Negara Sakura (Country of Cherry Blossom) is one of many ways how Indonesian address Japan respectfully. Me, who have interest in everything about Japan since elementary school, just like the other citizen, have a great desire to lay my own feet on that lovely country and be a witness of how beautiful the cherry blossom scene is; not just from various comic, novel, and book that I’ve read nor their drama that I’ve watched since then. Let’s say, it’s one of three my dream lands. Finally, the time has greeted me, at April 2013, with my three others friends, an airline promotion brought us to Japan. Because all of us really like Japan, we didn’t want to miss even a little thing, especially the great scenery of cherry blossom. We even had had imagined for sitting beautifully underneath the cherry blossom trees while having Japanese food. So that’s why we prepared everything in detail.
April 26, 2013 was the first time we breathe the fresh air of Spring in Japan. The lovely breeze hit our skin while our cold feet were touching the ground of this amazing country. So many emotions were joined us; happy, cheer, tired (of long flight), anxious, exhausted, and a little bit disappointed. We were getting little bit disappointed because when I opened my email, my friend precisely said that the cherry blossom watching already over in most of Japan area, except the southern part. But what should we do? The southern area was out of our itinerary. So, our entire dream was washed away by that email. the dream of cherry blossom watching went away with the spring breeze. But, again, thanked God that I was accompanied by supporting and amazing travel friends, together we promised to ourselves that we would not focus to that bad news, promised one to another to enjoy each moment we would spend and each place we would stop by. So, with that determination our one week trip in Japan was started.
The journey was started at Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, and then continued to its neighborhoods area; Kawagoe and Kawaguchiko. What surprised me was I got different impression for each city, even though they are close one to another. I was easily found myself exhausted in a hectic and crowded city like Tokyo. Beside that, I felt that modern and full of technology city made me dazed and amazed, when I let myself mesmerized by its life, as though Tokyo was the city that never stop asking you to move hastily and be independent in everything; city that let you expressed yourself within its limited space and time. Those feelings were different with the tranquil, coolness, and refreshment that I got when I laid mine eyes in to the greatness of Mount Fuji from Kawaguchiko or happiness as simple as i went along each path in Kawagoe while enjoying the view of historical buildings and tasting its specialty food.
Felt enough with Tokyo and surrounding, we moved to southwest ward, Kyoto. Maybe our one day stop at Kyoto would not be enough to represent the entire Kyoto, but walked in each city direction; from Fushimi Inari in southern part, and then continued to Arashiyama in west, and then directly went to northern part to see the beauty of Kinkakuji Temple, and completed by seeing the most visited temple in Kyoto, Kiyomizu dera in eastern area, showed me how history, culture, and natural beauties can be preserved and become the strength of the city in the middle of modernization. I saw Kyoto as an old city, but it’s full of technology. It moves as the modernization moves, but never let the modernization washes away its culture. The citizen know how to give thanks with their natural beauties by keep its beauty and develop it. Salute.
Done with Kyoto, the southern part was our next target, Osaka. Walked through the lively Minami area, explored Osaka Castle, ended our day in a crowded and bustling Dotobori, left me amaze with this city. Modern, lively, cheerful, vibrant, warm, and total. Osaka is the city with complete package (for me, kekekeke); so many traditional and fusion food, art, culture, history, entertainment, fashion, shopping arcade, and technology. Maybe the bustling and sparkling Osaka is under the shadow of Japan’s capital City, Tokyo, but Osaka saves its own value especially by its role in Japan unity which is history nicely wrapped in Osaka Castle Museum. Save the last for the best, maybe that’s the best description of Osaka for me.
For Cheery blossom, all we could get while traveling there maybe just its fall, last sakura, but for me, the whole Japan’s journey have a special place in my heart.
Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it. –Greg Anderson
Actually this post was an article that I’ve submitted for a competition. The competition is running now, it’s held by Japan embassy in Denpasar Bali. The first winner will get free return ticket from Indonesia to Japan. The winner is determined 70% by how many likes s/he get in facebook and 30% from the juries. Honestly, I really want to win the competition. So here I translated the article from Bahasa (Indonesian language) to English to get more support. I’m so happy because my article is appreciate by juries, so that’s why now, I really want to win it and let’s say beg for thumbs and if you, the kind reader like the article or just humbly want to give your thumb for me via facebook account, please support me here. Thank you.
or just directly open here