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Monday, November 23, 2015

JAPAN Summer Trip Day 1 | Shinsaibashi & Sinsekai


I’m gonna start to blog about my Japan trip last July.

6 months later lol.

But I’m crazy determined to blog about this trip as a memory keepsake. I crashed my hard drive once and lost all photos including my homestay photos and that sucked balls (cried for about 3 days straight wtf), so yeah, from that day I swear I’m gonna put all my important memories online as a back up.


It’s my most favorite country aside from Indonesia. Even before I went to Japan, it always has been. Maybe because of the fact that I was brought up on manga and anime.

I’m not what you say an otaku though ‘cause I don’t really follow many manga/anime anymore, only Detective Conan and Shokugeki no Souma (the anime) now. But I still love Japan. I love their culture, their heritage, their products, their produce, their cuisine, their hospitality, their safety, and this is probably going to be a long list if I was to write down all the things i love about Japan.

But I guess you already get it. I love Japan.

It always has been the number 1 country I want to visit (my bucket list is to visit every single city in Japan. cray, right?). So my trip there last summer was almost surreal and one of my dream came true.

You know how sometimes when you build up something in your head, usually the reality will never be as good as you imagined it to be?

But this one totally exceeded my imagination and I can’t wait to go back.

Okay, sorry I got a bit carried away lol.

Let’s start from the very beginning, shall we? and by beginning I really mean like the earliest step, which is Japan visa. My mugshot face aside, IT IS DAMN CUTE AND NICE lol.
Comparison to my chinese visa. Japan visa is laminated wth, even my european visa is a mere paper. To be fair, the chinese visa background is nice, but but but.. 
Japan visa got SAKURA HOLOGRAM!! *I’m so easily amused lol*

Can’t believe I just wrote a paragraph praising a piece of visa wth. Sorry to waste your time.
Oooh, and I did a nail art solely for this trip. Not as neat as I want it to be because I did it in a hurry before going to the airport, but I’m definitely planning to have a tutorial on it!
Rosie pao from Juanda airport before our flight to Malaysia for transit. It’s cute, but really overpriced for what it actually is. Taste is okay.

✶ First destination was Osaka

Our flight was actually supposed to be on the 16th, but it got advanced to the 15th, which I had no problem with, because that means ONE MORE DAY in Japan. YAAYY!!

However, since our tour starts on the 16th, on the 15th we had to roam around Osaka ourselves, which actually, I think is better.


I personally much prefer to go without a tour. Going with a tour (even this one, where ALL the participants are our family friends and we got to arrange the tour ourselves) means a lot of..restriction?

I couldn’t fully enjoy all the things I want to because there are timeline. For one, who the fuck goes to Universal Studios, Disneyland, Disneysea, and go home by 4-5pm?! That still pissed me off until today lol. And only because we had to have dinner at 6pm (It was free time afterward). Tsk, such a waste. Yes, we did arrange the destinations ourselves, but the tour agent arranges the timeline, and the bus can only be booked until 8 pm (later, there’ll be an overtime fee), hence the sucky timeline.

The food. I think we had 2-3 chinese food when we were there. DAFUQ, right?? Why would I want to go to Japan and eat freaking chinese food?! But it is inclusive in a tour, so we had to. Plus, we also went with some people who don’t necessarily like japanese food and I do realize not all people love food, or trying new food, as much as I do. There are people who eat just because they have to, for life purposes you know lol. I guess for a foodie, a group tour like this really sucks from that aspect, ‘cause we actually want to go pick and try the local restaurant and such, and the FOOD is actually a big part that we want to experience here.

And going with a bunch of people with different ages and interests needs some adjusting as well, so it’s probably better to go with small group or a big group with similar interests. I think going to your dream destinations is always better with your loved ones and friends, not a bunch of acquaintances. Yes, most of this family friends are more of acquaintances for me, because they’re my parent’s friends. Probably why my big bro decided to skip this trip even though I know he wants to visit Japan as well.

Also don’t forget that going with a tour will definitely be more expensive.


Of course joining a tour also has its perks, like we don’t have to walk to our hotel after a tiring day, transportations to and from airport, we can sleep some more in the bus on our way to the next destination, and no chance of getting lost. But all in all, for me at least, the disadvantages far outweigh the perks.

Plus, information is so readily available to us now, so we can just google all the touristy places and how to get around in Japan. You also get to explore Japan yourself. on foot. The experience gotta be more memorable, right? All that being said, this Japan trip is still probably the best vacay I’ve ever had.

Sorry super long paragraphs again haha. I wanted to share my opinion on pro and con of going with a tour agent.

Okay, let’s continue..
Since we arrived a day early, we used train to get to our hotel from the airport. Spotted this 2 school girls. The uniform is exactly like those in manga O_O. 

My little brother and I were thoroughly mesmerized by the view from the train ‘cause it really felt like we stepped into a manga *childhood memoried flowed in*.
We booked the first day hotel ourselves through Agoda I think. It was the BEST WESTERN Joytel Osaka, which was a good and affordable hotel. I definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a lodging in Osaka. It’s located near Suminoekoen station and just a few stations away from Namba and Shisaibashi station (the shopping and food heaven).
It’s also in the same building as Don Quijote and DAISO. Super convenient.

Not to mention, it’s near MISTER DONUT!!!

A video posted by Lily Zhen (@lilyzhen168ii) on

I didn’t take photo, but here’s a little clip.

I LOVE DONUT, and this mister donut is different from my usual favorite Dunkin’ Donut. I think the donuts here are baked? Cmiiw. They have several types of Donut. The curly one has a sort of choux pastry texture, the balls ring one is kinda chewy like mochi, and the usual donut-shaped one has a cake/bread/donut texture married into one. Definitely different to your run of the mill donuts and they’re really good.

It was the only time I found mister donut on the entire trip, so even after I came back to Indonesia I still craved it so much. BUT recently I found out that Mister Donut has opened a branch in Jakarta!!! In f(x) Sudirman and Kelapa Gading I think. Both are about 1 hour and 2 hours away from my place respectively, but I WILL go there to get that donuts lol.
There is also a resto on the first floor and it was already noon, so we settled there to have a bite first since we were famished (our flight didn’t include food). Basically it was our first meal since 5pm the day before - except for me, glutton me couldn't stop munching down nasi lemak during our transit in Malay.
The machine we chose our order from.
Outside the resto there was this row of gachapon and one of them was for gudetama. 

I love playing gachapon and I love gudetama, so I played it. It was a no brainer.
Except that I ended up with this gudetama-person instead of the egg form gudetama -___-". There were many types of egg form one, which were so cute, especially that broken eggshell ones, and there was only one type for the gudetama person. And I got that one. Just my luck, right?

Anyway, I feel this gudetama-person one is kinda creepy looking, so I gave it to my big bro 'cause he likes it.
Waiting for our food. It's so hard to take decent wefie with this one, he's always pulling all kind of weird expression. So I just follow suit.
Complementay ocha :D Taste wise is same-same lah with the one from Sushi Tei
Takoyaki from random stall near the hotel. It was good, but tastes quite the same to takoyaki you can find in Indonesia, just a bit more mushy. I expected it to taste like 1000x better, so I was a bit dissapointed, but no worries, the next day I found THE BEST TAKOYAKI I have ever tasted.
Mine and my mother's, Kitsune Udon, which I think is one of Osaka specialty. It's udon with light soup and topped with aburaage (deep fried tofu like those used in inari sushi). Tastes yummy and refreshing. The udon was perfectly cooked as well, not too chewy, not too mushy.
My brother's, Japanese tonkatsu curry rice. I don't exactly remember how it tastes, but I remember it to be really really delicious as well. The pork was juicy and tender, the curry was nice.

See that flat tummy? Yea, it's gone in a matter of days I was there. and hasn't come back ever since. 
My Dad is a yoghurt addict, so he went to Don Quijote to get some. This meiji yoghurt is yummy, not too sour and a bit on the thinner side if I remember correctly. Definitely worth a try if you love yoghurt.
And off we go to start exploring Osaka.

Fiddled around the ticket machine like a normal tourist. The rest bought one-trip ticket, while my family bought a day pass ticket because I thought it's be cheaper if we want to explore. 

Our first destination was to Namba area.
Upon exiting the train station, you are greeted with this long looong row shops.
Quick OOTD. This was my outfit on the flight as well (didn't change), and I froze my butt out. Note to self, don't wear shorts on a long-hour flight. 
Okay, one more. This one with my head looking like a jellybean.

Bag & Shoes are from Cotton On, T-shirt I stole from my Mom, and shorts I can't remember where it's from, have had it for forever.
One of the shop is this Sanrio Gallery. 

I didn't go in the first day because I've never been a fan of anything Sanrio (way too baby cutesy and girly for me). Until gudetama that is. I think I didn't realize that gudetama is from Sanrio at that time.
At the end of the long row of shops is the gate to Shinsaibashi-suji, which, is another long row of shops. If you're a shoppaholic, you'll probably get trapped in this maze of shopping district.
Look at that heads after heads crowding the street. Udah kayak lautan cendol.

To be frank, my usual self will get super claustrophobic and just leave lol.
Stopped by Matsumoto Kiyoshi, which is a Japanese drugstore and spent quite some time in there browsing through all the cute and gorgeous japanese beauty products. Look at all that SK-II goodness at the back!

I only had one thought while I was in there (aside from "ah so cute, buy. also cute, buy. buy, buy, buy),


On a side not, I'm gonna do a shameless plug now.

Have you seen my Japan haul? ▾

Click it, click it, click iiittt. It's full of awesome stuffs!

Okay, I'm done with the shameless plug.
Settled at a foodcourt after more walking around for dinner. 
Udon from hanamaru with a purrrfect soft-boiled egg.
And oden!!

The triangle thing is konnyaku and the short tube one is daikon radish. I've always wanted to try both of these thing, so checked ✓

Konnyaku is like a bland chewier version of agar-agar, and the daikon is like..well, radish. 
Had Yoshinoya beef bowl as well, which is yummier than the one from Indonesia's Yoshinoya! This one is more savoury and has more fat, so it's a LOT more melt-in-your-mouth goodness. PLUS it's paired with Japanese rice!

After dinner, my little brother, whom we are gonna refer to as Nico from now on, because typing 'my little brother' has proven to be too long for me, was tired, so my Dad brought him back to the hotel while my mom and I explore some more.
Stopped by this shop for dessert because it smelled so freaking yummy from outside.
They sell this. Waffles. Maybe it's a popular snack in Japan? I saw tons of stores selling this, even at Universal Studios!
Wait, lemme take a selfie wth this cute waffle first before I tell you how it tastes. #penting
I chose the maple flavoured one and it was SO YUMMY!!!! It has crystallised sugar bits throughout, so you get a nice texture combination from the fluffy waffle with the crunchy crystallised sugar. The maple flavor was very pronounced as well. If I was to nitpick, the waffle was a tiiiiinnnnsyyy bit too dry for my liking. Just a tinsy.

After walked around some more, we reached Dotonbori street
The area is all light up beautifully with a river calmly running underneath the bridge and lantern decoration were all along the railing.

You can spot the famous octopus statue there and beside it, cut off, is the signature Glico running man sign of Dotonbori street.

We were waiting for my Dad to come back from the hotel, so we went inside H&M to window shop.

Yes. Window shop.

That was the plan anyway.

But when we entered...

We kinda went ballistic.

The sale was CRAY. CRAY I TELL YOU!!!

It went to as low as 100 yen. 100 YEN!! That's less than $1!

LESS THAN $1! Even Mangga Dua and Tanah Abang cannot come close to beat that price!

Most of the clothing were around 100 yen to 700 yen

Have you ever seen that kind of price from H&M before? I sure hadn't, until that day. Which bring me to my next question,

HOW CAN JAPAN H&M PRICE BE THAT CHEAP?? HOW? Indonesia H&M is quite pricy and Singapore H&M is just pricy.

I suspect child labor.

jk.jk.jk. Maybe they have manufacturer in Japan.
With the loot. You can see the 500 yen rack at the back.

At some point, because of the crazy cheap price, I even considered 500 yen to be quite pricy.

And started to grab more of the 300 yen pieces.
Look at that 200 yen price tag, from 1190 yen!!!

More than 85% OFF!
Obviously full of joy from the AWESOME AWESOME HAUL.

I'm not sure if the crazy sale is an all year round thing or maybe it was just around the time I went there.
Must take total touristy picture in front of the famous Glico running man sign. Nevermind that I cover more than half of the sign wth.

After my Dad joined us, I decided to go to Sinsekai area for a late supper, mainly because I don't wanna waste the 1-day train ticket #supercheapskate.
I read that Sinsekai is a pretty sketchy area, even with Japan's high safety standard, but it was okay when I went there.
I was in awe when I stepped into the area.

It felt like I stepped into a different era.

It was a nice contrast to the modern and busy Namba area. Here, it felt more like the olden days Japan. Quite peaceful and serene when I was there, because there were very little people around.
I read that many restaurants open 24 hours and that the area only "comes alive" at night, but it was already closing time when I was there even thought it was only around 9.30 p.m.

Honestly, it was quite deserted already when I was there, so it probably best to go there earlier.
The landmark of Sinsekai, Tsutenkaku tower, which is modeled after the Eiffel Tower.
Okay, here's one without me bothering your view.
I lovee the architecture around this area, got that nice homey peaceful vibe with narrow street and all (nevermind that it's actually Japan's more seedy neighbothood lol).
I was looking for a specific food, motsunabe.

hot pot dish typically made up of beef or pork tripe, cabbage, garlic, chives and togarashi peppers in a soy sauce or miso based soup. -

It's the first pic, second row one. But all the stall that sells it were either already closed or ran out of it I continued to search for this, but even until the end of the trip I still couldn't find it T__T. 

Oh, well, all the more reason to go back to Japan ♡
Settled at this random shop that still open. It was almost last order already when I got there.

This place also ran out of motsunabe, so I ordered the next thing on my list of Osaka's Specialty (motsunabe is not Osaka's specialty btw, just really wanted to try it).

Battered and deep fried pieces of food on skewers. Meat and vegetables are the most common ingredients for kushikatsu. -
I don't remember what I ordered already, but I find most of them to be okay only. Some of the meat were a bit overcooked, so they were a lil' bit tough.

You can now go to Kushi-Ya at AEON Mall if you wanna try kushikatsu.
This one is definitely the mochi katsu. Quite fun to eat.
And then this. OCHAZUKE.

Not sure where this dish came from, but it's pretty popular in Osaka and Kyoto.

This one is a rather unique dish, some people may even find it weird the first time they hear what it is. It's basically green tea poured over cooked rice with some topping (mine was flaked salmon).

Sounds kinda weird, right? Tea poured over cooked rice? 
But you gotta try it!
It was really yummy and a rather comforting food. Super light as well. I imagine this is a perfect food for rainy days and for when you're under the weather. It's a light savoury soup, refreshing and comforting at the same time.

In case you're wondering, it doesn't taste bland or bitter at all from the green tea. The rice isn't soggy or mushy either.

It's kinda hard to find this dish in Indonesia, but you can buy the packet instant ochazuke at AEON department store (the japanese food area). Yea, I went to AEON a lot, so now almost every "japanese food thing" I own are from AEON. I kid you not, I went there like twice a week, sometimes more (What is my LIFE?!).

The instant ochazuke is really amazingly simple to make, just pour out the the packet (contains green tea leaves, nori, etc) over cooked rice and pour some hot water over it. It's my current go-to too-lazy-to-cook-but-really-hungry meal.

After our meal, it was already almost 11 p.m. I think, so we rushed to the subway station.

And there, I saw what first a rather funny, then turn into a effing disgusting sight.

Here goes the story...

The train was pretty packed, so some people had to stand. I luckily got a seat, which I was oh so happy about given our stop was at the very last station and my legs were already numb from walking around all day.

Then, came in an adolescent man. There weren't any seat, so he grabbed one of those handle thing and stand in front of me, but in the opposite side.

I thought he was really sleepy and tired 'cos he kept swinging left to right on the handle with his head looking down. At one point, he even smacked his head on the pole.

At this point I thought it was funny cute, I thought, "Waaah, so hardworking until sleepy like that."

Anyway, this was going on for quite a while until more and more people stepped out of the train as it was nearing the end of the subway line (aka our stop).

Then, an older lady sitting beside where the man was standing was getting ready to get out of the train. Just when the older lady got up and walked pass the man, he kinda lost balance and almost hit the lady with his shoulder (fortunately she was fast enough to dodge it). He continued tottering to the now empty seat. He then banged his head against the train quite hard before finally dropped onto the seat.

This is when I realize...he was not sleepy.

He was HAMMERED. He was so crazy skunk drunk, he kept his eyes shut the whole train ride and didn't even know his stop (I don't think he was even conscious). I couldn't differentiate a sleepy person to a drunk person wtf.

Then came the DISGUSTING part.

Now he sat opposite to where I sat. He had his head up facing the ceiling.
Suddenly, his mouth was opened by force from inside his mouth and out come a lava like substance. non-stop.
It took me a second to realize what it was because I was so stunned by the amount of the thing that came out of his mouth, but yup, he PUKED!!

Right in front of me was a man spewing his gut out non-stop. I don't think he even realized that he was puking, because he just sat there still. He was probably unconcious already. Yup, he was THAT drunk.

It was so disgusting lah, the puke got everywhere, to his shirt, arms, pants, and even the seat of the train!

We quickly moved to the other side of the train.
I mozaic the puke for you, you're welcome.

I actually have everything on video, from when he was swinging on the handle, to when he banged his head hard on the train, and to when his gut started spilling out of his mouth, but I think it's too disgusting and puke-inducing, so probably none of you guys would want to see it.

Anyway, even after we got out of the train, which was already the last station I remind you, he still sat there unconscious, ruining train ride for everybody with his fucking disgusting vomit. Let's call him DM from now on -> Disguting Man.

In the end, a train officer had to brought DM out by supporting DM on his shoulder. Poor train officer, had to deal with this kind of nonsense and shittery after a long day of work. And got puke stain on his uniform some more. Tsk.
Alright then, that's the end of Day 1. Quite a night.

Stay tuned for part 2! That one is going to be a looong post I think. I'll probably split it into parts.

Stay safe and don't you ever get so hammered you vomit in public places. Please vomit at your own property. Thank you,