“Javanese edelweiss” is not Alps edelweiss

Kenapa saya tiba-tiba ngomong tentang bunga edelweiss?

(Flash back 15-16 tahun yang lalu)

Dulu setiap ada anak MAPALA (Mahasiswa Pecinta Alam) pulang abis naik gunung, mereka selalu bawa oleh-oleh buat saya satu ikat bunga yang mereka sebut sebagai bunga edelweiss. Katanya ini bunga abadi dan cuma ada di daerah pegunungan. Nah karena setiap anak MAPALA pulang saya selalu dikasih itu bunga, makanya saya berpikiran ini bunga pasti ga langka, ada di semua pegunungan di indonesia.

(fast forward April 2016)

Saya dan pacar lagi bahas soal rencana hiking buat bulan depan ke Alpine route japan. Teringatlah saya tentang si bunga edelweiss ini kemudian saya tanya ke pacar.

“Do you know edelweiss flower?. I remember my friends used to gave me that flower everytime they climb a mountain”

“Really? That’s an endangered plant, even in swiss alps it’s hard to find  and if you do you can not pick them”

“They’re easy to find in Indonesiaan mountain”

(2 minggu kemudian)

Karena penasaran, kemudian saya googling “edelweiss”, dan ternyata gambar bunga yang muncul beda dengan yang dulu sering dikasih teman. Setelah riset kecil-kecilan di google, ternyata dua bunga ini berbeda. bunga yang di temukan di pegunungan indonesia adalah jenis Anaphalis javanica sedangkan yang di eropa dari jenis Leontopodium alpinum. Genus nya saja sudah berbeda, mungkin karena sama-sama bunga abadi maka orang-orang indonesia menyebutnya bunga “edelweiss” juga.

Sekian laporan dari Osaka

 

 

 

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Japan in every season

Back in my home country The Great Indonesia we only has 2 seasons in one year; summer and rainy. Here in Japan I experienced what it feels like to live in a 4 seasons country. I must say I really love it because summer, which is the hottest time of the year is very short,only 2 months (july and august) with temperature peak up in August. Imagine in Indonesia we have summer all through the year, LOL!. The color is also changing in every season. I don’t know with others countries but here in Japan i can easily notice the color and atmosphere changes.
First, Let’s start with winter. My first experienced with snow was here in Japan, the first time i experienced temperature below 0 degree Celsius. Osaka, the city where I live, winter is not so bad, the lowest temperature is only -5, and sadly snow is  very seldom in Osaka, even when it falls it’ll diasappear very soon. If you’re looking for a thick pile of snow the best place to visit is Hokkaido and Gifu. Every february there is an ice festival in Sapporo, it’ll be the best time to experience Hokkaido in winter.  One noticeable thing with winter in Japan is Illumination. You will see illumination in every city.
Then after winter come spring the season that everyone loves but me. Since I moved here to Japan, I found out that I have allergy to pollen. I have this spring skin diseases (especially on my face) that even my SK-II combo can`t help. Thanks to my secretary, she gave me a lotion from a dermatologist “hirudoid” i can fully enjoy spring.
After spring and several of rainy weeks in june and july comes summer. I come from a tropical country but i really dislike summer in Japan. I can’t stand the humidity, the rule is you go out of the house you sweat. The specialty in summer is the fireworks festival. almost every city has their own fireworks festival.
Autumn is the most beautiful season for me, the vibrant red and orange colors meet the mild temperature. Kyoto is the best for viewing the momiji leaves.
You can visit japan for all season, of course spring and autumn are the best time to visit.

A visit to Higashiyama kyoto, Hanatouro (花灯路) event

Yesterday I visited one of the famous お寺(temple) in Kyoto which is 清水寺(kiyomizudera). This is a Buddhist temple  and one of UNESCO world heritage. This temple is known for its large veranda where you can get to see the city of Kyoto from its veranda, you can even spot Kyoto Tower from here. But I was unlucky yesterday, because the pagoda and some of the veranda are still under-maintenance. The view is breathtakingly amazing from the veranda, it’d be more amazing in Autumn I think. the other bad luck that happened yesterday was the temperature. we are supposed to be entering the spring this month but yesterday night the  temperature is drop to 4 degree. I was freezing cold, I didn’t wear winter clothes only thin blouse under my coat. despite that my fingers were freezing i managed to take some photos.

Below the temple there is a little park with pond and some sakura tree, I will come again when the sakura is blooming, I bet it’ll be beautiful.
Next time when the weather is warmer I will go back again to Kyoto in daylight for better photos. I want a Good Camera now. this 2 years I always depend on my iphone for taking photos.
On our way down hill we passed the 東山 street that have one pagoda, I don’t know the name of the pagoda. this street is like an ancient Japanese street, and during march they have this  hanatouro event where they lit up the street with japanese lamp.
Plan to move to another temple, were too tired and cold. so decided to come again another day. 
I never like temple visit, but I think I’ll enjoy temple visit in Kyoto. 

Review: Nakamura Toukichi honten. It’s a Matcha Paradise

Who Doesn’t like Matcha?
Matcha is a finely milled Japanese green tea. even when I lived in Indonesia I already loved matcha. Now that I live here in Japan I feel like I’m in “Matcha Paradise”, You can easily find anything with matcha here, such as; KitKat matcha, chocolate matcha, Hagen-daz matcha, matcha cheese cake, matcha crackers and the list goes on.

Honestly I don’t know how a good matcha taste like. So far I had only visited one matcha cafe, Nana’s Green tea, this cafe is also available in Singapore if I’m not wrong. I always want to try an original Japanese matcha store. I asked my secretary for recommendation, she recommended nakamura tokichi honten. She said that this is one of the most famous matcha cafe in Japan (or Kansai)

So last saturday I decided to visit the store. The original store is uji (1,5 hours by train from Osaka), because we left Osaka at 3PM so we went to the branch store in kyoto eki.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/119227139@N03/12893767645/player/e4a3cb8d46

The restaurant is located in 3F Suvaco Isetan. the entrance is very japanese style as you can see in the picture above. It is always full, The interior design is very simple with cream and matcha color.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/119227139@N03/12893852273/player/b969354ed0

https://www.flickr.com/photos/119227139@N03/12894202004/player/fb15b1d627

The menu price is moderate around 500-2000 yen. The menu has many variations from matcha soba, matcha jelly, matcha cheese cake. parfait, matcha drinks, etc. I ordered a set of matcha jelly with mochi and 3 scoops of matcha ice cream

https://www.flickr.com/photos/119227139@N03/12894209884/player/a83dddfd38

https://www.flickr.com/photos/119227139@N03/12893898013/player/cbc1c35253

I put one scoop of ice cream into the matcha jelly and mixed it as per told by the waiter, actually she told me to put all the ice cream. I never like matcha jelly, but this one definitely changed it. the Jelly is done perfectly not too hard or too soft and the taste is bitter sweet even before i mixed it with the ice cream. I think mixing it with matcha ice cream is the best way to eat the matcha jelly. Even when I left the restaurant I still can’t forget the taste. I will definitely comeback to try the others menu.

For me this is the most delicious matcha so far, but I plan to explore more, checking another famous matcha cafe in Kyoto. For everyone who is going to visit japan/kyoto you should try this shop.

I’m in Love and hate with Japan

I decided to create this blog special for my life in Japan. Been living here for 2 years, Seen a lot of places, Experienced many Things.
I do whines a lot about Japan, especially the society. despite all of that I must admit that as a country Japan is all you need; good public transportation, safe, clean and not to mention the money is really good here.

This country is really beautiful. Every season has its own color and theme. will explain in details in later post.