Dec 23th
Leave from Chofu in the morning to Aomori, to catch night express Hamanasu train (Aomori – Sapporo). Meet some kind Japanese to chat with, using Japanese – English. Interrogated by 2 policemen in front of Aomori station for about 15 minutes because a woman (I heard onannohito blablabla when the police talk to me) tell them she find suspicious person near the station. The police thought it was me. DAMN!!!! Carrying big backpack doesn’t mean I am a terrorist. Best way to get rid of the police is said “Hey, I haven’t any picture with japanese police, can I have picture with you guys” It’s worked, they left me alone after said something like “sorry, We’re on duty” They speak little english (and off course no Indonesian) and I barely speak any japanese.
Dec 24th
Arrive around 6 am in Sapporo. There was “smoke” when I breathe IN the station. So I decided to wear another two layers of clothes, (I already wear 4 layers – Long John, Shirt, Sweater, and Jacket) that means I wear 6 layers (a decision I would regret later -> after few hours it was so hot). When I get out from the station, It was snowing, the first time to see snowfall in my life. Wonderfull
I visited Hokkaido University -> Sapporo Beer Museum -> Clock Tower -> Odori Park -> Hokkaido Old Government Building (this is the best of the day, It’s architecture like building in europe). After that going to Suwandi (friend from ITB’s Electrical Eng. department) to stay at his dorm. Before going to the dorm, I went to his sensei’s apartment and a Catholic church to attend christmas mass.
Dec 25th – Christmas at Sapporo and Otaru
That day we travel to Shiraoi (small city between Noboribetsu and Tomakomai) to visit Ainu Museum. They have interesting clothes, that is very different from kimono, and their own music. After that we went to Otaru, a city near to Sapporo, famous for its glass, music box and Otaru Canal. I definitely will go to Otaru again if I visited Hokkaido. After Otaru -> Sapporo. He told me there are different type of ramen in Hokkaido, each city has its own characteristic of ramen. I didn’t really understand what is the difference. I just know how to eat ramen. Because I am in Sapporo, I choose Sapporo ramen. After eating, going back to Tomakomai.
Dec 26th – Sapporo
Sapporo all day. At first find coin locker in the station and then try to find Historical Village of Hokkaido. From japan guide I know it is 15 minutes walking, but I spent 30 minutes (with lost sometimes). After I find the Village, It was CLOSED (new lesson, don’t come to museum on MONDAY, it is usually closed). Nachte Haltestelle, find Shiroi Koibito Park. I get free ride from Yurino’s friend’s car to Shiroi Koiboto park from the station. 🙂 There was a story why it was named SHIROI KOIBITO (White Lovers). When the owner was young, his girlfriend said “shiroi koibito is coming – or something like that when it’s snowing while they were walking on the park, and then it become chocolate’s brand. Favourite omiyage from Sapporo (maybe the same like Kartika Sari from Bandung).
After that -> Nijo Fish Market -> Susukino (Japan’s largest enterntainment district in north of Tokyo) where Ramen Yokocho is located -> Odori Park to see White illumination in the park. They have nice TV tower, not because of the shape, but because it’s location next to the park. not like Tokyo tower (surrounded by building). At 22.00 pm take night express hamanasu to Aomori
Dec 27th – Hirosaki and Sendai
Arrived about 6 am in Aomori, and then wait for train to Hirosaki, a town about 1 hour from Aomori. It has Hirosaki Castle (One star in Japan-guide). It was about 30 minutes from the station. It was snowing and it’s colder than Hokkaido (I don’t know why). Today only visit Hirosaki Park and Hirosaki Castle.
One thing that caught my attention is the people here never in hurry. They walked slowly and takes their time. When the pedestrian light is green and blinking, no one running in order to cross the street. They just walk as usual. It is very different than in Tokyo.
And then heading to Sendai, to visit Jeffry, Sonny and Febi. Arrived at Sendai in the night and stay in Tohoku Univ dormitory at Sonny’s room (he was ITB’s electrical eng. student the same year as me). We were chatting about student orientation in ITB, especially electrical eng. department and several friends.
Dec 28th – Sendai
Sendai all day -> Aoba-doir Ave -> Ichibancho -> Sendai Mediatheque -> Sendai Mediatheque -> Chuo Dori shopping mall -> try to find Gyutan (Ox Tounge -> famous sendai food) in Kokubuncho, but I found it is red light district instead of street full of restaurant (once again the tourist brochure is wrong) -> Jozenji Street’s night illumination. It was wonderfull, many people in the street to see the illumination.
I met Febi and her friend that day. Another exchange student from ITB to Tohoku Univ.We went to AER building to see Sendai. The observatory was the ugliest observatory I’ve ever seen. Shinjuku Gov. buiding or Tokyo Tower is MUCH MUCH better. We walked on Ichibancho to find Gyutan restaurant (unfortunately it was closed). Later I found gyutan in the shop inside the station.
Today stay at Jeffry’s room (another ITB’s Electrical Eng student) and get news from him, one of our friend will get married after March 2006. Who is he/she. I think I am lucky to be ITB’s Electrical Eng student. There are 6 students that enter Electrical Eng. department in the same year as me that is in Japan right now (7 with me). Maybe we can have small reunion.
Dec 29th – Matsushima
Matsushima was regarded as one of best three scenic view in Japan, so I went there. About 40 minutes by train. I was sleep in the train and miss the station. I lost 40 minutes of my journey. 😦
The route was Godaido (Small temple and symbol of Matsushima -> maybe the same like Pura Tanah Lot in Bali) -> Fukuurajima island -> Oshima Island -> Matsushima bay by ferry -> Zuiganji Zen Temple.
And then going back to sendai to pick up my bag. And going back to Tokyo. Arrived at shinjuku at 23.49, and then at dorm at 01.30 am (30th Dec).