounding the castle, which was very beautiful. Oh, and btw, Osaka Castle was the setting of a case in Detective Conan too 😛 . It was the case in Volume 31 in case you are wondering.

Tsūtenkaku and Umeda Sky Building

From Osaka Castle, we went to Tsūtenkaku, a TV tower in the heart of Osaka. The reason for this was very simple: because the tower was in the cover of Detective Conan Volume 19, haha 😆 . I mean, look at these:

Cover taken from here.

You see? 😛 Again, we did not enter the tower and just strolled around Shinsekai, the neighbourhood of the tower which was actually quite nice with a lot of stores (though not as lively).

That evening, we decided to go to the Umeda Sky Building because we read the observation desk of the building was a “hanging garden”. Well, from the name I knew there was no way the garden would actually be literally “hanging”, but still, I found the existence of a garden in the top of a skyscraper would be quite cool.

Osaka as senn from the Umeda Sky Building
Osaka as seen from the Umeda Sky Building

But then, it turned out that not only the garden was hanging, there was actually NO garden up there, haha 😆 .  There were two observation levels: one indoor and the other one outdoor. The view of the Osaka skyline was, nevertheless, quite cool.

The Food

At a gyoza restaurant in Osaka with the very nice staff
At a gyoza restaurant in Osaka with the very nice staff

Aside from the gyoza-speciality restaurant we had on day one (which was really good btw and the guy who worked there was so fun to watch and interact with), we did not really dine at any particularly “Japanese” restaurants. In fact, the few restaurants we went to were mostly Japanese Chinese food, i.e. the Japanese version of Chinese food. Which was actually quite good as well but obviously it was not something that was very “Japanese” I must say. Okay, even though in one of them I ordered a ramen but it was not as good as Mutekiya’s so I was a little bit disappointed, haha 😆 .

Some Japanese Chinese Food. Actually quite good
Some Japanese Chinese Food. Actually quite good

At one point I also went out only with my brother (sort of like a brother night out, haha 😆 ) where we went to a yakitori restaurant and talked there. The yakitori was actually quite good, where what we did was just ordering one serving (each was small) of almost every single item in the menu, haha 😆 . Oh, and of course we tried the Asahi beer as well.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Next on 2015 Spring Trip:
– Fushimi-Inari Taisha
– Gion
– Arashiyama
– Kiyomizu-Dera
– Back to the Netherlands

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting sebelumnya dalam seri 2015 Spring Trip ke Jepang:
1. Getting to Japan
2. Part I: Tokyo (1)
3. Part II: Tokyo (2)
4. Part III: Tokyo (3)
5. Part IV: Hakodate
6. Part V: Sapporo

Sebelumnya dalam 2015 Spring Trip: Zilko pergi ke Jepang untuk sebuah konferensi dimana ia akan memperpanjang masa tinggalnya di Jepang untuk jalan-jalan dimana setelah konferensinya ia bertemu dengan orangtua dan adiknya disana. Setelah menginap di Tokyo selama dua belas hari dan di Hokkaido selama empat hari, kini ia siap untuk terbang kembali ke arah selatan ke Pulau Honshu. Tujuannya selanjutnya adalah regio Kansai.

***

Pergi ke Kansai

The flight route map today from Sapporo-Chitose (CTS) to Osaka-Kansai (KIX). This map is made using gcmap.com
Rute penerbangan hari ini dari Sapporo Shin-Chitose (CTS) ke Osaka-Kansai (KIX). Peta dibuat dengan gcmap.com

Tidak perlu pertimbangan apa pun untuk membuat keputusan bahwa kami akan terbang dari Sapporo ke Osaka, tujuan kami selanjutnya, karena alasan jarak (terlalu lama andaikata kami memilih naik kereta). Masalahnya, Osaka memiliki tiga bandara: Bandar Udara Internasional Kansai (KIX) di Izumisano, Bandar Udara Internasional Osaka (ITM) di Osaka, dan Bandar Udara Kobe (UKB) di Kobe. Tentu saja bandara tujuan kami tergantung dari tiket termurah yang kami temukan dong ya, haha 😆 . Dan waktu itu, tiket terbaiknya ditawarkan oleh maskapai penerbangan Peach Aviation, sebuah low-cost carrier-nya Jepang, yang terbang ke KIX.

Btw, aku merasa senang kami akan terbang ke KIX karena KIX adalah satu dari banyak bandar udara yang berada di dalam bucket list bandaraku yang ingin aku kunjungi, haha 😆 . Mengapa? Ya, karena KIX berlokasi di sebuah pulau buatan di Laut Osaka. Iya loh, pulau buatan, keren banget kan! 😀 Yaa, aku tahu toh aku akan terbang dari KIX juga karena penerbangan kembaliku ke Amsterdam berangkat dari KIX. Tetapi dengan begini aku jadi memiliki kesempatan untuk merekam proses pendaratan pesawat di KIX dong ya, haha 😆 .

Kansai International Airport is on an artificial island in the Bay of Osaka
Bandar Udara Internasional Kansai berlokasi di sebuah pulau buatan di Laut Osaka

Anyway, jadilah kami menaiki kereta lokal dari Stasiun Sapporo ke Stasiun Bandara New-Chitose yang terhubung dengan bandaranya. Sebenarnya ada layanan shuttle bus sih yang berangkat dari dekat hotel kami tetapi waktu perjalanannya terlalu lama karena lalu-lintas di jalan. Jadilah kami memilih naik kereta saja, haha 😆 .

Nah, aku merasa bahwa check-in di Bandara New-Chitose itu kok ribet ya. Pertama-tama, konter check-in-nya Peach Aviation tidak berada di area yang sama dengan maskapai-maskapai lain, malahan lokasinya ada di area kedatangan, haha 😆 . Kedua, setelah check-in, kami harus membawa koper yang akan kami masukkan ke bagasi untuk pemeriksaan sekuriti loh sebelum mereka bisa memasukkan bagasinya.

Peach's Airbus A320-200 reg JA803P which brought me to Osaka-Kansai from Sapporo as flight MM122 today
Sebuah Airbus A320-200 milik Peach dengan registrasi JA803P yang membawa kami ke Osaka-Kansai dari Sapporo sebagai penerbangan MM122 hari ini

Singkat cerita, kami akhirnya sukses check-in dan diperiksa di area sekuriti. Jam 10:35 pagi, kami menaiki pesawat kami, sebuah Airbus A320-200 berumur 3 tahun milik Peach Aviation beregistrasi JA803P dengan nomor penerbangan MM122. Jam 11:22 pagi, pesawatnya lepas landas dari landasan pacu 19R Bandara Shin-Chitose di Sapporo. Cuaca hari ini, lagi-lagi, kurang baik dimana sepanjang perjalanan berawan terus dong. Dan karena Peach adalah maskapai LCC, penerbangannya ya biasa-biasa saja dan cenderung membosankan gitu deh khasnya penerbangan LCC, haha 😆 . Sebelum mendarat btw, pilotnya mengingatkan kami untuk mengenakan sabuk pengaman karena sebelum mendarat kami harus menembus area dengan turbulensi yang cukup kuat dahulu. Jam 13:15, pesawatnya mendarat di landasan pacu 06L-nya KIX. Berikut ini video pendaratannya:

Seperti yang bisa dilihat di video di atas, pendaratannya tidak berlangsung dengan mulus. Malahan, kami mengalami apa yang disebut “bounced landing” (pendaratan terpantul), dimana pesawatnya menyentuh (touchdown di) landasan pacu, tetapi kemudian terpantul, dan kemudian touchdown lagi. Touchdown pertama ada di menit 02:44 dan yang kedua di menit 02:47 di video di atas. Walaupun jelas ini membuat proses pendaratan agak kurang nyaman, tetapi ini adalah kejadian normal kok di dunia penerbangan. Jadi kalau misalnya mengalami kejadian ini, jangan khawatir ya, dan yang terpenting, jangan panik 🙂 .

Anyway, karena Peach adalah LCC, mereka menggunakan Terminal 2-nya KIX. Tetapi stasiun keretanya berada di Terminal 1. Jadilah setelah mengambil bagasi, kami menaiki shuttle bus gratis ke Terminal 1 darimana kemudian kami naik kereta ke pusat kota Osaka. Btw, KIX jauh banget loh dari kota Osakanya karena kami membutuhkan waktu lebih dari satu jam untuk pergi ke Stasiun Osaka, haha 😆 .

Osaka

Shinsaibashi dan Dōtonbori

Shinsaibashi in Osaka
Shinsaibashi di Osaka

Tujuan pertama kami di Osaka adalah jalan Shinsaibashi dan Dōtonbori yang terkenal banget itu. Dan dua jalanan ini, memang, ramai banget! Haha 😆 . Dan aku suka keduanya, terutama kios-kios di Dōtonbori dengan plang-plang kreatif-nya, seperti empat ini misalnya:

Karena kami sudah makan sebelum pergi ke Shinsaibashi dan Dōtonbori, jadilah kami tidak begitu lapar ketika disana. Tetapi tetap dong kami jajan beberapa street food disana, seperti takoyaki, semacam sate ayam, dan beberapa snack ala Jepang lainnya. Kebanyakan rasanya enaak! 🙂

Osaka Castle

Mungkin adalah atraksi turis paling terkenalnya Osaka, jelas kami mengunjungi Kastil Osaka juga. Cuaca hari itu kurang begitu bersahabat dimana paginya hujan, sehingga dimana-mana becek deh. Ditambah lagi, hari itu berawan tebal dan cuaca cukup berangin sehingga udaranya dingin.

The Osaka Castle
Kastil Osaka

Kami tidak masuk ke kastilnya sih tetapi kami menikmati taman yang mengelilingi kastilnya, yang mana indah banget lho. Oh, dan btw, Kastil Osaka juga merupakan setting salah satu kasusnya Detektif Conan juga loh 😛 . Kasusnya bisa ditemukan di Volume 31 jika misalnya ada yang penasaran.

Tsūtenkaku dan Umeda Sky Building

Dari Kastil Osaka, kami pergi ke Tsūtenkaku, sebuah menara TV di jantung kota Osaka. Alasan kami kesana sederhana aja: karena menaranya ada di sampulnya komik Detektif Conan Volume 19 kan ya, haha 😆 . Maksudku, coba deh lihat ini:

Sampul diambil dari sini.

Nah kaaan? 😛 Lagi, kami tidak naik ke menaranya dan hanya berkeliling di Shinsekai saja, area di sekitar menaranya yang sebenarnya cukup menarik karena ada banyak toko-toko (walaupun tidak terlalu ramai sih).

Malamnya, kami pergi ke Umeda Sky Building karena kami baca bahwa dek observasinya berupa “taman gantung” gitu deh. Hmm, aku tebak dari namanya, aku sih cukup yakin ya tamannya nggak akan beneran “menggantung” gitu, tetapi tetap aja lah keberadaan taman di puncak sebuah pencakar langit jelas keren kan.

Osaka as senn from the Umeda Sky Building
Osaka seperti yang terlihat dari Umeda Sky Building

Tetapi kemudian, ternyata tamannya tidak hanya tidak menggantung, tetapi bahkan TIDAK ADA taman dong di atas sana, haha 😆 . Dek observasinya sendiri terdiri atas dua lantai: satu adalah lantai indoor dan satu lagi outdoor. Pemandangan kotanya sendiri sih keren kok.

Makanannya

At a gyoza restaurant in Osaka with the very nice staff
Di sebuah restoran gyoza di Osaka dengan staff-nya yang amat menyenangkan

Selain restoran yang menyediakan makanan khusus gyoza yang kami makan di hari pertama (yang mana enak banget loh btw dan stafnya yang bekerja disana juga menyenangkan banget), kami tidak makan makanan yang “Jepang banget” di Osaka. Malahan, dua restoran yang kami kunjungi adalah restoran Chinese food ala Jepang loh, haha. Yang mana sebenarnya enak juga sih tetapi jelas nggak “Jepang” lah ya menurutku. Oke, memang sih di salah satunya aku memesan ramen tetapi karena ramennya tidak seenak ramennya Mutekiya jadilah aku sedikit kecewa, haha 😆 .

Some Japanese Chinese Food. Actually quite good
Chinese food ala Jepang. Enak juga lho.

Di satu waktu aku juga keluar dengan adikku berdua aja (ceritanya kan brothers night out gitu, haha 😆 ) dimana kami pergi ke sebuah restoran yakitori dan ngobrol-ngobrol aja berdua disana. Yakitorinya lumayan enak juga, dimana kami memesan satu porsi (porsinya sih kecil) dari setiap item yang ada di buku menu mereka, haha 😆 . Oh, dan tentu kami mencoba bir Asahi juga.

BERSAMBUNG…

Selanjutnya di 2015 Spring Trip:
– Fushimi-Inari Taisha
– Gion
– Arashiyama
– Kiyomizu-Dera
– Kembali ke Belanda

Asia Trip · East Asia · Vacation

#1553 – 2015 Spring Trip (Part V: Sapporo)

ENGLISH

Previous post on the 2015 Spring Trip to Japan series:
1. Getting to Japan
2. Part I: Tokyo (1)
3. Part II: Tokyo (2)
4. Part III: Tokyo (3)
5. Part IV: Hakodate

Previously on 2015 Spring Trip: Zilko went to Japan for a conference where he would later extend his stay in Japan for a trip after the conference where he met his parents and brother. After staying in Tokyo for twelve days, he flew north to the city of Hakodate in Hokkaido. After one night there, he was ready to go to the largest city in Hokkaido, Sapporo.

***

Getting to Sapporo

The train route map from Hakodate to Sapporo
The train route map from Hakodate to Sapporo

From Hakodate, we took the train to go to Sapporo, the largest city in Hokkaido. Btw, the rail transport in Hokkaido was ancient in comparison to the ultra modern rail transport in Honshu Island. For instance, there was no Shinkansen (bullet train) service in Hokkaido, even though as of 2015 they were constructing an extension of the Tohoku Shinkansen to Hakodate so later on Tokyo and Hakodate would be connected by this bullet train.

Anyway, to go to Sapporo, we decided to take the Super Hokuto Express which departed at 12:29 PM. The train looked like this btw:

The Super Hokuto Express
The Super Hokuto Express

Quite cool, wasn’t it? 😀 As I said, the 315 km distance between Hakodate and Sapporo was covered in just 3.5 hours with this Super Hokuto Express. Well, actually not that ancient if I think about it, but it just fell short if I compared it with what I could find in Honshu Island, haha 😛 .

Anyway, the train arrived in Sapporo late according to my watch. By how long? Well, 20 seconds, haha 😛 . #firstworldproblem #Japaneseproblem

Otaru

Otaru
Otaru

During our stay in Sapporo, we actually also went on a one-day trip to the town of Otaru just to the north west of Sapporo. On our way to Otaru, we planned to take the train. But there was a disruption on the track between Sapporo and Otaru so they could not run the train all the way to Otaru.

Oh, we knew this only because there was an extremely nice Japanese lady who was, in her own initiative, approached us and helped us! Seriously! We did not ask for any help (yet) but she just came to us and explained the situation! HOW NICE OF HER!! 😯 Apparently she was also going to Otaru. Upon knowing that we were going to Otaru as well, she offered us if we wanted to go with her and her family together by bus. Of course we agreed. And btw, she also helped us adjust our Suica Card balance because of this train fiasco.

So long story short, we arrived at Otaru and had to say goodbye to the nice Japanese lady and her family. We wandered around the town of Otaru. To me, Otaru was a nice little town with a lot more tourists than Hakodate, haha 😆 . Oh, and while in Otaru, despite the 6°C temperature, I felt like having a cone of ice cream. So I went to one, and bought a cone. Yes, just a cone, like this:

Technically a cone of ice cream ;)
Technically a cone of ice cream 😉

Huahaha 😆 .

The ice cream was delicious btw, with eight different flavors at once, haha 😆 .

Sapporo

Being the largest city in Hokkaido, Sapporo was not like Tokyo. Despite all the skyscrapers and towers, it was still nothing like Tokyo. It felt more subdued and calm, not necessarily a bad thing in my opinion. But if you expect a big and crowded city with “life” practically everywhere, Sapporo is not your city.

The TV Tower of Sapporo
The TV Tower of Sapporo

Anyway, what we really liked from Sapporo was its brilliant 500 meter underground walkway which stretched from Sapporo Station to Odori. The weather was not the best when we were in Sapporo (read: it was very windy and was raining a lot). It happened that just outside of our hotel, there was an entrance to this underground walkway. So it helped a lot that we did not have to physically fight the wind and rain for some distance, haha 😆 .

The Historic Village of Hokkaido

In Sapporo, we went to the Historic Village of Hokkaido (Kaitaku no mura) in the suburb of Sapporo because why not, haha 😆 . To get there we took the subway to Shin-Sapporo station and from there the bus number 22 to Kaitaku no mura. It turned out that we had a bit of too much expectation on this site, haha. We felt a little bit underwhelmed there. It was not bad though, but we just somehow expected more.

Enjoying tea at a traditional Japanese house
Enjoying tea at a traditional Japanese house

It was actually quite a nice place with a lot of different old buildings from all regions in Hokkaido. Even some had some history and story which they told. And we could enter some of them and, of course, took some pictures, haha 😆 .

Shiroi Koibito

The beautiful Shiroi Koibito in Sapporo
The beautiful Shiroi Koibito in Sapporo

If we were feeling underwhelmed in Kaitaku no mura, we actually were nicely surprised in Shiroi Koibito where it was actually much nicer than what we expected! 😆 . Shiroi Koibito was a chocolate factory in the west part of Sapporo.

And you know what, upon entering the place, I felt like I was in Willy Wonka‘s chocolate factory! So there was this Tudor-styled garden which people could enter for FREE, and it was very beautiful! On top of that, every hour, there was a show in the garden every hour where the things in the garden, like the statues, dolls, trash cans, etc, actually “performed”. Seriously, it was magical!

The show
The show

There, we also decided to go into the museum, where this one was not free. But inside it was actually really cool where we got to see some parts of the factory through a few of large windows. And the factory was super cool with all these machines and workers. The museum itself was very nice where, at first, they explained about chocolate and stuffs. But later on, they showcased the hobbies and collections of the owner’ (I think) family in several different rooms based on the types. For instance, there was the gramophone room, then the sport room, then the (Japanese) modern toys room, etc. Really cool!

Mount Moiwa

In Sapporo, just like Hakodate, we could also go to the top of a small mountain and see the skyline of the city from there. We could do this in Mount Moiwa. To get there, we took the streetcar and got off at Ropeway Iriguchi. From there, we could either walk to the station or took the FREE shuttle bus service. Obviously we took the shuttle bus, haha 😆

Sapporo as seen from Mount Moiwa
Sapporo as seen from Mount Moiwa

To get to the top, we had to take two cable cars. The second one was quite unique because the cable car was not actually hanging, haha 😆 . Anyway, the view from the top of Mount Moiwa was indeed really good, especially because we did it in the evening where the light had been on. And indeed Sapporo was a much bigger city than Hakodate. However, actually I still found the view in Mount Hakodate to be more breathaking though just because of Hakodate’s unique geography.

The Food

The food that I had been wanting to try badly in Sapporo was the genghis khan. Indeed I already had one in Hakodate but of course I was still curious with the one in Sapporo.

The Genghis Khan in Sapporo Bier Garten

Once I read a review of a good genghis khan meal in Sapporo Bier Garten. So after our day trip to Otaru, we decided to go there. It turned out there were three genghis khan restaurant in there. We went to the one which they recommended, which was inside the brewery building.

Apparently there was a good offer for the all you can eat genghis khan menu, so we decided to go for it, haha. Luckily they let my mom, who did not eat that much, to not buy the all you can eat menu and just ordered a normal-sized meal on her own.

Cooking genghis khan
Cooking genghis khan

Genghis khan was basically a Hokkaido-style barbeque and in Sapporo Bier Garten, we grilled the meat ourselves. And it was SO delicious! Haha 😆 . And oh, I ate a lot today and I blamed this on the all you can eat menu because with this I tend to want to eat more, haha 😛 .

A nice restaurant in Sapporo

There was a low-key small restaurant in Sapporo which was really good. It was really good that we actually dined there twice. Yeah, twice! 🙂 They offered quite some varieties of Japanese food, like crab, fried chicken, fried shrimp, beef steak, etc. Unfortunately I don’t remember the name of the restaurant even though they did tell me once and actually gave me their name card (but I lost it and the name card was only written in Japanese anyway). But this restaurant was just accross the Sapporo Clock Tower.

A nice dinner at a low-key restaurant in Sapporo
A nice dinner at a low-key restaurant in Sapporo

Sukiya

For our breakfast, Sukiya gyudon was our hero because they opened 24 hour, haha 😆 . And the gyudon was definitely really good and very affordable. They actually had a few varieties of gyudon and I tried some of them. The basic one was good, but my favorite was the rich cheese gyudon 🙂 .

TO BE CONTINUED…

Next on 2015 Spring Trip:
– Flying to Kansai
– The city of Osaka
– The palace in Kyoto
– The temple in Kyoto
– Back to the Netherlands

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting sebelumnya dalam seri 2015 Spring Trip ke Jepang:
1. Getting to Japan
2. Part I: Tokyo (1)
3. Part II: Tokyo (2)
4. Part III: Tokyo (3)
5. Part IV: Hakodate

Sebelumnya dalam 2015 Spring Trip: Zilko pergi ke Jepang dalam rangka sebuah konferensi dimana ia memperpanjang masa tinggalnya disana dimana ia bertemu dengan orangtua dan adiknya. Setelah tinggal di Tokyo selama dua belas hari, ia terbang ke utara ke kota Hakodate di Hokkaido. Setelah menginaps satu malam, kini ia siap untuk pergi ke kota terbesar di Hokkaido, Sapporo.

***

Pergi ke Sapporo

The train route map from Hakodate to Sapporo
Peta rute kereta dari Hakodate ke Sapporo

Dari Hakodate, kami naik kereta untuk pergi ke Sapporo, kota terbesar di Hokkaido. Btw, sistem transportasi kereta api di Hokkaido itu kuno banget loh dibandingkan dengan sistem transportasi kereta api yang ultra modern di pulau Honshu. Contohnya, tidak ada Shinkansen (kereta peluru) di Hokkaido, walaupun per tahun 2015 ini mereka sedang membangun perpanjangan infrastruktur untuk Shinkansen Tohoku sih sehingga nantinya Tokyo dan Hakodate akan terhubungkan oleh kereta peluru ini.

Anyway, untuk pergi ke Sapporo, kami memutuskan untuk naik kereta ekspress Super Hokuto yang berangkat jam 12:29 siang. Keretanya nampak kayak gini btw:

The Super Hokuto Express
Kereta ekspres Super Hokuto

Keren ya? 😀 Seperti yang aku bilang, jarak 315 km antara Hakodate dan Sapporo ditempuh dalam waktu 3,5 jam dengan Super Hokuto. Sebenarnya nggak kuno-kuno banget sih ya kalau dipikir-pikir lagi, tetapi memang kontras banget kalau dibandingkan dengan apa yang bisa aku temukan di pulau Honshu, haha 😛 .

Btw, kereta kami terlambat dong sampainya di Sapporo menurutku jamku. Terlambat berapa lama memangnya? Umm, 20 detik, hahahaha 😆 😛 . #firstworldproblem #masalahorangJepang

Otaru

Otaru
Otaru

Di waktu kami di Sapporo, kami juga pergi satu hari ke kota Otaru di barat lautnya Sapporo. Untuk ke Otaru, kami memutuskan untuk naik kereta. Tetapi ternyata sedang ada gangguan di rel di antara Sapporo dan Otaru sehingga keretanya tidak bisa dioperasikan hingga Otaru.

Oh, kami tahu informasi ini karena ada seorang ibu-ibu orang Jepang yang, berdasarkan inisiatifnya sendiri, mendatangi dan membantu kami! Serius! Kami tidak bertanya apa-apa lho tetapi ia langsung datang ke kami dan menjelaskan situasinya! BAIK BANGET YA!! 😯 Ternyata ia juga akan pergi ke Otaru. Dan setelah mengetahui bahwa kami akan ke Otaru juga, ia menawarkan apakah kami ingin ikut ia dan keluarganya untuk bersama-sama ke Otaru naik bus. Tentu saja kami setuju. Dan btw, ia juga membantu kami untuk menyesuaikan balance di Kartu Suica kami lho akibat permasalahan dengan kereta ini.

Singkat cerita, kami tiba di Otaru dan harus berpisah dengan ibu-ibu orang Jepang dan keluarganya yang baik hati itu. Kami berjalan-jalan di Otaru. Untukku, Otaru adalah kota kecil yang indah dan ada lebih banyak turis disana daripada di Hakodate, haha 😆 . Oh, dan ketika di Otaru, walaupun waktu itu suhu udaranya 6°C, aku memutuskan untuk makan satu cone es krim. Ya, cuma satu cone aja kok, kayak gini:

Technically a cone of ice cream ;)
Secara teknis ini satu cone es krim kan ya 😉

Huahaha 😆 .

Es krimnya enak lho btw, dengan delapan rasa yang berbeda sekaligus, haha 😆 .

Sapporo

Sebagai kota terbesar di Hokkaido, Sapporo berbeda sekali dari Tokyo. Walaupun ada banyak menara yang tinggi disana, suasananya sama sekali berbeda dari Tokyo. Rasanya lebih sepi dan kalem gitu. Jadi kalau kita mencari kota yang ramai dengan banyak “kehidupan” dimana-mana, Sapporo bukanlah kota yang kita cari.

The TV Tower of Sapporo
Menara TV di Sapporo

Dan yang aku suka dari Sapporo adalah koridor bawah tanah sepanjang 500 meter yang merupakan ide yang super brilian dari Stasiun Sapporo ke Odori. Cuaca ketika kami disana waktu itu tidak bersahabat (baca: amat berangin dan hujan deras). Kebetulan banget di luar hotel kami ada pintu masuk ke koridor bawah tanah ini. Jadi ini sangat membantu banget dong ya sehingga kami tidak harus melawan angin dan hujannya, haha 😆 .

The Historic Village of Hokkaido

Di Sapporo, kami mampir di Historic Village of Hokkaido (Kaitaku no mura) di pinggiran kota Sapporo, haha 😆 . Untuk kesana, kami menaiki subway ke stasiun Shin-Sapporo dan dari sana naik bus nomor 22 ke Kaitaku no mura. Ternyata kami memiliki ekspektasi yang terlalu berlebihan dengan tempat ini, haha. Kami merasa agak kecewa deh jadinya. Nggak jelek sih tempatnya sebenarnya, tetapi kami memiliki ekspektasi yang agak berlebihan saja.

Enjoying tea at a traditional Japanese house
Menikmati teh di sebuah rumah tradisional Jepang

Sebenarnya tempatnya lumayan bagus juga kok dengan beberapa bangunan tua dari berbagai daerah di Hokkaido. Bahkan beberapa di antaranya memiliki sejarah dan cerita yang bisa diceritakan. Dan kita bisa masuk juga loh dan, tentu, foto-foto, haha 😆 .

Shiroi Koibito

The beautiful Shiroi Koibito in Sapporo
Shiroi Koibito yang indah di Sapporo

Jika kami merasa agak kecewa di Kaitaku no mura, kami mengalami yang sebaliknya di Shiroi Koibito dimana tempatnya lebih bagus daripada sangkaan kami! 😆 . Btw, Shiroi Koibito adalah sebuah pabrik coklat di barat Sapporo.

Dan ketika memasuki tempatnya, aku merasa seperti di pabrik coklatnya Willy Wonka loh! Jadi disana ada taman bertemakan Tudor yang bisa dimasuki dengan GRATIS dan tamannya indah loh! Di samping itu, setiap jam juga ada show gitu di tamannya, dimana patung-patung, boneka-boneka, tempat sampah, dll-nya, “tampil”. Serius, keren banget!

The show
Salah satu show-nya

Disana, kami memutuskan untuk memasuki museumnya, yang mana kalau ini nggak gratis ya,. Tetapi di dalamnya sungguh keren loh dimana kami juga bisa melihat beberapa bagian pabriknya melalui beberapa jendela besar. Dan pabriknya keren loh dimana ada banyak mesin-mesin yang keren gitu. Museumnya sendiri lumayan bagus dimana di awalnya berupa penjelasan mengenai coklat. Selanjutnya, dipamerkan koleksi-koleksi keluarga pemilik pabriknya (aku duga) dalam beberapa ruangan dan sesuai tema. Misalnya aja, ada ruangan khusus untuk gramofon, ruangan olahraga, dan ruangan mainan modern (Jepang), dll. Keren!

Mount Moiwa

Di Sapporo, seperti di Hakodate, kita juga bisa naik ke puncah gunung kecil dan melihat pemandangan kota Sapporo dari atas. Untuk ini, kita bisa melakukannya di Mount Moiwa. Untuk kesana, kami naik streetcar dan turun di Ropeway Iriguchi. Dari sana, kita bisa berjalan kaki ke stasiunnya atau naik shuttle bus GRATIS. Jelas kami naik shuttle bus-nya dong ya, haha 😆 .

Sapporo as seen from Mount Moiwa
Sapporo terlihat dari Mount Moiwa

Untuk naik kesana, kami harus naik dua kereta gantung. Kereta gantung yang kedua unik sih karena keretanya tidak menggantung, haha 😆 . Pemandangan dari Mount Moiwa memang bagus banget, terutama karena kami naiknya di malam hari dimana lampu-lampu sudah dinyalakan. Dan memang Sapporo lebih besar daripada Hakodate. Namun, menurutku pemandangan dari Mount Hakodate masih lebih bagus akibat geografi uniknya Hakodate.

Makanannya

Makanan yang sudah ingin banget aku coba di Sapporo adalah genghis khan. Memang aku sudah mencicipinya di Hakodate, tetapi aku masih penasaran dengan yang di Sapporo.

Genghis Khan di Sapporo Bier Garten

Suatu waktu aku membaca review rumah makan yang menyediakan genghis khan yang enak di Sapporo Bier Garten. Jadilah setelah perjalanan kami ke Otaru, kami pergi kesana. Ternyata disana ada tiga rumah makan yang semuanya menyediakan genghis khan, haha. Kami pergi ke rumah makan yang mereka rekomendasikan, yaitu di dalamnya gedung brewery (tempat pembuatan bir).

Ternyata waktu itu ada penawaran menarik untuk menu genghis khan all you can eat. Jadilah kami memilihnya. Untungnya juga mereka membolehkan mamaku, yang tidak bisa makan banyak, untuk tidak membeli menu all you can eat dan ia bisa memesan menu ukuran biasa.

Cooking genghis khan
Memasak genghis khan

Genghis khan pada dasarnya adalah sebuah barbeque ala Hokkaido dan di Sapporo Bier Garten, kita bisa memanggang dagingnya sendiri loh. Dan rasanya memang enak BANGET! Haha 😆 . Oh, dan aku makan banyak banget hari ini dan ini gara-gara menu all you can eat karena dengan menu ini aku jadi ingin makan banyak kan biar nggak rugi, haha 😛 .

Restoran yang enak di Sapporo

Ada sebuah restoran kecil di Sapporo yang enak banget. Enak banget sampai-sampai kami makan disana dua kali loh. Iya, dua kali! 🙂 Mereka menawarkan berbagai macam masakan Jepang, seperti kepiting, ayam goreng, udang goreng, steak sapi, dll. Sayangnya, aku tidak ingat nama restorannya walaupun mereka memberi-tahuku dan bahkan memberiku kartu nama (tetapi kartu namanya hilang dan dalam bahasa Jepang sih). Tetapi lokasi restoran ini adalah di dekatnya Menara Jam Sapporo.

A nice dinner at a low-key restaurant in Sapporo
Makan malam enak di sebuah restoran kecil di Sapporo

Sukiya

Untuk sarapan, Sukiya gyudon adalah pahlawan kami karena rumah makannya buka 24 jam, haha 😆 . Dan gyudonnya memang enak banget dan harganya murah. Mereka menjual berbagai macam gyudon dan aku mencoba beberapa di antaranya. Gyudon biasanya juga enak sih, tetapi favoritku adalah rich cheese gyudon 🙂 .

BERSAMBUNG…

Selanjutnya dalam 2015 Spring Trip:
– Terbang ke Kansai
– Kota Osaka
– Istana di Kyoto
– Kuil di Kyoto
– Kembali ke Belanda

Asia Trip · East Asia · Vacation

#1552 – 2015 Spring Trip (Part IV: Hakodate)

ENGLISH

Previous post on the 2015 Spring Trip to Japan series:
1. Getting to Japan
2. Part I: Tokyo (1)
3. Part II: Tokyo (2)
4. Part III: Tokyo (3)

Previously on 2015 Spring Trip: Zilko went to Japan for a conference where he would later extend his stay in Japan for a trip after the conference where he met his parents and brother. After staying in Tokyo for twelve days, it was time for him to leave the city and fly north to the island of Hokkaido.

In total, I spent four days in Hokkaido and so the story is divided over two posts.

***

Getting to Hokkaido (Hakodate)

We decided that the first city in Hokkaido to visit was the third largest city in Hokkaido, Hakodate, which was located at almost the south tip of the island. The reason was simple, it seemed more convenient to do so because geographically it was closer to Tokyo than, say, Sapporo. Plus, we also read a few positive articles about Hakodate so we were curious about it.

The flight route map today from Tokyo - Haneda (HND) to Hakodate (HKD). Map created with: gcmap.com
The flight route map today from Tokyo – Haneda (HND) to Hakodate (HKD). Map created with: gcmap.com

Originally we planned to take the trains (yes, plural) to get to Hakodate; but upon further research, I calculated that the optimal solution (price-wise and time-wise) for our trip was to use the “Air Pass” ticket (more about this in a later post); which means that we would fly to Hakodate. Well, much to my delight of course 😉 .

And to get there, we would fly with All Nippon Airways (ANA) so it would be my first time this year to fly with a Star Alliance member, haha 😆 . Speaking of which, I found it cool that my last three flights up to this point were with members of three different airlines alliance: (1) Amsterdam – Paris with KLM (SkyTeam); then (2) Paris – Tokyo-Narita with Japan Airlines (Oneworld); and now (3) Tokyo-Haneda – Hakodate with ANA (Star Alliance), haha 😆 .

ANA's Boeing 777-200 reg JA 8198 which would bring me to Hakodate as NH553 today
ANA’s Boeing 777-200 reg JA 8198 which would bring me to Hakodate as NH553 today

Another reason I was excited today was that the flight would be operated with a Boeing 777-200!! Yes, on the short domestic sector from Tokyo to Hakodate, ANA operated a Boeing 777-200 which could carry 405 passengers! 😯

Anyway, long story short, we checked-in and walked to the gate. Oh, I found Tokyo-Haneda Airport to be more aesthetically beautiful in the eyes than Tokyo-Narita Airport btw. At 10 AM, we boarded our plane: the 19 year old Boeing 777-200 reg JA8198 flight NH 553 to Hakodate. It was not a busy day today, where I estimated the flight was just around 20 – 30% full.

See you, Tokyo!!!!
See you, Tokyo!!!!

Then, we took off from runway 34R of Tokyo-Haneda Airport. The flight itself was quite uneventful as the Boeing 777-200 was not equipped with any IFE. The service on board was just complimentary drinks (but the flight attendants were so cute btw 😛 ). About 1 hour and 20 minutes later, we landed at runway 12 of Hakodate Airport. Here is the landing video:

Hakodate

Despite being the third largest city in Hokkaido, Hakodate was a very quiet city. It was definitely not like Tokyo where anywhere you turned around, you would see some activities. Okay, it is probably not really proper to use the word “quiet” here because of the negative nuance that the word brings; instead “serene” or “peaceful” are probably more fitting, haha 😆 .

The city of Hakodate
Serene afternoon in Hakodate
Seafood in Hokkaido
Seafood in Hokkaido

But seriously though, it was also nice to travel somewhere where there was no other tourist around. With the exception of the super famous Mount Hakodate Ropeway (I will get to this shortly), I barely found any other tourist in the city. But the problem was, there was not much going on in the city itself too. While there was almost no tourist in the city, I also do not recall seeing a lot of activities by the locals in Hakodate. When we strolled around the city randomly (Okay, not really “randomly” though. We did take the route randomly but it was still towards the Mount Hakodate Ropeway, haha), we also did not see a lot of people. Probably most of them were having their life inside though because it was still quite cold in Hokkaido in early April.

Mount Hakodate Ropeway

One place in Hakodate which we knew we must visit was the Mount Hakodate Ropeway where we could take a cable car to go to the top of Mount Hakodate. So the geography of Hakodate was extremely unique where the city was sandwiched by two curvy bays. So if we could somehow see it from above PLUS doing that in the evening when the light had been turned on, that would be amazing, wouldn’t it be? And the answer to that was, indeed, the top of Mount Hakodate. You see, indeed the geography of Hakodate was really unique with two bays and a small mountain just literally next to it, haha.

My. Hakodate Ropeway
Mt. Hakodate Ropeway

Anyway, we arrived at the ropeway station in the city a little bit earlier than expected. But whatever, we bought a return ticket each and went straight up to the top. Because we were early, the cable car was almost empty at the time of our ride. Beside us, there was just one other guy who was going up, haha 😆 .

So we were up there, took a few pictures of the city during the day, and looked around at the shop. We noticed there was a cafe which we figured would have provided extremely beautiful view of the city. It was still closed by the time we were there but there was an announcement that they would open at 4:30 PM. It was 4 PM already and we were okay with waiting a little bit. But then it turned out the cafe opened at 5 PM, haha 😦 .

It was coffee time in Hakodate!!
It was coffee time in Hakodate!!

But indeed the view from the cafe was stunning btw. We chose the table that was just next to the window facing the city. So we could enjoy the view by relaxing on the nice table. We were there until around 7 PM, just after the sunset so indeed we witnessed how the view dramatically change from the day view to the night view. It was quite cool!

Hakodate during the day
Hakodate during the day
Hakodate with its geographically unique location. The city faces two sides of sea
The iconic night view of Hakodate

We went out the cafe and found out that the station had been packed with tourists! Haha 😆 . Indeed the best time to visit Mount Hakodate Ropeway was during the dark so this was why. We went up one more time and took some other pictures before finally going down with the cable car. Btw, on the way down, unsurprisingly, the cable car was packed as well 🙂 .

The Morning Market

Being famous for its seafood, apparently Hakodate’s morning market (which obviously only opened in the morning) was also an attraction to visit. We visited it a little bit only to find out that the price there, even though being only a “market”, was actually quite outrageous. Some were even more expensive than the price we would find in a restaurant!

Hakodate Morning Market
Hakodate Morning Market
Hakodate Morning Market
Hakodate Morning Market

But anyway, it was still quite nice to see the array of seafood products which they sold there. Boy they had giant crabs over there which looked so delicious!

The Food

We did not try a lot of Japanese food while we were in Hakodate because (1) we only stayed there for one night; and (2) as I said above, there appeared to be no life in the city so we felt it was a little bit difficult to find an inviting restaurant. In fact, two of our meals there were in KFC and McDonald’s, lol 😆 .

Salmon roe
Salmon roe

But luckily, at least we still got a “proper” dinner in our only evening there, where unsurprisingly we decided to have dinner at a seafood restaurant. My brother ordered literally a box of salmon roe, which apparently came with rice underneath (lol 😆 ); and I have to say that I just could not enjoy it. He said it was good though; so probably salmon roe was just not my cup of tea. I myself chose to play it safe by ordering a genghis khan (it was actually the name of the dish 😆 ), a popular dish from Hokkaido which I knew I would want to try. It was quite good, even though at the time I couldn’t wait to compare it with the one in Sapporo.

Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan

TO BE CONTINUED…

Next on 2015 Spring Trip:
– Sapporo
– Otaru
– Kyoto
– Osaka
– Back to the Netherlands

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting sebelumnya dalam seri 2015 Spring Trip ke Jepang:
1. Getting to Japan
2. Part I: Tokyo (1)
3. Part II: Tokyo (2)
4. Part III: Tokyo (3)

Sebelumnya dalam 2015 Spring Trip: Zilko pergi ke Jepang untuk sebuah konferensi dimana ia akan memperpanjang masa tinggalnya di Jepang setelah konferensinya selesai dimana ia bertemu dengan orangtua dan adiknya. Setelah tinggal di Tokyo selama dua belas hari, sudah waktunya baginya untuk meninggalkan kotanya dan terbang ke utara ke pulau Hokkaido.

Totalnya, aku menghabiskan empat hari di Hokkaido dan ceritanya aku bagi ke dua posting.

***

Pergi ke Hokkaido (Hakodate)

Kami memutuskan bahwa kota pertama di Hokkaido yang akan kami kunjungi adalah kota terbesar ketiga di Hokkaido, Hakodate, yang terletak di ujung selatan pulaunya. Alasannya sederhana saja sih, karena secara geografis kotanya nampak enak karena lokasinya lebih dekat ke Tokyo daripada, katakanlah, Sapporo. Apalagi, aku membaca banyak artikel tentang Hakodate yang membuatku penasaran dengan kota ini.

The flight route map today from Tokyo - Haneda (HND) to Hakodate (HKD). Map created with: gcmap.com
Rute penerbangan hari ini dari Tokyo – Haneda (HND) ke Hakodate (HKD). Peta dibuat dengan: gcmap.com

Awalnya rencana kami adalah naik dua kereta untuk pergi ke Hakodate; tetapi setelah aku riset lebih jauh, solusi optimal bagi perjalanan kami (dari segi biaya dan waktu) adalah dengan menggunakan tiket “Air Pass” (akan aku jelaskan lebih mendetail di sebuah posting yang akan datang); yang mana artinya kami akan naik pesawat loh ke Hakodatenya. Jelas aku senang banget dong 😉 .

Dan untuk kesana, kami akan terbang dengan maskapai All Nippon Airways (ANA) yang mana artinya ini akan menjadi kali pertama tahun ini aku terbang dengan maskapai anggotanya Star Alliance, haha 😆 . Ngomong-ngomong, aku rasa keren juga lho bahwa tiga penerbangan terakhirku hingga saat itu adalah dengan tiga maskapai dari tiga aliansi yang berbeda: (1) Amsterdam – Paris dengan KLM (SkyTeam); lalu (2) Paris – Tokyo-Narita dengan Japan Airlines (Oneworld); dan sekarang (3) Tokyo-Haneda – Hakodate dengan ANA (Star Alliance), haha 😆 .

ANA's Boeing 777-200 reg JA 8198 which would bring me to Hakodate as NH553 today
Sebuah Boeing 777-200 milik ANA dengan registrasi JA8198 yang akan membawaku ke Hakodate hari ini sebagai NH553

Satu alasan lain aku senang dengan penerbangan hari ini adalah karena penerbangannya akan dioperasikan dengan pesawat Boeing 777-200 loh!! Iya, di penerbangan sektor domestik jarak pendek ini ANA mengoperasikan Boeing 777-200 loh yang kapasitasnya 405 kursi! 😯

Singkat cerita, kami check-in dan berjalan ke gerbang keberangkatan. Oh, aku merasa bahwa Bandara Tokyo-Haneda itu lebih enak dipandang mata daripada Bandara Tokyo-Narita loh btw. Jam 10 pagi, kami naik pesawatnya: sebuah Boeing 777-200 yang berumur 19 tahun dengan registrasi JA8198 dengan nomor penerbangan NH553 ke Hakodate. Penerbangan hari ini cukup sepi, dimana pesawatnya aku kira hanya terisi sekitar 20 – 30% saja.

See you, Tokyo!!!!
Sampai jumpa, Tokyo!!!!

Lalu, kami lepas landas dari landasan pacu 34R Bandara Tokyo-Haneda. Penerbangannya sendiri sih biasa-biasa saja dan cenderung uneventful karena Boeing 777-200-nya tidak dilengkapi dengan IFE. Servis di dalam penerbangannya juga hanyalah minuman saja (eh tetapi pramugarinya cute-cute loh). Sekitar 1 jam 20 menit kemudian, kami mendarat di landasan pacu 12 Bandara Hakodate. Berikut ini video pendaratannya:

Hakodate

Walaupun merupakan kota terbesar ketiga di Hokkaido, Hakodate adalah kota yang sepi. Jelas berbeda banget dari Tokyo dimana kemanapun kita memalingkan muka, kita akan melihat orang-orang beraktivitas. Oke, mungkin kata “sepi” bukanlah kata yang tepat untuk digunakan disini karena nuansa negatif yang dibawanya; jadi mungkin kata “tenang” dan “damai” mungkin lebih tepat, haha 😆

The city of Hakodate
Siang yang tenang di Hakodate
Seafood in Hokkaido
Seafood di Hokkaido

Eh, serius lho, seru juga jalan-jalan ke sebuah tempat dimana tidak ada turis lain yang berkeliaran, haha. Dengan mengecualikan Mount Hakodate Ropeway (ini akan aku bahas segera), aku nyaris tidak melihat keberadaan turis lain loh di kota ini. Tetapi masalahnya adalah, tidak terlalu ada banyak kegiatan lain yang nampak berlangsung di kota ini juga. Ketika kami berjalan-jalan random di kotanya (Oke, nggak random juga sih. Walaupun memang kami asal mengambil jalan tetapi arahnya adalah ke arah Mount Hakodate Ropeway, haha), kami tidak melihat ada banyak orang. Mungkin sih kehidupan disana lebih banyak di dalam ruangan ya mengingat waktu itu, di bulan April, masih cukup dingin di Hokkaido.

Mount Hakodate Ropeway

Satu tempat di Hakodate yang kami tahu harus kami kunjungi adalah Mount Hakodate Ropeway dimana kami bisa menaiki kereta gantung ke puncak Gunung Hakodate. Jadi secara geografis kota Hakodate itu amatlah unik dimana kotanya diapit oleh dua pantai yang berbeda yang lekukannya aduhai *apaseh*. Jadi kalau kita bisa melihatnya dari atas, somehow gitu, DITAMBAH LAGI dengan suasana malam hari ketika lampu kotanya sudah dinyalakan, pasti keren banget kan ya? Dan jawaban untuk itupertanyaan ini adalah puncak Gunung Hakodate. Nah kan, geografinya Hakodate ini memang sungguh unik dengan dua pantai itu dan sebuah gunung kecil tepat di sebelah kotanya, haha.

My. Hakodate Ropeway
Mt. Hakodate Ropeway

Kami tiba di stasiun kereta gantungnya agak lebih awal dari yang kami perkirakan. Nggak masalah sih, dan jadilah kami membeli tiket pulang pergi dan langsung naik ke atas. Karena masih awal, kereta gantungnya nyaris kosong loh ketika kami naik. Selain kami, hanya adalah satu orang lain yang juga naik ke atas, haha 😆 .

Jadilah kami naik ke atas sana, mengambil foto kotanya ketika masih siang, dan melihat-lihat toko di atasnya. Kami melihat keberadaan sebuah kafe yang mana kami duga pemandangan dari kafenya pasti premium banget deh. Sayangnya kafenya masih tutup waktu itu tetapi ada pengumuman bahwa kafenya akan dibuka jam 4:30 sore. Karena sudah jam 4 sore, ya nggak masalah deh kami tunggu. Eh ternyata baru bukanya jam 5 sore dong, haha 😦 .

It was coffee time in Hakodate!!
Saatnya ngopi di Hakodate!!

Tetapi pemandangan dari kafenya beneran keren banget deh. Kami memilih meja tepat di samping jendelanya yang menghadap ke arah kota. Kami bisa menikmati pemandangan itu sambil bersantai di meja kami yang enak. Kami duduk-duduk disana sampai sekitar jam 7 malam, setelah matahari terbenam sehingga kami menyaksikan bagaimana pemandangannya berubah dari siang ke malam. Keren abis!

Hakodate during the day
Hakodate di siang hari
Hakodate with its geographically unique location. The city faces two sides of sea
Hakodate di malam hari

Kami keluar dari kafenya dan baru tahu bahwa di luar sekarang ramai banget penuh dengan turis! Haha 😆 . Memang waktu terbaik untuk mengunjungi Mount Hakodate Ropeway adalah di saat gelap sih jadi memang inilah alasannya. Kami naik ke atas sekali lagi dan mengambil foto kotanya lagi. Kali ini di malam hari. Kemudian kami akhirnya turun dengan kereta gantung. Btw, di perjalanan turun, jelas kereta gantungnya penuh! 🙂

Pasar Pagi

Terkenal dengan seafood-nya, ternyata Pasar Paginya Hakodate (yang jelas bukanya pagi doang) terkenal untuk dikunjungi juga lho. Kami mengunjunginya sebentar tetapi kami kaget ketika mengetahui bahwa, walaupun namanya “pasar”, harganya itu gila-gilaan lho mahalnya. Bahkan lebih mahal daripada harga yang bisa kami temukan di restoran!

Hakodate Morning Market
Pasar Pagi Hakodate
Hakodate Morning Market
Pasar Pagi Hakodate

Tetapi, masih asyik-asyik juga sih melihat-lihat bermacam-macamnya produk seafood yang dijual disana. Wow itu kepitingnya raksasa banget dan nampak enak!

Makanannya

Kami tidak mencoba banyak makanan Jepang di Hakodate karena (1) kami hanya semalam disana; dan (2) seperti yang kubilang di atas, ternyata tidak banyak kegiatan di kotanya sehingga kami merasa sulit untuk menemukan satu restoran yang mengundang untuk dikunjungi. Bahkan ya, dua dari makanan yang kami makan disana adalah KFC dan McDonald’s loh, hahaha 😆 .

Salmon roe
Salmon roe

Tetapi untungnya, setidaknya kami masih mendapatkan makan malam yang “pantas” sih di satu-satunya malam kami disana, dimana tidak mengejutkan bahwa kami makan di sebuah restoran seafood. Adikku memesan satu kotak (dalam artian sebenarnya) salmon roe, yang mana ternyata di bawahnya itu ada nasi (haha 😆 ); dan harus aku akui bahwa aku tidak bisa menikmatinya. Menurutnya enak sih; jadi mungkin memang lidahku saja yang tidak cocok dengan salmon roe. Aku sendiri memutuskan untuk main aman dengan memesan genghis khan (ini adalah nama menu makanannya loh 😆 ), sebuah makanan asli Hokkaido yang amat populer dan pengen aku coba banget. Lumayan enak juga, walaupun waktu itu aku masih penasaran dengan genghis khan di Sapporo.

Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan

BERSAMBUNG…

Selanjutnya dalam 2015 Spring Trip:
– Sapporo
– Otaru
– Kyoto
– Osaka
– Kembali ke Belanda