Japanese Stuff I’m Surely Gonna Miss: 100-yen Shops

Since I decided to leave Japan, I’ve been listing the items and happenings that are so Japanese that I saw during my 4 years here; the ones that will always remind me of this country. And the first thing on the list is… Daiso! (and other similar 100-yen shops).

Daiso at Mochigahama, Beppu

They do have Daiso in other countries including Indonesia and Korea, but still, they’re not as comprehensive (can I use this adjective to describe a shop??) as the ones in Japan. Plus, the price of stuff in Daiso overseas, especially in Indonesia and Korea, are not as cheap as the original ones. I believe most of the items at Daiso Korea cost 2000 won, which is around 200 yen. I’m not sure about Daiso Indonesia but it should have similar case. Plus, you can actually find similar products with lower price in Indonesia and Korea, while you can’t really do so in Japan. As the result, Daiso in those two countries are more of “all-you-can-buy stores” rather than “the only places you can get a lot of products without hurting your wallet”.

Speaking of all-you-can-buy, Daiso and its fellow 100-yen shops literally sell anything you need to survive. Just imagine buying a new house and having nothing inside, then you go to a 100-yen shop and life suddenly feels complete.

Life essentials

What makes 100-yen shops even more interesting is that they sell some stuff that you wouldn’t think you need at first, but then you decide to buy them just because you realize you might need them at some point in your life.

This is what you need when that time of the month comes
This brush can be used to spread detergent at the same time

Most of them also have cosmetic rows. I never had guts to try the cosmetics but then a lot of Japanese beauty vloggers, like Choicerish and Sasaki Asahi have used them in their videos, so…

Oh, I’ve been mentioning “other 100-yen shops” for a few times, but what are they actually? As far as I know, the biggest rival of Daiso in terms of the number of branches is Seria. I personally feel that the items at Seria are more pretty and artistic, though. There are also shops called Can Do, which I can’t really differentiate from Daiso. I also know a shops that sells their products 5 yen cheaper the three that I mentioned named Life Plus. (And yes, 5 yen DOES matter okay).

After all, Daiso may not be the cheapest place to buy essentials in Indonesia, but I would definitely go there if I ever need to get some random Japanese stuff that can’t be found anywhere else.

Hanami 2015

Hanami, which literally means “seeing flowers”, is one of the ways Japanese people appreciate nature. In Japan, hanami refers to seeing cherry blossoms (sakura) in full bloom. Many of Japanese families or couples go to parks with their lunch boxes, doing picnic under the sakura trees.

In the past three years, I only had chances to do hanami in Beppu. This year, though, I went to Oita city to capture the beauty of Sakura with my high school juniors (who are now my university juniors as well).

Our first destination was Oita Ruins Castle. This, I must say, is one of the most under-rated sites in Oita, at least for APU students (not only me, right?). Located within walking distance from Oita station, I realized I should have been there for previous hanamis.

We also saw some group of Japanese people having BBQ under the sakura trees.

Next, we headed to Oita River. I had been there before, but never by walking. So that was the first time I felt the fresh air around the river bank. Again, I wondered why I had never been there before.

Well, apart from the fact that I, Insha Allah, will leave Oita soon (which of course makes me sad), I’m so grateful for yet another chance to capture this natural beauty called sakura!

Bonus: some sakura trees I saw earlier at Beppu park

Ramadhan in Beppu: a Midway Reflection

ifthar 

Ramadhan 1435 H!

Alhamdulillah, masih diberi kesempatan untuk berpuasa (lagi) di Beppu. Tahun ini tahun ketiga buat gue, dan bisa dibilang tahun yang paling menantang karena dari tanggal 1 sampai 29 atau 30 Ramadhan nanti gue kuliah seperti biasa. Bahkan kemungkinan besar Idul Fitri nanti bakal bertabrakan dengan ujian akhir semester.

Anyhow, gue bersyukur karena tahun ini untuk pertama kalinya bisa berpuasa Ramadhan di rumah sendiri (eh rumah nyewa deng), yang berarti akses ke Masjid Beppu jadi lebih mudah. Bisa tarawih tanpa khawatir ketinggalan bis terakhir untuk pulang ke asrama. Cerita tentang Masjid Beppu, insyaAllah kapan-kapan gue bahas di blog ini deh.

Selamat menjalankan sisa Ramadhan tahun ini, teman-teman semua!

Salam dari Beppu ❤

 

Kyushu Trip Part I: Beppu’s Hot Springs

Long time no blog!

This time I wanna show you the most famous features of Beppu, the city where I live in. This city is called the “hot spring city” for lots of onsen (hot springs in Japanese) it has. And guess what, some of the hot springs are called Jigoku a.k.a hells!!!

The first “hell” I visited in my Kyushu trip was Jigoku Mushi in Kannawa area. Oh, anyway, this time I was accompanoed by Arin, my high school and university junior, and Shofi, my high school classmate who is now studying at Fukushima College of Technology. Since Jigoku Mushi is the place where we could steam any kinds of food with natural hot spring steam, we went shopping around Beppu station and bought vegetables, eggs, and a pack of shrimp before taking the Oita Kotsu bus to Kannawa.

The bus stop for Oita Kotsu bus is located at the back of Kannawa, so we needed to walk for 5-10 minutes before reaching Jigoku Mushi. The good thing is, they were lots of maps posted around the area so we knew which direction to go.

The back side of Kannawa Area
The map

We literally steamed all the ingredients–healthy and super yummy at the same time! Well, some of the food was indeed tasteless, but sauces were provided for free.

Jigoku Mushi
Fresh veggies, ready to be steamed!
Super hot steam

After eating our steamed food, we went up the area for Jigoku Meguri, literally means hell tour, which is actually how they call “visiting the most famous jot springs in Beppu”.

The first “hell” we entered was Shiraike Jigoku. Here, we bought 2000 yen tickets which can be used to enter all the Jigoku. They came with a map which shows the directions to each Jigoku as well as a piece of blank circles where we can put the stamps provided in each Jigoku.

Shiraike Jigoku
The tickets
Stamp stamp stamp

After that, we went to Oniyama Jigoku, Kamado Jigoku, Yama Jigoku, Oniishibouzu Jigoku, and my favorite: Umi Jigoku. Even though they are all called Jigoku and located in the same area, these “hells” have distinct characters. Yama Jihoku, for example, looks more like a zoo with flamencos and elephants. Oniyama Jigaku, on the other hand, is a habitat for Malaysian crocodiles. Interesting, right?

 

Crocodiles at Oniyama Jigoku

 

“Love Garden” at Kamado Jigoku
Yama Jigoku
Oniishibouzu Jigoku
Umi Jigoku

The time was almost late when we realized that we had 2 more “hells” to go. According to the map, they are separated by the other “hells”, but seem reachable by walking. Only after going through hills and ravines (like, literally!) for almost half an hour that we realized “go there by bus” was written on the map.

Somewhere around the long, challenging road
Tatsumaki Jigoku
Chinoike Jigoku

Alhamdulillah we could reach the two “hells”: Chinoike Jigoku and Tatsumaki Jigoku. Well, five minutes before they close. Both are so beautiful and unique–if only we had more time to enjoy them. Anyhow, we managed to get all Eight stamps!!! Woohoo! Feelomg super tired but satisfied, we treated ourselves with parfait at Princess Kitty, a small cafe near Beppu Station.

The yummy parfait!

 

Part II coming soon!

 

Indonesian Week 2013

Fiuhh, akhirnya kesampean juga bikin tulisan tentang Indonesian Week 2013. Buat gue, Ina Week tahun ini punya kesan tersendiri, karena gue dan teman-teman seangkatan kali ini dipercaya menjadi penanggung jawabnya. Gue sendiri dipercayakan dua tugas, pertama sebagai penanggung jawab inventaris, kedua sebagai grand show stage manager.

poster kebanggaan

Seperti tahun-tahun sebelumnya, hampir setiap hari dalam satu minggu diadakan acara-acara berbau Indonesia. Yuk lihat satu-satu!

Senin: Parade

parade

Parade diadakan di depan fountain kebanggaan APU. Parade kali ini kurang lebih menggambarkan transformasi Indonesia dari zaman purba ke masa sekarang. Peserta parade nggak cuma dari Indonesia loh. Teman-teman dari Thailand, Jepang, Sri Lanka juga ikutan.

Selasa: Pesta Rakyat

kuda lumping

Sesuai namanya, acara ini menampilkan performance “orkes dangdut” dan tari kuda lumping khas wong ndeso. Orang Jepang yang biasanya malu-malu pun “terpaksa” ikutan joget saat lagu dangdut diputar.

Kamis: Gema Angklung

angklung hias

Sesuai namanya, acara ini bertujuan memperkenalkan angklung. Caranya, selain dengan short performance angklung, juga dengan main angklung bersama penonton seperti yang biasa diadakan Saung Angklung Udjo, Bandung. Terakhir, angklung yang dipegang peserta boleh dihias, diwarnai, dan dibawa pulang. Asik yah.

Jumat: Grand Show

backstage (yes, you can ignore my face)

Nah, ini nih acara yang katanya paling ditunggu-tunggu. Alhamdulillah, penonton sabar menanti dari jam 3 sore, padahal acara baru dimulai 3 jam setelahnya. Selama 3 jam ini, gue dan panitia lain yang kebagian tugas di backstage ngobrol-ngobrol santai (berhubung ruangan backstage dibuat segelap mungkin, jadi berasa di dalam rumah yang lagi mati lampu) sambil menenangkan diri, sementara performers sibuk ganti baju dan dandan cantik. Kerja di backstage adalah pengalaman yang baru buat gue, dan ternyata seru juga. Selain bisa “melihat panggung dari sisi lain”, gue juga dapat banyak teman baru dari tim logistik dan tim dekor.

Yang mau nonton grandshow, bisa klik di sini.

Selain acara-acara di atas, ada juga booth Ina Corner yang kali ini dihias ala pelaminan padang. Ada kue cubit, teh manis, dan cemilan khas Indonesia juga di sini.

pelaminan
bikin ngiler

Nggak lupa, di cafeteria dijual menu makanan khas Indonesia selama jam makan siang. Tahun ini, menunya adalah nasi goreng (yang ini selalu jadi bestseller setiap tahun), siomay, tempe oister, dan lumpia.

sedap mantap

Biarpun udah dua minggu berlalu, euforia Ina Week masih berasa sampai sekarang, lewat foto-foto dan artikel online yang link nya masih sering nongol di facebook atau twitter. Semoga Indonesian Week 2014 bisa lebih sukses lagi membawa nama Indonesia di APU.