Preparation Winter Trip to Japan 2012

First of all i need to apologize to my lovely reader for delaying update this blog, but i trying hard not to waste my time again, and i plan to finishing this story before the end of this year.

how should i start this story?
My reason for getting another trip during winter based on these points.
First of all, i had promised to my mom that i would bring her along with me in my next trip, the second was that i want to visit the country where my childhood dreaming was born. FYI, i was born along with Doraemon, Sailormoon, and Samurai X aired in local tv channel, then finally that day has come, my dreaming to visit anime country finally appeared. i booked a flight to japan by Air Asia, as always i got promo ticket to Osaka from Kuala Lumpur only MYR 652, and it was the lowest fare from Air Asia, cause this is the first time their held promotion fare for Osaka.
Actually, my visiting to Japan already being planned with book author Claudia Kaunang, we had promised to make trip to Japan with her, but since she haven’t informed us the exact day for this trip, and as you knew seat promotion from AirAsia also limited, so I decided to go there without her, and once again i had to struggle for showing up my capability that i could survive during my traveling day in others country without travel guide. But this trip also had so many meanings for me, cause i brought my mom along with me, so she could felt my traveling style :D.

August 11th, 2011
That night after long discussion with Mb Rika, i bought 3 roundtrip tickets Kuala Lumpur-Osaka-Kuala Lumpur. The cost for roundtrip MYR 652 for each person,and i bought flight CGK-Kul only IDR 274.000/person and flight KUL-CGK for IDR 537.000/person, so total flight cost around IDR 2.767.000,-.
We completed the itinerary about 2 months later. As stated from Japanese Embassy before, i should submit my  visa applications in Medan, because it was divided by jurisdiction area . I booked another flight to my hometown in Medan at 2-5 Dec 2011. I planed to off from office only 1 day for managing my visa application with my mom.
At 5 Dec 2011, we headed to Japanese Embassy at Wisma BII building closest to SunPlaza at Jl.Diponegoro no.18 with my brother in law, he drop us in front off the building. After asking the receptionist we headed to 5th floor. We were the first guest there, after filling in guest book, the security told us to wait at the outside and he brought only 2 chairs for us. I can saw my mom face a little bit nervous because this is her first time involved in this matters. I want my mom also knew the whole process, how to submit visa application, attending the interview and collect the visa. At 9 AM, finally the officer called me, and asking some questions regarding our purpose to Japan. He was surprised by the fact that we’ll go there without travel agent and wondering how i completed my itinerary in details.

After re-check & re-arrange the order of whole documents, the officer told me to pay IDR 325.000,- for each visa and we can collect our visas next week and gave us the receipt. I gave the receipt to my mom because my mom will collect it later. Now let Allah and Japan embassy do the rest. I hope our visa will be approved. We going back to house by taxi, and once we arrived at home, my younger aunty whom the same age as me insist to join our trip. She booked her flight that day right away and preparing require documents. If you want to know what kind of requirements needed to submit your Japan visa, i suggest you to open this below links for details:

http://www.id.emb-japan.go.jp/visa_7.html

As far as i remember I’d back to Jakarta at Sunday. At the next Friday my mom send me a photo via bbm, i could saw my Japan visa attached in the passport. All praises to Allah, Alhamdulillah, I passed one obstacle. Now, it’s time to booked baggage for my flight, For winter trip at least you have to booked 15kg baggage per person, since you need to bring warm clothes and thick coats. I intend to buy new winter coats for me and my mom in Tokyo, my friend told me since the time i landed at Japan in winter, no need to worry for purchasing winter clothes, we can find it easily and absolutely in low price with high quality material.

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Solo trip to Aussie #Fremantle….. day 6

My alarm started rang on 04.00 Sydney time, wake up with my bloated face in a rush heading to bathroom for showering, my flight to Perth this morning at 07.10 AM local time by Jetstar. While crosscheck my belonging, Ito told me for having breakfast before heading to airport. Ito prepared breakfast for me when I’m taking bath before. I’m not that hungry, but towards my grateful for her kindness and sincerity I took a slice of bread and drank hot tea in one shot. Before leaving the flat, I’m heading to K’Ony’s room and sent my farewell to her.

I’m going to missed my day in this third floor flat, I’ll come again someday. Ito lock the flat door, and help me carried one of my luggage, she start the car engine and open the garage door, and we leaving Allawah right away. Early morning heading to Kingsford Smith Airport it was really bad idea, because it’s really quite outside, just wondering what will happen to me if I’m going out alone now, thanks to Ito kindness. After 20 minutes drove with the high speed finally we reach the airport, surprisingly the parking lot already full, Ito bravely parking at the special zone then we realized that place is for valet parking which cost more, Ito told me to heading inside the Terminal 2 and process my check in first. When I’m getting off the car I still can saw a security approaches Ito’s car and talk to her and I found out it cost about AUD 36 to park in there.

Like a dumb, I don’t know which side that I need to go, wandering here and there and looking at another passengers, there was no check in counter as it used to be, the only thing that I found out is check in machine and I don’t know how to operate it, after a while Ito approaches me and realizing the situation right away, she also didn’t understand the procedure and we can’t find any Jetstar staff around there. After 10 minutes standing closest to the check in machine with dumb face, a woman came to us and oh well so here she is Jetstar staff, I gave her my booking paper and the boarding pas finally just came out from the machine, ohh no I looks like someone stupid. Finally time to separate now, after gave her my last farewell, straight heading to waiting room. I haven’t pray shubuh yet because the time for praying hasn’t come, so I decided to do it later at the waiting room. The waiting room still deserted, I take the bench at the corner and doing my pray as well 20 minutes later, and didn’t care what happened around since I’m a bit sleepy.

Time to boarding at 06.50AM, there was still no shops and cafes which already started their business, I’m already getting hungry so I ended up heading to the plane without snacks and some drinks. Flight JQ986 heading to Perth ready to fly, I sat on the number 4E it means I’ve been stuck between foreigners, due to my sleepiness I started sleeping without realizing anything around. After 3 hours sleeping on the sky then I suddenly woke up and surprised that I’m still on the plane, well I just realized that time different between Sydney and Perth about 2 hours, so flying from Sydney to Perth almost 5 hours, what a long flight, to kill the time I’m watched another episode of 1N2D and fall a sleep again.

At 10 AM local time, I’m already landed in Perth International Airport, heading to coin locker and paid AUD 10 for 8 hours rent coin locker. Today destination is Fremantle, it is an island closest to Perth, I planned to go there by Perth train. Start my journey by heading to the bus stop and get on bus no.37 and purchase Day Rider ticket AUD 10 to St.George Tce. Time travel between the airport and Perth City almost 45 minutes, so I could took another rest in the bus. Arrived in St.George Tce, then get on the Blue CAT bus for free and get off at Perth railway station.

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Solo Trip to Aussie#Sydney….. Day 5

I used to wake up early that day, coz I wish to visit more places in Sydney. Set off from K’Ony’s flat at 9 AM, I walk to Hurstville train station, the closest one from the flat. The weather is windy but quite warm. After purchased the return ticket, I walked to the platform gate, but the gate being closed, still not sure about the situation, I move to another gate but also closed, then finally I found the announcement that said “the train won’t operate today due to rail work, please change to bus”, there was a direction mark to the bus stop. What a relief, that the bus route also include in my map, there was 2 routes, route 6 with limited stops and route 7 which stop in every station. I choose to ride bus route 6, all I need just calm and concentrate, trying to not fall asleep until reach the central station. Stupid me, I didn’t realize that the central station was the last stop, so everyone would get off in here, if I know from the start I could take the picture and video from the bus.

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Arrived at Central station bus stop, I’m heading to the station and take train to the circular quay. Inside the train, I decided to sit on the second floor, enjoying the view from the train window. The seat at the second floor was the same one like in the first floor, but the space for feet I thought a bit narrow, coz I can’t straighten it.

At the circular quay, I can’t hide my admiration while seeing the cruiser RADIANCE of the SEAS. I had ever seen a cruiser in Japan while visiting Yokohama, but this one looks more incredible, because whole cruise body was very close to the walk side, unlike the one at Yokohama. This cruiser it self already become tourist attraction, I wonder how much it cost for one ticket in to this incredible cruiser. Some passengers already line up here to enter Sydney Overseas Passenger Terminal. Well one day I should try traveling by cruiser too. Continue reading

Solo Trip to Aussie# Katoomba….. Day 4

I planned to go alone that day, with train of course. I had map of train route from Allawah to Katoomba on my Ipad, cause I planned it along ago before I came here, so I didn’t have any worries to going there alone. But my plan is just became a short notes that I can’t be done that day. Ito told me that we’ll going to Blue Mountain by car, yes she’ll drive us there, not only me and her but also K’ony and Fabian. I’m not saying that I disagree with this plan, but I just don’t wanna cause more uneasy feeling towards them, I don’t like became burden to them, I’m already grateful that they accepted me for staying in their flat for 3 days, it’s already super duper big help for me. Due to this changed plan, I didn’t have to wake up early morning to Redfern Station for catching the first the Blue Mountain Train.

In the morning I wake up bit late, yups  after shubuh praying  I back to the bed again, and my stomach felt so hurt. We set off from Allawah around 10AM, and stopped by at Lakemba for buying some snacks. Lakemba was famous by muslim residents, about 80% citizen was muslim from different countries, most of them from Indonesia. We arrived at the mart, the owner was Indonesian, she sell original Indonesian products, start from noodles, sauces, oils, seasonings,  even you can buy “bakwan, risoles, tahu isi, and nasi uduk”, Ito told me she always buy “Freshcare aromatherapy” from there, then how about the price? If you convert the price from this mart, it’s about 3 or 4 times higher than original price from Indonesia. You’ll get 2 pcs bakwans for $1, quite expensive though but it’s worth to buy. We also stopped by at Turkish chicken store, ordering the big one roasted chicken, potatoes and Turkish salad which had weird smell on it.

heading to Katoomba

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Solo Trip to Aussie #Sydney….. Day 3

March 22, 2012

My alarm rang at 03.30 that morning, I ran to the bathroom right away after turned off my alarm. It still dark by the way and I felt a bit chilly atmosphere in the aisle to the bathroom, but I felt relieved after met another female guest in there, of course I should check first whether she is human or ghost, so I looked at her feet first, ok she’s human (she steps on the ground). I laughed to myself why should I think about ghost in the morning? I headed to the 1st showering chamber at the corner and done washing with hot water, then washing my face at the washing stand in front of mirror. Another female guest entered, but now I didn’t care again whether she human or ghost because I’m too busy cleaned my teeth :D. Back to the bed room, after shubuh praying I recheck whole my belonging at the lockers, ok empty, everything already packed, prepare my SkyBus ticket from yesterday and airplane ticket my flight at 7.15 AM, but suddenly Lana wake up. She crawling down the stairs and asked me when my flight? I told her my flight schedule while spraying my “LOVE etc” perfume. She told me that my perfume had the unique scent, and she just curious about my perfume. I showed her my perfume, and she really loves it, I looked at my watch and it’s already 4.30 AM,  need hurry from now on, btw she wake up just to send me to the bed door, so she could say goodbye to me. Lana indeed beautiful and nice girl, hopefully I could meet her again someday. Continue reading

Solo Trip Aussie #Melbourne…..Day 2

March 20th 2012

Landed at T4 Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne, local time at 23.30 PM, but actually it was still 18.30 Indonesian time, and I got this little jetlag, because time difference between Jakarta and Melbourne was about 4 hours. I got to much sleep at the plane and now already midnight in Melbourne. T4 Tullamarine airport was just like a big garage, no air conditioner, no bench, just a place to collect your baggage from conveyor belt. I need to go to prayer room first before finding place to sleep in the airport. FYI, I didn’t book a room at guesthouse for that night, coz I only need to rest for 4-5 hours from now on.

The Prayer room for muslim was in departure lounge at International Terminal (T2), to go there you may just short walked from T4. Heading to International airport alone in cold weather at midnight like this was absolutely dangerous, so I speed up my footsteps. Entered International Terminal and looking around the area. The terminal too empty, it didn’t look like what I imagined before. I had been told by my friend (Defi) that Tullamarine airport always full of backpackers whose transit to or from Sydney, so no need to worry for sleeping at the floor with backpacker buddies, but today it didn’t looks like what she told me before. There was only 3 female backpackers around here. I was headed to the toilet which also empty, I need to clear my face and doing some “business” there, after that trying to find the prayer room.  Finally I found the prayer room which between T3 and T2, closest to the escalator and toilet (see the map). Although the prayer room not big, but it managed well and cleaned, it was also provides holy Qur’an, the prayer stuff, and tap for wudhu, so no need to go to toilet for wudhu.

Melbourne Arrival Terminal

After praying Maghrib and Isya at the prayer room, since it was already passed midnight, I should sleep. At first I didn’t think for taking nap at prayer room, so I just headed to the bench at the departure lounge like another backpackers. The perfect place closest to the wall already been taken by another female backpacker, she puts her body fit to the whole bench. I got the bench right beside her, but my place obviously closest to the automatic door, so it’s freaking cold when the automatic doors opened.  Taking out my magic “kain Bali”, coat and trying to sleep. About 30 minutes I still awake, couldn’t sleep at all. The security inside the terminal started round. Airport cleaning service staff also started cleaning the floor with sweep machine which made terrible noise. It can’t be like this for whole night. I took my red backpack, then rushing to the prayer room again. I need a quite place to sleep, so I covered up my body with prayer clothes, set up the prayer rugs, now it was perfect place to sleep.

March 21 ,2012

Sleep for almost 2.5hours, I woke up earlier. Checking prayer time from my iPad, it hasn’t shubuh praying time yet. Decided to praying tahajjud first, then suddenly I overslept again. I really startled, when an African muslim went inside the prayer room, he also shocked found me overslept there. I stood up for short while, slap my face about 5 times, then started took wudhu again. What a relief, the African man willing to wait out side the prayer room, until I finished took wudhu. After praying, I’m headed to toilet and prepare my self for heading to downtown Melbourne this morning. Continue reading

Solo Trip to Aussie #Perth….. Day 1

March 20th 2012
Landed safely at Perth International Airport (T1) at 05.20 AM with AirAsia D7236, hmmm this is my first step in to another continent. I oversleep at the plane, so i haven’t praying shubuh, i just woke up right before landing time. i need to pass the immigration counter as fast as i could, coz i need to heading to prayer room immediately. Line up with other passengers, i found another muslimah passenger also followed the line far away behind me. As usual, i got nervous and there was butterflies in my stomach,one of the officer manages the passenger to make the line before entering immigration counter, the officer at the queue gave me a paper, which stated some code while other passenger didn’t get it. Ok, let’s passed what waiting for me, then after standing at the line for 15 minutes the officer called me to the counter.
IO= Immigration Officer
IO: purpose?
Me: holiday
IO: how long you’ll stay at Australia?
Me: A week.
IO: you stated at your items to declare that you bring some foods from your country?
Me: Yup, only noodles and bread.
IO: what kind of noodles?
Me: Just instant noodles, do i have to show you my noodles?
IO: Ok, no need, welcome to Australia, enjoy your holiday. (stamp my passport)
Me: Thanks
Fiuhhhhh, the butterflies goes away. Before leaving the immigration counter, you need to go to Exit door, where another officers already waiting you for checking your baggage, this time 2 beautiful lady officers waiting for me.
IO1: Morning!!!
Me: Morning *smile brightly (please make it fast, i want to go to prayer room)
IO2: Do you bring any food, in your baggage?
Me: Yes, only noodles and bread.
IO1: Please open your baggage and show me your food *also with bright smile
Me: No problem ( i opened up my Red Backpack, and show them everything inside the bag)
IO2: Please stretch your hand and facing me ( now she holding a black stick like a scanner, and scanning my body)
Me: (holding my breath, please make it fast, and let me go) is everything ok?
IO1: (Still busy with my bag, scanning whole sides, and she closed my bag carefully)
IO2: (Busy with paper checklist) traveling alone?
Me: Yes
IO1: Ok finished, thank you for your cooperation, have a good day.
IO2: Have a good day.
Me: Thank you.
Alhamdulillah, escaped from immigration, I’m heading to prayer room, at the corner arrival hall T1. After praying, heading to vodafone counter for purchasing micro SIM card for my IPad, so for next 7days i’ll be connecting to the internet. The big bald man standing at the counter. Filling out the registration form, and the guy explain some instruction and told me to pay AUD $ 30, although some of his words i couldn’t understand, coz he talked so fast with his British accent which made me blank. Restart my iPad then voilaaa, straight to foursquare apps, and made check in at Perth International Airport T1. Before leaving T1 i need to clean up my face and change my clothes coz i look really horrible.

Perth Airport Shuttle Bus

 Around 7.30 AM at local time i’m headed to T2 by Free Shuttle Bus, the orange bus with “CONNECT” logo. You have to asked the driver whether the bus headed to T2 or T3, coz the shuttle bus for each terminal had the same appearance, so ensure the destination by asked it first. It took 10mins from T1 to T2, alight at the bus stop, then i found bus stop for Transperth Bus no.37, it’s time for finding the luggage locker. I asked the security at the bus lane about it, he point to the outside area close to parking lot. The luggage locker at Perth Airport operated by Smarte Carte, they operated different size type, i choose the medium for 8 hours which cost $10, then paid the fee with my $20 bills, then i got the change. This machine was very simple, you just need to follow the instruction at the screen, don’t forget to take out the receipt then rewrite your locker PIN, in case you lost the receipt, the PIN needed to unlock your luggage  locker while you taking out your baggage. Going back to the bus stop and waiting for Transperth Bus no.37, make sure to download the bus time table, cause some buses had different destinations although it had the same number. After waiting for another 10 minutes , Transperth bus no.37 finally came then i was heading to Kings Park. Continue reading