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?

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.