Category: traveling


Asian On Air Program

Who wants to go to Korea?

I do!

Please read the details provided above and join the fun.

Here’s my post for the program:

Click Me!


Hello everyone!

Today I’m gonna share with you my passion for Korea.

Around 5 years ago, I went to Korea for the first time, and it was like a dream come true. I’ve experience all what I witnessed in Korean Drama, dainty scenery, breathtaking natural grounds, eat the food that I longed for and immerse in the diversion of Sparkling Korea. Beautiful, friendly and rich in cultural heritage. Korean are happy people, they are warmth and embrace life in the most positive way. I felt that the moment I step my foot on Seoul.

And today reminiscing the old days I want to be in Korea again and hear . . . the beautiful serenade of life.


The hustling and bustling of the people in the market, voices of ajumma offering food, ahjussi selling clothes, shoes and bags. The sounds of being alive, energetic and dynamic. I want to hear them again and feel the zing to my soul.

Slurrppp!!! It the sound of all the people enjoying their meals.

The crackling pot of a delicious broth of seasonal food, seafood, beef, that famous crunchy chicken fried made with olive oil, where every bite gives me a crisp of deliciousness, and the gentle note of kimchi being chewed. Even the food symbolized a harmonious melody. Scrumptious and savory. The best from nature and cultural tradition pass on for generations. Perfection and love in every bite.

I want to hear the tastiest food being made, served and enjoyed. Palatable noises.

Then the surroundings, right outside Seoul, I hear the sounds of nature, the clouds moving, whispering through the mountains tops, slowly but sure the leaves are touching each other like a soft violin. Calling everyone to relax and unwind. Be one with the earth and gain strength to go through life.

I want to hear the nature, the drops of dews in the morning, the vox of petals opening.

I want to hear the gasping tone in awe of these remarkable plants, animals and the ambiance of Korea native universe.


And the trumpets of cultural value starts being blow, right in the courtyard of palaces. Spread all over the nation, ready to be discovered. The joy, pride and adore for hereditary masterpiece.

Hanbok, worn by Korean women, I heard the soft silk folded into one. The graceful movements and the chattering ladies, happy and ingratiating for their colorful Hanbok.

Hear, the men are calling too, they are wearing Jeogori and Paji. More subtle to depicture their charisma, charm and sentiment to Korean traditional style.

I want to hear it all, the music of folklore.


The cities. Horn blowing, winds between buildings, and everyone heard hurried up. Mixed of every lifestyle, school children, shopping moms, working dads, and grandparents having their daily walks. Yes, the city is always a dense, jazzy and merry. Technology and modernity making their noises to be No.1.

K-Pop, I hear them everywhere now. It’s global, it’s phenomenal, it’s Korea.

I want to hear them all, this year, next year, again and again.

All the pictures are taken in the year 2007 in Seoul, Sokcho, Incheon, and Everland. And now as the years has passed and the amazing growth of Korea, the pictures need to be updated. Send me there and I’ll show you the spanking new Korea, better, improved and more beautiful.


Hello again,

back with some details of the trip like mentioned in my previous post (HERE). I’ve talked about the trip from my beauty point of view and now move on to a more general topic which is travel and food heehee. I love the food there, fresher and higher in quality.

But, first, here is my master plan and for maps, they can be downloaded, printed out or get from major station in Japan.

You may click on the schedule below to see it in larger view. I also put the cost per person in Yen, the cost doesn’t include shopping ^__^

My sis help out writing and typing it all down, so do mind the language ya heehee.



は、始めましょう

Day 1

I printed everything and when I arrived in Osaka, since the details are pretty much planned, except the weather, so do check it on everyday 🙂 I’m ready! Excitement and happy thoughts are running wild haha!

Budget wise? Not everything here is expensive, in fact if you eat like local and buy things like local, a lot of their produce are cheaper in terms of same price but excellent quality. Yes, the Japanese have a better quality in life too. Envy much?!


The first meal I bought is curry rice for 480 Yen. 1 Yen is around Rp.120, so do the math if you’re curious ^___–




First day in Osaka I went to Rinku and it was wonderful, everything is wonderful, I’m in the middle of sleepiness and the earth feels wobbly from the night flight but I have to grab my chances and explore.

Rinku is big and the sale is ON so it’s mad alright. Every clothing that’s just reach Indonesia was already on sale here since their about to change season into autumn. Imagine GAP 70% off, Anna Sui 80% off, Coach 50% off, and many many ehm many more. I found this cute boutique where everything below 2000 Yen. Everything inside the store is trendy and beautiful, their fabric are soft to the touch and comfortable. I wanna go there again now . . .

Then I ate the tastiest soba ever. Chewy and delicious. Like a freshly made soba.



Japanese like to keep their food simple and let the original taste comes in the most fragrant way. And hmm, okay I’m not a food blogger, let me explain these from a beauty blogger point of view. They serve fresh ingredients with service from the heart. 


Day 2.

Some, I really like and familiar, still in Japan it taste 100% better than even pricey restaurant in Indo.


But still I found a few, not so good, like this instant soba at another restaurant. The dried soba taste like soft rubber when cooked. The broth is alright but the soba that aren’t freshly made is far from good.



This is udon at a place near my hotel, they have fried octopus there, very very good and tasty!! I wish in Indonesia we have more octopus than just takoyaki.

The broth is simple yet exquisite.



Then we go to Kaiyukan hehe. Details here: http://www.kaiyukan.com/language/eng/index.htm it was fabulous, think beyond the local seaworld, this is world class. I found almost every sea creatures I know and more haha. There are so many varieties of jellyfish, prawns, fishes, and other sea creatures. Amazing!


I thought I’d be bored to death here, I’m not! Look at those giant crabs, they are bigger than human head. Scary!


Big jellyfish, cute and seems fluffy, careful they might sting.



This is the Tempozan, near Kaiyukan entrance. This is a food theme park, free entrance and found local food from the old days.

We stay at Kaiyukan until around 2 PM from around 10 AM and move on to Spa World. Details here: http://www.spaworld.co.jp/english/service.html



It offers onsen from around the world. Many selections of spa are there from Asian to European. Men and women are separated based on floors, yes, the building are high and huge. We can relax and sleep there, it was a true relaxation place. We can soak all day long and no worries, all the amenities are free to be used, from hair dryer, shampoo, conditioner to moisturizer and so on. Towels are everywhere and they are really clean. Hungry? Use on the clothes provided according to your size and move on to another floor to get some meals. Old and young we all can enjoy 🙂

Day 3.

Universal Studio!

I wont give you any pictures of the usual Universal Studio that you’ve probably know, I meant come on, just search the images through google heehee. Let me give you images of something new. 
They have a new area open and it’s Sanrio!! Hello Kitty fans, come here, I’m in her place.



Dressed in Hello Kitty bow, there’s tons ow bows there and Hello Kitty’s in many designs.


And inside, you can take pictures with Hello Kitty herself 😀

Aside from Sanrio,
a lot of the rides here are awesome, you have to try the Hollywood Dream, fantastic!

Still, I prefer Tokyo Disneyland thou’ haha the rides are more enjoyable, like Spiderman here is dizzy and I dislike the movement, and the Back to The Future need some upgrading on the video, it’s too old. I went to Universal Studio in Los Angeles 18 years ago, it was cool back then but now, I want HD! The rest, especially for the kids, it was wonderful.



Don’t forget to check out the stuffs they sell, kawaii! Look at this cookie monster hat, very funny!

Right outside Universal Studio we get some snacks. It was 9.30 PM and after adrenaline rush we want some munchies, please.



From Pancake to Takoyaki Museum, you hardly missed it. Must try too, the lines can be long but unless you’ve stay there in Osaka as in live there, use your chance and give it a go.



We get ours in multiple flavors.


Small yet delicious. Do not compare them with the one sold in Indonesia, or anywhere else but here, it’s like totally different. The ingredients are in higher quality and the taste is so yummy.

Day 4

It’s raining, so we switch our schedule and visit the malls right in front of our hotel. Umeda is surrounded with high end malls and they got almost everything here.



This is where we get our breakfast and packed our lunches too. Varieties of fresh seafood, cooked delicacies, sushi, tempura, and everything you can imagine from a Japanese food, and still they have a section of dessert separated. The entire hall for food!




These are the local’s specialties, kushi kushi. Deep fried food on a stick. Served with some sauce and irresistible. Who doesn’t like deep fried food?

After the rain stop and apparently there’s a train problem, delays for more than an hour, they have announced it but we couldn’t understand why since the announcement is in Japanese language.

The closest place we can reach is Namba by private line instead of JR. Namba is a shopping district where you can found many many many shops from local brand to international. Uniqlo, Zara, Kiehl’s, they are there!

I don’t know why I kept giving you pictures about food, oh yes, they are damn good haha, I dislike raw egg here in Indonesia, but love it here. Dunno why?!


If you happen to visit Osaka and in Namba area, near Dotombori, where you see Glico man, in the neighborhood you’ll found there restaurant with lines in front. They sell takoyaki, okonomiyaki and yakisoba. Try the yakisoba, it’s soo good, all of us agrees on that!


Day 5

Kobe.

A beautiful place where Mt.Rokko is located.

First . . . let’s eat XD


A local food somewhat like sukiyaki and raw egg (again, the raw egg here are yummy) then off we went to Mt.Rokko.

The trip was really fun and easy, take the train to Sannomiya from Osaka. There’s some train with different time table and price. just choose the one closer to you and it should be fine, there’s not much of a difference except which station they stops.


The goal is reach the top and with cable car, we can, hooray! No need hiking or sweats like a pig, just sit down and enjoy the cool, clean, mountain air.


Let me give you a view from the top 🙂


Bring your sunnies, use sun protection and wind-proof lashes heehee.

After 2-3 hours there, we went to China Town in Motomachi and have a nice dinner.


Salad with raw egg, what can I say?! It got me hooked ^__^

Day 6

Oh nooo the end almost near, really, that’s what I feel back then, I love Japan. I wanna stay . . .

Kyoto!

You’ve know the temples, it’s like the minute I say Kyoto most of the people imagine the beautiful Geisha, Kimonos, and shrine. But do you know Kyoto is very famous with local snacks? As in sweet titbits?

This is one of the trademark. Inside is a sweet jelly like thingy and outside the crisp thin layer decorated with seasonal flowers.

We went to Nishiki Market and have a wonderful time there, it’s just a big block where you walk inside, somewhat like Pasar Baru but it’s all Japanese haha! We spend 3-4 hours there, every shop, stall, store is different and unique. We bought so many things, from gifts to relatives, snacks, food and ice cream too. Soya ice cream!


Day 7.

Osaka Castle and Dotombori again haha! We can get enough there’s so many store to explore and one is famous for the tourist for having everything and at a bargain price too.


This is the miniature of Osaka Castle, it is a grande place after all.


Let me remind you that it’s a long walk to go into the castle, so use your favorite shoes/sandals that’s easy on the feet 🙂

That building over there is my favorite. Look at that! Chameleon.


I’m almost there, it’s right by the entrance, ooh! Going here in Spring or Autumn or maybe winter will be a lot better, not hot.


There it is!!! Beautiful. Even though most of the castle is not the original one anymore, still inside you can learn the history about Summer War, how come the castle got burned, again and again, and the original design and what is it for.


The view from the top.


After going down and walk around, we found this perfect spot for taking picture. Zen all over!

Then, let’s go to Dotombori, Namba.


There are many turns in Namba so you’ll easily missed some turns and it’s a different street already, ask around, they usually kind enough to help. Ask nicely and smile 🙂 You’ll get answered. This is one of the stall we went.



And no way we would missed the opportunity eating sushi here in Japan, fresh and the variety is more than any Japanese restaurant in Indonesia. Yums!

Small, bar-like table and everything is in front of you. Grab only what you need and eat happily.

Day 8.

Going home.

The day we’ve been avoiding is here … so sad. But we’ll definitely come again and eat more delicious food in Japan, don’t forget to try on some curry, takoyaki (octopus ball), okonomiyaki, kushi kushi, ramen, soba, yakisoba, and many more.




Last tips:

Buy your flight when the bargain is there, discount, sale price, promo, etc. Take your time.
In booking a hotel, with a slight differences if the pricier one gives you better access everywhere, get that one, it saves you a lot of time and transportation money too.
Google everything you need, from how to get there, famous and must visit places, and so on
If you can’t bear the fuss, join traveling agencies but only a reputable one for an assurance of comforts and safety.
In Japan, most restaurants and food stalls gives free water to drink, it would save you some money.
Some medicine are not widely and openly sold there without prescription, so if you have certain medical condition, bring your own medicine.
Everywhere you go try to learn a bit on local language, you’ll be appreciated and they response to your need of help way better that insisting your own language. English is a must-able language.

Enjoy!


Konnichiwa!

August 2012 is a month I’ve been waiting for the last 6 or maybe 8 months and I’ve prepared myself for months as well. I went to Kansai area which is Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto. I’m not joining any tour since Japan is a very friendly and safe country with a world class transportation and services. So, worldwide tourists can find their own way here and there with minimum risk of getting lost or find trouble.

This is not my first time visiting Japan and hmm, I never get bored either, there’s always something new and never enough time to visit them all. My first visit to Japan is Tokyo for 6 days and I literally cry in the airport when leaving Narita, I don’t want to leave Japan, then my second one is a short visit since I’m flying solo to Tokyo as well, around 4 days. And this is my third visit to Japan and decided to change my destination to Kansai.

Osaka is located in Kansai area, very close to Kobe and Kyoto, that’s why I think it is best to visit all of them at once since 9 days seems enough to see it all, or so I thought haha ^0^ I picked August 2012 knowing we can take longer time without making those whose working on-leave (my husband and friends).

I’m going there with my family, and my 2 best friends whose now blessed with husbands and kids on their own, plus my sister. A group of 10 people to be exact and I’m the travel planner.

Planning a trip is not easy, catering all of us needs (most is mine haha!) and a throughout search via online took me months as well. I want to make the most of my time there and the result is . . . sore and tired feet every single day ٩(×̯×)۶

But it’s okay thou’, I get my exercise there and see so many things and experience more. And hmm, no traveling without taking pictures, so here’s my share on looking good during traveling, do’s and dont’s and some tips as well.

First is surviving a 7 hour flight.

ಠ_ಠ
Sounds dreadful? It does if you don’t prepare. Liquid are limited nowadays so pack everything accordingly. I pack many sachets and small vials of products in a clear zip lock bag and put it inside my purse. From cleanser, toner, serum, moisturizer and sun protection is all there and since the air is really dry up there I brought my utmost moisturizing products which is Kiehl’s Ultra Facial and Biotherm Aquasource Hydrating Cream for Dry Skin, yums, they are the best!

Hydrating mask also good but it get’s really cold inside the plane as well, so facial mist is better and you can apply whenever you need a boost as well. Still, plenty of drinks is advisable and your legs also can keep on moving, avoiding cramps and other problems since you have to keep visiting the loo thanks to all the water you drank. 




The minute I arrived after a red eye (night flight) I went to Rinku which is 10 minutes away from the airport (KIX). Taking a shuttle bus (100Yen) and I found this wonderful . . . factory outlets, hooray!!! It is a premium outlets where they sell a lot of cool fashion items like GAP, Coach, Furla and yes, Anna Sui. Visit their website here: http://www.premiumoutlets.co.jp/en/rinku/

And tips No.1 is to take a good (long) distance of yourself during picture time when you just took a 7 hours flight and your last shower is 20 hours ago. Touch up is difficult when juggling around passport, immigration, luggage and traveling companions ¯\(°_o)/¯  . So be nice to your self and lowered the expectation of looking damn gorgeous at the first pic

The next day I can experiment more on the ambiance. The hot and humid weather is something that need to be tackled and figuring out which make up work best beating the melting foundations and non-waterproof products.




Careful with your choices of clothing, when traveling, comfort always plays an important role, but a major discomfort looking at them especially at the pictures. I made a mistake by using a loose clothe, they aren’t give body part some credits o(╥﹏╥)o

The sandal also comfortable but not very appetizing. On the next day I use the one that gives heels but still comfy for long distance walking, like Crocs.


Lighting!!! I look a lot better in better lighting and the image become clearer too, still I better stick to a close up when using these kind of attributes. Airy clothing is essential during summer trip since the humidity level can be quite high and sweats a lot. Think of layers, thin layers.

Still, I get myself some products on the spot, they have so many cooling product that comfort the body will coolness and helps me a lot during hot days out there. The powder sheet if the first, just swipe the wipes at your body, ehm . . . armpit, behind neck, chest and backside too. Anywhere where’s it is sweaty and sticky the powder sheet will gives a powder and powder sensation, so the skin become soft, smooth and dry again. Odor also removed in a jiffy. Biore also sells some variety of the powder sheet, and one even contained UV protection, neat!

The pink bottle (Sea Breeze) is a peach-scented cooling water. Kinda like minty feeling and can be sprayed directly to the skin. An immediate cooling sensation is there and I do stop sweating immediately. But the effect are gone after 30 minutes or so, I used it only when I drenched in sweats. It helps a lot. I use half a bottle during my visit to Universal Studios. The scent is lovely and gives immediate effect on the skin, but careful for those with sensitive skin or open wound, avoid!

Next is cooling water for the clothes, so do not apply it directly on the skin. The mints kinda like ‘minyak angin’ hehe, but the cooling also quite effective. But since they don’t have added scent like the pink bottle, I stick to Sea Breeze (comes in several choices of scents). For kids or men who doesn’t really care about scent or those with sensitive skin would enjoy this more thou’. Just spray it on the clothes and after 1-2 hours can apply it again. It does have stronger effect than Sea Breeze.




Next is . . .
Sunnies! A cool accessories that perks up and help protecting your sight too! Never forget to put on some sun screen to your body as well. Looking good means away from sun burns and painful visible redness too. Looking pretty means happy face as well. So always pay attention to small details during the trip, which is prob difficult due to the excitements, plans and other conditional occurrence.

Prepare in advance and you are ready! I even make myself some clothing charts, items to be used, and so on.




The next tips is do use your makeup and update your look where your at. Japanese people are very neat, so using makeup also take a lot of effort in their trends and adjust yourself to look as good as they are. I bought myself some fake lashes and pencil brow to match my look. A fake lashes is an excellent way to create a prettier image without fearing smudges. Get a good glue and your eyes are in a good frame throughout the day.Or carry your glue, they are tiny and wont cause any difficulties carrying it everywhere.

The toilets here are clean as well, you’ll find no problem finding them and use it happily.




Try to be authentic and see your surrounding.

Embrace the nature and it is okay to be on the side of the picture.So when you go home, there’s a variety of choices, great for FB pic profile or cover heehee. Kobe is beautiful and I thought it’s just about the bridge. They have Mt. Rokko and many more. I’ll share more details including my schedule and fee on my next post.


Hat! A very cute and cheap accessory. I get mine for 100 yen (around Rp.12.000) in a 100 yen shop. Since I can’t use fake lashes and sun glasses at the same time, I need a hat to protect my sight from the soaring rays. Really, the sun shone like it never shine before, haha! In Jakarta, I enjoy being inside buildings all the time, and we tend to use car every single time during transportation, rarely walk and face the day. During a trip, I always walk and try to live like local. While all the locals wearing hats, me too ^__^

Clearly on this day (Kyoto) I have a chance to play a bit with my hair. Curled up for a choices of pictures and experiment more.



The octopus looks oily and I stays matte haha. The market is filled with local delicacies and I love it, the interaction with the locals feels real and it’s just comfortable.
I use Shu Uemura BB Mousse, since it included SPF(details and review HERE), followed by Palgantong Powder (details and review HERE) and the powder stays on for the whole day, superb superb superb! Look at my picture, it was taking at noon, after sweating like crazy since I have to walk for an hour from the station to Nishiki Market since heehee, we did a bit of detour, and the makeup doesn’t melt at all. Must try and must have! My eye brow are decorated by Dolly Wink Pencil Brow in Honey Brown (HERE).

Know your skin, I know my skin type it helps me a lot in figuring out which one might work and which is isn’t. 


If you happen to have a long hair and like to doll-up like me, try not to use any foam, hair spray or gel that make the hair stiff, It does keep your hair tidy but when you face outdoor and get the wind and humidity once it is ruin, it would be more difficult to face the tangles, so leave it au naturale or use products that gives natural flows. When the wind catches your hair, it will stays beautiful.


This is Osaka Castle. The small garden is right next to the castle, it was very hot that day and I walk more than I ever did, the deep blue sky and fluffy white clouds are things I can’t find in Jakarta, pollution has taken over. But in Osaka, I can still breath some fresh air, enjoying a trip also help to de-stress, an atmosphere that’s good for your body and shown on the skin as well. Pure serenity.

Next I walk to the Kitahanada via train and found a suburb area which sells a lot of beauty products in cheaper price ^__^


I bought myself an eyebrow coloring by Kiss Me after trying on the spot (details and review HERE) I love how the stores here, no salesgirls or anyone bothers me during my shopping. I can read the products details and pick everything at my own pace and time. Take note that everything in Japan are in cute packaging. So I do have a tendency to buy everything haha! Look at them!

Even the exact same product sold somewhere else in the world, in here it looks better. Many items and things can be found here, from simple tools to things I’ve never seen before. They have thingy that actually not very essential but helps our daily life from the simplest thing possible, like a stick that made eyelids, clippers for lashes, and many more.

This is our section, isn’t it? I can stay all day here.


From hundreds of yen to thousands, from an unknown brand to famous ones. I love trying on local brands that’s not available in Indonesia. I guess that’s the point of traveling too, trying on local stuffs. This is a beauty galore for me and in big cities you can easily found them sprouting everywhere and do compare their prices since the difference can be quite a lot. One store to the other always have different promotion and you can save a lot by taking your time. But if you don’t have the time, it is okay to splurge a bit than to stay awake in the middle of the night after you go back and regretting, haha!

And I found LUSH!!! Love this brand! Their scent can be smell blocks away. They are pricey alright, like a bath bomb can cause around 800yen per piece, yes! That’s one bath bomb can only be used one time, that’s a pricey bath time alright. But still, I’m easily seduced by Lush. They have the new colors for makeup now and they all look so good. From lippy, eye shadows and liners, they all look really tempting.


So my suggestion is, when you decided to go to Japan and happens to visit the big cities, you may leave all your beauty products at home (or just bring the essentials) and be experimental with theirs, they have gazillions of products that are really good and some can only be found there.

I forced nicely suggested my sis to buy this gel for moisturizer and it was wonderful. I’ll make a review soon, no worries ^__^ I bought myself many items that’s turn out to be excellent and much cheaper than famous brands. Japan also famous for being no.1 in serving the customers with best of the best skincare. From the utmost sensitive skin to problematic, they have it all. Complete and highly praised for being effective. You’ve heard FANCL, Steamcream, Lancome, and many more are made in Japan. So from local brand like FANCL to those French’s stuff are made there appraising the high standard.

Makeup lover? It’s like a dream come true coming here, Heroine, Kiss Me, Dolly Wink, Candy Doll, to a more establish brand like Kate, Kanebo, Shiseido, and so on. You’ve stock yourself for sure!
 


Last but not least at the airport when I about to go home, I found Kiehl’s at KIX. And they also have many other stores for a last minute beauty shopping and other essentials for gifts.

Conclusion:

Plan your trip so you can have a pleasant time there.
Open to new experience, products, food, and so on.
Traveling to a great country means the amenities are all there, pack light and buy stuff on the spot.
Summer trip means thin material of clothing and see what the locals do, wear and use to ease the heat, including their makeup and beauty products sold at the moment are coherent with the season.
Protection is always important, secure all your belongings and have a safe trip.

Last but not least, enjoy your holiday, looking great and feeling great as well.

Stay tune for my next posts and I’ll share more details . . . remember that Japan is NOT as expensive as everyone thought.