Kyoto | 2


“In Kyoto, I was strolling so casually”


The sun was high when I gazed out to the window. I could feel it though I was inside, trying to wake myself up completely by 6.30am. I was a bit tired yet I had to experience Bamboo Groove as my first destination on my second day in Kyoto. I had a conversation on the phone a night before with Aria, my friend that lived in Kyoto then (he’s back for good to Indonesia in the moment). He suggested to come as early as I could if I wanted to get beautiful photographs at Bamboo Groove. He said it won’t be too many tourists if I came in the morning before 9. As I remember, it was our first conversation since we graduated from the university seven years ago (7? damn I’m old!).

I finally arrived at Bamboo Groove few minutes after 8. The morning sun wasn’t friendly enough to me. It was worse cause I wore black jeans and D&G-ish Zara (had no option but I rushed and just found they were the clean ones). When the sun kissed my skin I swore I won’t do the same mistake if I travel on summer again.

Aria was true. It was well worth to wake up earlier and finally explored Bamboo Groove when it was quite. Like I couldn’t imagine how I would enjoy Bamboo Groove if I found many selfie sticks surround me (cause it could be happened in the afternoon). Though I still felt the sun and the humid, it didn’t stop me to breathe easy, felt the gentle breeze and the wind rustling in the bamboo leaves. And it was a serene morning indeed.

At Bamboo Groove I met with Judith, a solo female traveler from Sant Feliu de Guixols, Spain, who spent three weeks exploring Japan. We met for the first time at the entrance and at the bamboo path later on when we faced the same problem a solo traveler always has, looking for somebody who can take a picture of you through your own camera (you guys too?). Speaking and sharing few things with Judith was truly made my morning. And lucky me, she dropped a post card and wished if someday we can meet again either in Spain or in Indonesia.

It was a simply joy I’ll always remember, Judith.


“iPhone pictures above do not do justice unless I captured with A7R then!. Arashiyama Bamboo Groove is a must if you have a chance to visit Kyoto”












After spending two hours at Bamboo Groove, I moved to the most important temple in Kyoto’s Arashiyama district, Tenryū-ji Temple. Located just right after Bamboo Groove, it is mandatory to pay a visit to Tenryū-ji which registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site. I have to tell you this, I know I should put more attention reading the history of Tenryū-Ji while I was there yet my eyes were more tented by all those beautiful straight lines I could find everywhere surround the temple. I wasn’t wowed by the temple itself and struggled to ensure I took symmetric pictures of the lines but stood and wondered how beautiful the zen garden would be either in spring or in autumn.













You know sometimes I’d say “oh buddy, money is not everything” to people but sure you can SLAP MY FACE if you were with me in Kyoto on summer then. You would find me easily gave up being “oh I don’t mind to be a backpacker, huh?” and lied “this is an exception because true, summer is crazy hot!” and decided to spend my Japanese ¥ for a big bowl of shaved matcha ice along with two mochies beautifully wrapped with cherry blossom leaves.

I entered a matcha cafe right in front of Tenryū-Ji’s gate and spent an hour with cute green-guys as captured below. I remember when I went to the cafe upstairs, the first time I had in mind was I must have a seat by the window, guess what? yep, for picture purpose. Since I had a nightmare when I found my mirrorless didn’t work in Tokyo, seated by the window where I had bright natural light was significant cause I only had my iPhone 6 in hand (hello 7! sigh!). Oh come on guys, should I just sat and enjoyed my matchas without taking picture of them for this blog ? How possible?

I admit I was so shy when I was rearranging those trays to get the right composition for my picture when two Japanese women were enjoying their shaved ices beside me. You may say I shouldn’t do that cause it might be rude (MAYBE??) yet I’m such how garish this might sound a typical Instagramer nowadays when it is so IMPORTANT to snap our food before we eat them, huh? No I’m kidding. What I was thinking just to have them for my own file so that I’ll remember it as one of the memory when I was in Japan.

Don’t worry, two women beside me were typical Japanese, they were so polite and even smiled at me when I was asking to the younger woman (the older one seemed like her mother, I guessed) this question: “Konichiwa haik, do you speak English? may I ask you, are these leaves can be eaten, too?” (sure I was smiling like oh GOD, WHAT A SUCH A STUPID Q?). But when she did answer in English, I was so pleased at least I didn’t just eat the cherry blossom leaves without knowing and I would look like a fool if they could be eaten or not.





After an hour spent in the cafe I putted on my headsets, played Rather Be, and continued my sightseeing to the central landmark of Arashiyama, Togetsukyo Bridge. Many restaurants, small shops, and attractions can be found nearby. Though the weather in the afternoon was super-duper hot, I was enjoyed every step I took. A little trick I did when I felt too-hot was stopped by the shops and enjoyed the AC. It helped for my body indeed but not for my eyes.

Stopped by two shops with a will to chill but left with some souvenirs in my hand. Japan was dangerous, tho.

Here are some Arashiyama scenes via iPhone while I was strolling casually before headed to Nara.






Nara was my side trip with no expectation cause what I wanted just to spend the rest of that day at Nara-Koen Park. There was one thing I learnt from my trip to Nara. If I have places to see it is important to fuel myself with good food so I’ll have energy to move around.

When I was inside the train heading to Nara station, I was looking for halal restaurant nearby and my iPhone told me to stop to the next station which was JR Kyobate station. Without thinking that I would spend time an hour or two, I decided to look for a place to have a proper lunch before I went to Nara Park. I found two, one was Indian restaurant (oh, I didn’t mind for basmati rice and chicken curry) and another one was halal Japanese ramen restaurant. I picked Japanese one for a distance wise, and thought a bowl of ramen in the afternoon wasn’t a bad idea.

Stepped at Kyobate station I found myself as if I was in the corner of the country. It was very quite place. I could barely imagine how I would spend my lazy afternoon at one of those Japanese houses with a cold matcha and some dark chocolates if I had a couchsurfing host.

Even though it was past 3 and the sun was still high, it didn’t stop me looking for a halal restaurant called Naramachi Jinniyah. I enjoyed my walk to the restaurant located at Minamijodocho though I almost gave up cause hell ya the summer sun was suffocated me. Ten minutes walked and guess what? I stood in front of the restaurant with CLOSE sign on the door, plus my flat face, plus my screaming tummy, plus my salty sweat, plus a little feeling “what the hell I was looking for” and just look at the selfie I took below was my cheesy reward cause I failed looking for halal food.



After I stopped by at Lawson in Kawaradocho for two slices fried chicken (yikes I ate part of the chicken I hate the most (read: skin) like a real hunger!) with a bottle of cold matcha drink and a vanilla cream puff, I decided to take a train back to Nara station.

When I arrived at the station my tummy was screaming for a real food for the second time. I felt like I was OK cause I took enough light food from Lawson but I forgot that moved around burned calories and made me hungry more often. I had to ask my iPhone again where I could find a restaurant with halal food on the menu but first, I stopped at Nara City Tourist Information Centre right away after I saw prayer room sign (as I wished I could find prayer room easily like that in Japan).

After I prayed I decided to walk straight to Nara Park since the day was still bright. Strolling in the afternoon in Nara could be one of my best time in Japan. Just I wished I had enough time and sure, a happy tummy then. I was a little worried if I couldn’t visit Nara Park cause the sky was cloudy and gray yet I smiled for second to admire the orange-ish afternoon light as captured below. My worry was true cause in the end of my side trip, I finally flunked to visit a home to hundreds of freely deers. I had to admit that I couldn’t manage my time precisely when in Nara but hey, it shouldn’t be regretted cause I finally found an Indonesian fried rice at one restaurant at Konishico for my dinner.

I knew it was like incomplete journey that I couldn’t see how cute those deers at Nara Park but at least, I could bring two deers home for my beloved best friend. And it was enough to end my very short visit to Nara.

I didn’t take only deers but ah, I shouldn’t say it here how I spent my Japanese ¥ in the evening at some souvenir shops at Nara before I came back to my hostel in Kyoto.











P.S. FYI, I’m kind of person who always try to avoid eating my own food when I travel to another country cause it’s definitely an opportunity to experience local food. But that day, it was an exception for my dinner since my tummy screamed since afternoon like crazy. And, I had more and more picture I took at Arashiyama and Nara but I didn’t want to boom you with too many pictures here. So more to come!


In The Mood Of Flatlays





It was started on Saturday night when I wanted to just drew something with watercolor because it’s been long since I attended basic design class years back. Been trying few times and found that it wasn’t as easy as I thought. Even just for a simple object like a leaf (sounds like I need serious practice). So it ended with abstract lines using red color. Why red? Cause it felt like I missed somebody outside there then (everyone was wondered who is E that I always mention on my Instagram page?).

From an abstract drawing to few flatlays-play, I thought I shouldn’t share these only on my IG page but here too.







As I wish my day-off today could be more and more longer. Unfortunately it’s 10:03PM already.

September’s Inspirations


Pablo Picasso used to say this, “every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up”

I’m not gonna preach about how to be an artist to you guys :) though I do agree with the statement above. Everyone has their own ‘creative’ side in different ways and it grows if you let it grow.

Your creativity will step forward by keeping your imagination grows, too. And it is a good thing when you can expand your creativity by looking for




And on this post I’ll share some inspirational people that inspired me a lot recently. Most of them about photography.





“Oh, the Goddess of the most exquisite blog in the universe if I may say. Everything about Park&Cube is on point. Yes, EVERYTHING”

Shini Park, the founder of Park&Cube is definition of amazing. Super supersuper talented and her job is such a dreaaaaaaam job!

The content, the photos, the art direction, the fonts!, the lay-outs, and how she writes her posts is KILLER. Distinct and very tasteful. It’s hard to say if I’m not a big fan of her work. I mean, you guys know so well that I’m the biggest fan of Alice Gao, but Shini is one of a kind. Honestly, I knew Shini’s blog when Alice posted about her trip to UK and finally met Shini in person. Since then I fell in love with Park&Cube. I guarantee you will spend hours reading her blog (what are you waiting for?).

And you know what I love the most from gorgeous bloggers outside there, they’ll inspire you how they grow. I used to read Alice’s stories when she moved to NYC to pursue her passion in photography, capturing many coffee-shops and her food with an iPhone and her Canon, until she’s on her stage today. And I found ‘that’ too when I read Shini’s old posts. Looking at her old photographs and her recent ones makes me think ‘you imagine what you desire’.






“If you want to cry by looking pictures above, don’t worry, YOU ARE NOT ALONE”

I almost cried when I saw Teppo posted –“oh I don’t have words to describe it!!”- amazing sceneries from Greenland where he spent a whole summer this year. Two reasons, number one, how breathtaking the Greenland is (and it’s on the same earth you and me are living guys!). Two, Teppo is extremely talented, NO DOUBT. The last reason is the most thing I adore from him. He has sharp eyes for beauties indeed.

Oh OK, I probably have to tell you this ; I might call it “hate?” no, that’s not it, “jealous”? I don’t think either. So, what is the word then? mesmerize? I don’t know. When you know somebody and feel that ‘oh my God, he’s still soooo much younger than me and that’s not fair!” (I assume you know what I mean). A little bit ‘jelly’ with Teppo cause he’s still young and full of talent in photography I must confess, but good news is we became a friend from Instagram (still remember how I screamed when he sent me a photograph of ices floating on the sea in Greenland through WhatsApp!). 

I’m still looking forward to let Teppo shares his experiences and indulgences in photography on KitKat :)) oh come on, don’t tell me you are not following my buddy in his Instagram?






“Noah Mills’s Instagram shows his talent in photography”

I’m not following Paris, Milan or New York Fashion Week, though I love to see how wild and crazy creativity in fashion world are. If you’re among of those ‘fashionista’ who always get a front-row invitation or you’re a real fashion blogger, you must know who Noah Mills is.

Since I found his Instagram through ‘explore’ page, I found that he always post beautiful pictures from his daily life. He’s not like those models or public figures, oh let me make this clear, I do hate ‘so-so’ public figures who post pictures with their endorse products on Instagram. If they are nicely captured that’s not a problem, but if it’s tacky post, oh come on I know I shouldn’t say this since that is their right on an era like this but I have a right too to speak my mind, nah? :)

Noah is different. I felt like he maintains his page on a simply yet tasteful way. Even when I saw a cup of his morning coffee in a black and white stripes cup placed on a wooden table, it was so artistic. If you are in doubt with my opinion, look at his page here. Let me know if we are on the same page!


“I didn’t pick inspirations only from Shini, Teppo and Noah. I still have three people who for me, their stories and passions are inspiring too”

Katerine, a Russian who fell in love with Japan and it’s culture shares her love for that amazing country on her Instagram. Read her interview too on this page.

Are you a dessert person I’m crazy with dessert? Love sweets and stylish decorated cakes? You must know Caroline Khoo, open this page and tell me she’s blown you away with her craft like she did to me!

And the last one is Audrey, a traveller and professional travel blogger on thatbackpacker. She shares a lot of travel stories that I trust, it will tease you to pack your things and explore this world more often. You may like to read her ‘post-uni blue’, it’s so interesting!




Kyoto | 1


“Who never heard Rather Be? A song that won Grammy 2015 for Best Dance Recording? You? :)”


Honestly speaking, first time I heard that catchy song when my silly best friend, Yuriko, sent me a hilarious lip sync video with Rather Be as a back sound. My ears were quickly catched the rhythm and I JUST LOVED IT. When I asked him who sang the song?, I knew he would abuse me (and he did) cause both of us are always compete “who is the hottest music sensation right now?”. I didn’t know who sang the song till he gave me the band’s name, Clean Bandit feat Jess Glynne. Since then, if I need mood-booster in the morning, I’ll let Rather Be resonant in the air. Oh, the scene in the clip is in Tokyo, one reason I loved too.



I made a reservation for Shinkansen at JR office a day before I off to Kyoto. I chose 10am in the morning since I knew I would be so tired after I went to many places. At least I could wake after 8 and I would still have time in the afternoon to explore Kyoto on my third day in Japan.

Since I had to take a train from Asakusabashi to Tokyo Station I gave myself enough time in the station. I didn’t want to gamble then, cause I knew Tokyo Station is super-duper busy with all those people that spread all over the place. Confusing yet fluttering. If you are there for the first time, it is safer to give an extra time before you enter the train esp for Shinkansen. It is not funny if you have reserved a seat to Kyoto or Osaka or other destinations and you are late. Learning to be discipline as Japanese is a good thing, at least if you are in Japan as a tourist. 

Experiencing Japanese bullet train was memorable. Traveling with Shinkansen for the first time might be a bit challenging since you have to make sure all details for your journey is understood. You just need to ensure which platform your train will off from, what is your car number and your seat, and when will you off to your destination. If you are still new with Japanese train, don’t be hesitate to ask the officer you can find in the station in case you’re confuse with your platform cause in Tokyo Station people is walking and running just like marbles.

I was off from Tokyo via Shinkansen Hikari by 10:03 sharp and it took only 2,5 hours to Kyoto. For me it is a mandatory seating by the window. Enjoying the view while having breakfast with fresh-packed sushi, almond crush Pocky, green tea roll cake, and a cup of caffè latte inside Shinkansen? I couldn’t ask for more. Maybe it was a proper ‘proper’ camera I missed since capturing the scenery with an iPhone was a waste (you ask a clear picture inside a bullet train that running at speeds of up to 320 km/h?).





“Sometimes, we just fall in love on something with no reason needed”

Just like Rather Be, I didn’t need a reason why my heart fell in love with Kyoto. From my first step, I felt I had an affair with the city thenceforth.

On a quite afternoon where I took train from Kyoto Station to Kujo Station, I finally arrived at Minami-ku Higashikujo where Lower East Nine Hostel is located. I dropped a nylon bag which was filled with my clothes for the next two days and went straight to explore Nishiki Market. Some ‘Kyoto-scenes’ around my hostel via iPhone.






Arrived at the one of Japan’s most iconic market made me thought ‘why I didn’t leave my wallet in the hostel’. At Nishiki, your sense will compete seriously (not to mention that you better keep your wallet save from ‘visual-temptation’). Especially those mini-and-super mini cuties which spread all over the souvenir shops. Not only those, you’ll find beautiful handmade cookware, ceramic plates (I could be so crazy if I were a real food stylist!), yummy street food, delicious teas, fresh fishes and friends, oh look at those mini octopuses that you’ll always find on my table every time I have a treat at Sushi-Te in Indonesia, Japanese kimonos, and even pairs of limited Adidas shoes (I was saved from the last one!). You shouldn’t worry if you feel hungry after exploring this market cause you’ll find a few of sit-down restaurants along.







My next destination after Nishiki Market was Gion, the most exclusive and well-known district where you could find geisha, if you are lucky. What I had in mind was a perfect evening scene where I could find old-styled Japanese houses and dreary light from Japanese lantern on the street. But I was quite exhausted after chasing some souvenirs on my first day in Kyoto. So I changed my mind to skip Gion at night and thought it wasn’t a bad idea to come back to hostel by 4pm.

There was no single regret though I couldn’t spend an evening at Gion. I remember vividly how it felt when I was staring at the window in the hostel after I bathed. It was around 6pm, heavy rain just stopped, the road was quite, I found dreary light from those street lamps, and I felt that ‘feeling’ when I was so grateful for an opportunity to visit somewhere new, an opportunity to experience something new, and an opportunity for being alive.



After I enjoyed my dinner, I continued my evening-ritual before I went to sleep ; checking my next destination for the next day, complete with the map and subway lines. As I mentioned on this post, what I loved from my hostel in Kyoto is the loungish sitting room upstairs. I spent the rest of my evening there with a casual conversation with two Indian young ladies from The UK. How did I know where they came from? from their British accent which is very familiar with the English I use here. Poor me I couldn’t remember their names but we had an interesting conversation till I had to say goodnight to recharge myself for the next adventure.

When I entered my room before 10pm, I realised it was a mix room for boys and girls cause I didn’t see any travelers when I arrived in the afternoon. Spending my first night in Kyoto, I met with my roommates, Joe and Svewn who first met in the hostel, too. Joe is a Chinese young man who currently lives in Canada studying logistic while Svewn is a young lady from New Zealand. I didn’t really have much time to share stories with Svewn cause she was sleeping when I was having a conversation with Joe.

It was past 11pm and both of us were still sharing about our life experiences, places we had explored while we were in Japan, and some future-plans. I tucked myself with a thick brown blanket damn that too cold AC while listening to his stories why he decided to study logistic. He traveled to Japan three weeks for his summer break before he went back to China to see his family. It was a pleasure meeting with different personalities from different parts of this world indeed. When I met with Joe even just for one night, he inspired me a lot to explore and travel more often. We ended our conversation after midnight when both of us were really exhausted and our beds were waffing at us.



P.S. The only thing I regret the most from my trip to Kyoto was I didn’t even ask Joe and Svewn their contacts. I totally forgot  I shouldn’t be that fool to exchange our contacts before we were separated. Joe and Svewn were moved to another district while I was still had two more days in Kyoto. It was such a qualm I knew cause by then, we could keep in touch wherever we were. Just to let you know Joe, Svewn, it was a pleasure we could meet in Japan guys, wherever you are, be happy and don’t stop exploring this earth while we are young. Cheers, Azis.

Tokyo | 2


“Is this 6am already?”

When you woke and found the day was so bright, it could be a sign to wake up earlier the next day. A question I asked myself almost every morning when in Japan was “how could I slept only four to five hours and found the dazzling light from the bathroom’s window by 6am? Is it 6am or 9am?”. It could be worse if you have nearsighted like me and found a harsh light early morning. Was it because I traveled in summer?

Talking about summer in Japan is YES! It is extremely hot. I’ve been living in West Africa for years so I know what is the meaning of “HOT” weather. But in Japan, summer can be unrelentingly humid. Though I had SPF50 and SPF25 with me, Japanese summer still made my skin three shades darker. If on my first day I wore my Zara jacket during the day at Sensō-ji and Tokyo Tower cause I forgot to drop it in the hostel, I already gave up on the second day. Comfortable sheer tee is a must for summer and no jeans please, khaki shorts is much better. A side from the humid, there was nothing precluded me to enjoy Tokyo.


“Oh OK, day two was meant to be “morning guys, here is my cute caffè latte” moment on my Instagram page”


On the second day, I left my hostel before 9am and took train to Shibuya station. I trusted Google map would drive me to a place where I could sit down and enjoying my morning coffee. I was hoping that dessert in the morning wasn’t a sin, too. Coffee and dessert could be a friend forever, at least that is what I have in my own dictionary.

When I arrived at Shibuya I was following every steps based on what Google map told me. I must confess that I’m not bad if you ask “Are you great reading a map?”. Yes, I’m not that bad but in Tokyo, where internet is extremely swift, I had to make sure that I didn’t run out of battery even I brought my power bank. I needed my iPhone and internet ‘ready’ when I had to move to the next destination. It could be a reason why I was lost and couldn’t find the coffee shop I’d been eyeing to spend my morning at.

I thanked God that Zara, Topman, Adidas, and H&M weren’t open yet when I was faffing in the morning. If not, I would call myself a liar cause “hey Azis, you said you wanted to do light travel but brough pieces of Zara home?”

Yet I was a liar that day for some pieces from Uniqlo. Apologise.


Day two, I was still relied on Lawson and those supermarkets where I could find something easy for breakfast. Dorayaki and a cup of Starbucks latte was in my hand before I sat down to enjoy matcha shaved ice and a warm chocolate croissant at St Marc Cafe Shibuya. If you just visited this blog, you must know that I’m a huge fan of croissant :). It was still humid but drizzling outside there and I stayed inside a cafe where the smell of fresh croissants was in the air.




Talking about Shibuya, it would be a shame if you travel to Tokyo and not take a walk across the famous intersection. It was an experience indeed when I was among “the scramble”. It was like marbles spilling out of a box by the time the lights turn red. Either in the afternoon or clear evening, pretty sure it’s mandatory experiencing Shibuya crossing.

After I experienced by myself I went to the Starbucks in the Tsutaya building on the crossing’s north side. It was a time for me to observe the “chaos” down there and took some pictures with my iPhone. Cloudy noon with grey lights made it a bit challenging capturing this crossing with no proper lens. But I found that is quite interesting with a cut-out effect, nah? (click on the image to zoom).




I was enjoying my raspberry iced tea while having a conversation with a middle-age woman from Australia (a country that has kangaroos :P) at Starbucks. She took two days off from her group and enjoying Tokyo by herself before went for a day tour cruise to Mt Fuji the next day. It was so good we had a short time sharing our stories and few random things we loved about Japan.





Right after Shibuya crossing I moved to Harajuku, the centre of Japanese youth culture and fashion. I didn’t spend time exploring Takeshita Dori and just took 2 pcs too-sweet crunchy puff pastry from Croquant Chou ZakuZaku for lunch before heading to one of the most popular shrines in Japan, Meiji Shrine.


“I love the fact that in Tokyo, as busy as it is, we can still find a huge greens at Meiji Shrine”








At Meiji Shrine I realised that I didn’t take single picture of myself in front of those landmarks. This could be one reason why I should have selfie stick, no? Thanks to iPhone’s front camera for two selfies but I said “come on, being a little garish in Japan is not a sin Zis, ask that man to help you with one or two shots under the Torii gate”, and I did :) I asked an Indian man after he asked me to take picture with his family, that I knew they live in Malaysia after his grandma was guessing if I speak Melayu.




Two hours spent at Meiji Shrine and I had to move to find halal food. Sweet snacks, pastries, and those ice creams couldn’t satisfy me. I needed a time to sit down and enjoy heavy meal because in Tokyo, everyday seems like an exercise day. I mentioned on this post what I did was half-half. Half of me wanted to explore places as many as I could, another half was enjoying every moment out of my itinerary.

I must confess that I didn’t do serious research for halal food before I flew to Tokyo. Much better to look at the nearest location where I stood that day though it was a bit difficult yet challenging. Google map told me that the nearest location for halal food was at Ōyama-chō district. Well, I didn’t mind for Turkish food cause hey, I would find rice right? :) typical Indonesian. I took train to Yoyogi Uehara Station and I just realised it showed Tokyo Camii Mosque on my iPhone.

When I arrived and checked my map just to make sure I was at the right place, I was wondering where was the restaurant. While I kept looking I entered to the mosque and aw, it wowed me. The restaurant is in the ground floor while the mosque in the first floor. After I prayed and took some pictures of course I found that, “OMG the restaurant just closed and the Turkish food in my mind disappeared instantly”, I didn’t regret anything. For me, as a moslem, it was interesting I accidentally paid a visit to the largest mosque in Japan (will post the beauty of Tokyo Camii separately :)).


“Don’t call me Azis if I’m easily give-up for something I’m looking for. Mark my words :)”


From Tokyo Camii I took train to Shinjukugyoen-Mae station to find halal food for my dinner. I promised to myself when in Japan I had to try authentic Japanese food as much as I could, and ramen was among. It was past 7pm till I found the location of a restaurant for vegan and halal noodle called Halal Ramen Ouka. It is a very small restaurant where you really have to wait to get a seat. And I had to wait an hour+ till I could sit down and finally had a ramen for dinner. Here is the best shot of the ramen from my iPhone, I’m a bit fastidious if I have to photograph my food but for this one, it was an exception.



“I’m thankful for my brain that can capture moment vividly with all the details”


I still remember all the details behind the ramen picture above. When I was waiting for my seat outside, there was a bunch of five Indonesians were waiting to have a dinner too. Three women and two men. Two of them are working and other two are studying in Japan, the last one was a traveler. How do you know Zis? Oh come on, they spoke Indonesian so I understood :D.  Funny enough I kept silent and wondering in mind like “oh girl, you can’t laugh that loud in Japan, and this is past 8pm already”. You may think that Azis is introvert? Can’t talk to people? Is it not exciting if you meet your people in another part of the world? It is.

But wait, I’m not introvert :) I used to be, but how can I survive in West Africa where vibrant people live if I’m introvert? I’m very open person chiefly when I travel. I love meeting people from different countries, I love making friend. I love learning something from you, guys. But manner is important and it depends on you as a person, wherever you come from. So in my opinion, when I found someone laughed at 8 pm in Tokyo? No, for me it was not appropriate. We really have to be mindful where we are, right?  I feel more comfortable having conversation with an Indonesian lady that works in Ouka restaurant rather than joining ‘the loud team’ :P

And I still remember vividly too, when it was raining before I entered the restaurant. All those street lamps, the street scene, the rain drops, conversation I had with a father and his 20+ old daughter from Qatar and a stylish European couple. How could I still remember the huge strawberry pattern on the guy’s shirt? he was so damn stylish with light brown khaki short while the lady wore a short embroidery bralette top with high waist slim skirt in red and black. They are blonde so both outfits were looking so fantastic on them. I’m very visual so all those details were sticked on my mind :P.

I ended my day two in Tokyo with a bowl of hot spicy ramen, cold matcha, and authentic Japanese ambiance when it was still raining outside. Was it a better idea than that?

Asparagus & Colors




Since I’m still working on a travel post, let me just share these pictures here. Taken on last Sunday when I came back from grocery shopping, after an afternoon well-spent with kind-hearted friend of mine. I just couldn’t resist for baby asparagus and those pretties.

“How could I move to Europe for berries since here is bloody expensive!”







“I used to mention on this blog that berries is something I can’t compromise. And found that I can eat raw baby asparagus, just like I enjoy carrot”


An iPhone picture above was my breakfast like a Prince I cooked this morning.

How could I remember that two weeks ago on Wednesday I flew from Indonesia and it just felt like a day before yesterday? Where has the time gone?


Tokyo | 1




“Oh, Tokyo gave me a lot of surprises”


Surprises was started with few dramas.

A day before I extended my passport I found something surprising. I spent four years studying Product Design and the most important document a.k.a bachelor’s certificate disappeared from my uni-file?’ LOST? How, Azis? HOW? oh, did I mention I lost my certificate of birth, too?

I had no clue where they were. Till I had to tell myself to keep calm because I knew it was strange and kind of non-sense. Perhaps because of that my brain was frozen when I was at the immigration office the day after. An officer was asking me, “you work outside country, where is your leave letter?” And she was asking my letter of employment contract, too? Those were needed to extend a passport? Definitely NO! I looked like a fool when my extension was postponed cause I thought what I should do was standing on her table and screamed like ‘HEY YOU! I JUST WANTED TO EXTEND MY PASSPORT, NOT APPLYING FOR VISA!”

That was drama number one.

Two days later I had to leave my house around 5am and wishing it was early enough to avoid the queue in the immigration office. It wasn’t that bad till realised I was busy counting sheeps in my head. I had to fly to Bali for a family vacation by 12pm and almost 10am they didn’t call my name? I brought the same requirements and clear mind that if I had to face the same officer and she postponed my passport again, believe me I won’t stand on her table alone. I would make her frustrated by watching me dancing like late Michael Jackson.

Five minutes to 10am my name was called and another officer was checking my old passport and offered me e-passport. Trust me, when she was asking when I would fly to Japan, my eyes were looking at the suck officer that made me lost two days. Just ten minutes after her colleague took my picture, I left with a smile on my face.

Drama number two was I arrived at the wrong airport where my mom and sisters were waiting since three hours ago (hell why I dreamt I would fly to Bali from International airport, not domestic!). Running like a headless chicken to meet my family and what happened, DANG! our flight was delayed for two fucking hours! Say what? Holy shit cheap flights!

The day I had to take my new passport, I had another minor drama. Arrived in the morning and found that it wasn’t ready and hey I had to come back on 3pm and a lady said, “tomorrow morning please”? I started panicking. NO FUCKING WAY I had to lose one more day to apply my Japan visa. Fifteen minutes waiting, the same lady said, “yours is ready”.

Yes, I was ready for Japan, honey.


I was so confident when I applied my Japan visa. Probably because I knew Indonesia has a strong relationship with Japan so it won’t that difficult to get the visa. Since I couldn’t get e-passport because I ran out of time, and I had paid my flight since a month before, it meant that applying visa is a must (Indonesian e-passport is free visa to Japan). And I was impressed by how fast and straight-forward the process getting visa at Consulate-General of Japan. I got my visa just four days before I traveled.

So, on 31st of July, after I packed my things in my small suitcase, with one backpack, I left my house at 5pm. Did I mention that minutes before I said bye to my Dad, I showed him my passport with Japan visa attached on it? Sometimes that small surprise could be so entertaining. If I shouldn’t say that he was a bit shocked.


First of August, fifty minutes past 8am I landed at Haneda Airport after nine hours flight from Surabaya. Japan welcomed me with cherry-blossoms pattern on the carpet (they brand their country so seriously), cloudy morning, and Japanese kanji everywhere.

First thing first, I put on my pocket wi-fi, went straight to the immigration (and how I loved Japanese immigration with their smiles and hospitality), bought Pasmo card, activated my JRPass, and the journey began.



I still remember how it felt the first time I took a train to Hamamatsucho station. A bit strange yet exciting. Hearing Japanese language was pronounced while making sure I checked my map where I had to change to the next station. I realised when I arrived at Asakusabashi station, I was a solo traveler who traveled to a beautiful country which I knew, it would be a surprising journey.


“Traveling on summer in Japan, say hi to hi-humid days”


Checking time in my hostel is start by 3pm. I actually wanted to go straight to what I had in my itinerary, Tokyo Skytree. I’d like to experience my first day to see Tokyo from above. Well, first time landed in Tokyo and still learning the complicated train lines would let you change your destination.

I moved back to Asakusabashi station and went to the hostel to check-in. Then I went straight to the oldest and most significant temple in Tokyo, Sensō-ji. I heard a lot about Sensō-ji before, that giant red lantern, osuisha, and damn cute things flooded along Nakamise Dori.

At Sensō-ji, there was one thing shocked me. When I brought out my mirrorless to capture every details of the temple, DANG! the shutter didn’t work. Yes, it was OMG moment. Had no choice but using the camera on my iPhone was the best I could do. All pictures you will see on my Japan-trip posts all were taken with an iPhone. The best camera is what it is in your hand, right?

This is what I love from traveling. Something can happen. Unexpected. I’m griddy for beautiful pictures if I may say, so when I found I couldn’t even snap one single picture with my mirrorless in Japan, I felt somehowe for a second but couldn’t keep smiling for the rest of that day. It taught me to keep positive and enjoy with what I had. The best part was I enjoyed the moment.

“Live the moment”










“I should spend my Japanese ¥ to experience that jinrikisha, right?”


Tokyo Tower

“I know I’ve been dreaming standing under The Eiffel Tower in Paris which I believe it will happen very soon”

I could actually see Tokyo Skytree from Sensō-ji but still, I chose to experience Tokyo Tower instead. Google map would tell you ten minutes walk, but ten minutes could be fifteen or twenty if you just arrived at somewhere new. 

I arrived around 4pm at Tokyo Tower which looks like Eiffel’s sister (now you know why I chose Tokyo Tower) and spent ¥1600 for a combo ticket. Enjoying Tokyo from 150M and 250M was an experience. I wanted to stay for golden-hour on my first day but left cause I wasn’t sure when I saw the clouds. Couldn’t imagine if I stayed until night, all the city lights would mesmerise me, I believe.

My fav one below is the “Tokyo, from above”. See, iPhone was not bad if you know how to use it, right? :)








Day one taught me how to enjoy each destination and live the moment. Something unexpected can happen but you just need to enjoy every second of it, right? :)

Believe it or not I wanted to cancel my trip just because of two things. First, my two bestfriends, Ruli and Maya were meant to travel with me to Tokyo. We had conversations before I landed in Indonesia but for some reasons they couldn’t go with me. Second, as far as I knew Tokyo is expensive. Japan is expensive. Oh, “should I let the money I paid for full-service flight disappeared and cancelled the trip?” I could even use pocket money for my this trip to build my kitchen, yes? 

But there was one thing came out in my mind,


And traveling could be one of that life experience that worth every penny. Traveling will teach you how you should enjoy your life by experiencing the beauty of this earth.



P.S. I didn’t want to post this trip one by one, but a ton of iPhone pictures from Japan will be too crowded on one post. So, more to come! oh my Dad found the two certificates after I came back from Bali trip.


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