Menyambut Tahun Baru Dengan Tradisi Hatsumoude

Di Jepang terdapat tradisi yang unik dalam rangka menyambut tahun baru. Tradisi itu disebut Hatsumoude. Hatsumoude adalah kunjungan pertama ke kuil Buddha atau Shinto pada awal tahun baru dalam rangka berdoa untuk memohon kedamaian di tahun yang baru. Hatsumoude mulai dilakukan selepas detik-detik pergantian tahun. Menjelang pergantian tahun, orang-orang biasanya sudah mengantri di kuil-kuil untuk membunyikan lonceng kuil dan menghaturkan doa mengawali tahun yang baru.

Tahun 2013 yang lalu, saya dan adik saya berkesempatan untuk berpartisipasi pada tradisi tersebut. Pada tanggal 31 Desember 2012 kebetulan kami sedang berada di Osaka. Kami menginap di sebuah hostel murah di dekat Tsuitenkaku. Menjelang tengah malam, tamu-tamu hostel yang rata-rata orang asing sudah berkumpul di lobi hostel untuk pergi ke bar-bar sekitar untuk merayakan malam pergantian tahun. Namun tidak demikian bagi saya dan adik saya. Karena Desember di Jepang bertepatan dengan musim dingin, kami menunggu di hostel sampai sekitar pukul 10 malam sebelum meninggalkan hostel dan pergi menuju kuil Shinto. Meskipun kuilnya tidak terlalu jauh, kami harus naik kereta bawah tanah dari hostel kami untuk menuju ke kuil tersebut. Saya lupa nama kuilnya, tapi kuil tersebut di rekomendasikan oleh sebuah majalah lokal jika ingin melakukan hatsumoude.

 

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Pintu gerbang Kuil

Kami tiba di kuil sekitar pukul 11 malam, dan ternyata antrian untuk masuk ke kuil sudah mengular sangat panjang hingga ke jalan. Suasana di kuil sudah mirip seperti festival. Banyak stand-stand yang menjual makanan dan berbagai macam barang. Meskipun suhu udara saat itu hampir mencapai nol derajat celcius, tidak menyurutkan niat orang-orang Jepang yang ingin melakukan Hatsumoude. Mungkin kami satu-satunya orang asing yang ikut-ikutan ngantri di depan kuil pada waktu itu.

 

dsc00272dsc00288Dibutuhkan waktu sekitar 4 jam untuk kami sampai ke depan altar tempat berdoa. Selama menunggu 4 jam tersebut, kami bergantian mengantri. Jika saya masuk ke ruangan kantin yang hangat, adik saya yang mengantri. Demikian pula sebaliknya, ketika dia yang istirahat di kantin, saya yang mengantri. Di kantin, mereka menjual mie kuah hangat. Jualan mie kuah ini ternyata juga ada filosofinya jika dikaitkan dengan tahun baru. Katanya, orang Jepang makan mie di tahun baru supaya umur panjang, seperti mie yang dimakan. Ada-ada saja ya.

 

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Hampir sampai

Selain tradisi makan mie, orang Jepang juga suka dengan ramalan. Di saat momen Hatsumode ini, selain berdoa, mereka juga mengambil ramalan (secara acak) yang tersedia di kuil-kuil. Kalau ramalannya baik, kertasnya bisa di bawa pulang. Tapi kalau isi ramalannya buruk, kertasnya diikat di pohon atau di tali yang disediakan supaya nasip buruk tidak ikut bersama kita. Saya dan adik saya dengan semangat ikut mengambil ramalan yang tersedia di kuil tersebut. Belakangan baru saya ketahui dari teman saya orang Jepang, kalau mengambil ramalan itu cukup sekali saja dalam 1 tahun. Padahal saya selalu mengambil ramalan setiap kali berkunjung ke kuil. Hahaha. Yah namanya juga turis.

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Ramalan yang buruk diikat di tali-tali yang telah disediakan dan supaya nasib buruk tidak mengikuti kita

 

Setelah membunyikan lonceng dan ikut berdoa di kuil, kami kembali ke hostel kami. Saat itu hampir jam 3 pagi, dan untungnya subway khusus hari itu beroperasi sampai pagi (biasanya hanya sampai jam 10-11 malam).

 

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Hatsumoude di Fushimi Inari
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Jimat keberuntungan

Hatsumoude biasanya dilakukan sampai dengan 3 hari setelah tahun baru. Keesokan harinya kami pergi ke Kyoto dan mengunjungi beberapa kuil terkenal seperti Fushimi Inari dan Kiyomizu, masih terlihat antrian orang dimana-mana yang ingin berdoa di kuil.

 

 

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Batu Cinta/Love Stone di Kuil Kiyomizu, Kyoto
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Hatsumoude di Kuil Kiyomizu, Kyoto

Saya pikir tradisi ini baik sekali. Mengawali tahun yang baru dengan berdoa di kuil dalam ketenangan. Jauh dari hingar bingar panggung gembira, terompet dan kembang api pergantian tahun. Mungkin bisa coba dipraktekan di Indonesia di tempat ibadah masing-masing. Bagaimana dengan pembaca? Selamat tahun baru 2017 ya! Semoga di tahun yang baru ini, kita semua selalu dalam kesehatan, keselamatan dan keberkahan. Cheers! (npa).

 

Skiing at Mount Rokko

I’ve always wanted to try skiing someday. The chance to try it came when I was studying in Japan. On one sunny winter in January 2013, I discovered that there’s a Ski resort located in Mount Rokko, Kobe. Not too far from the place where I studied. So after gathering some information on the internet about the resort, I went there with some of my friends, none of us have ever tried Ski before.

We lived in Kansai International Center located in Tajiri Town. That’s just a station away from Kansai International Airport. First we had to reach Kobe city. We had 2 options, by train that will take probably 2 hours, or by ferry that will only take us around 1 hour to reach the city of Kobe. We chose the second option. Reaching the city was the easy part. From the Kobe harbour we were transfered to Kobe Station and from there we had to change train to Rokko station and take another bus to the resort. The total travel time was approximately 4 hours. I never expected to take this much time just to reach the ski resort. But at least we arrived. Haha.

Half way to the Ski Resort
Half way to the Ski Resort

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Asking for direction.
Asking for direction

To reach the resort, visitors could use the special train service that will bring visitors straight to the bus terminal on the mountain. At the other end of the special train, we had to take another bus to the Ski Resort. We departed at 7 in the morning and arrived at 11 in the afternoon.

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The entrance fee to the resort was 2500 Yen. I thought this was the only amount of money that we’ll have to spend at the Ski Resort. But I was wrong. The price to rent the Skiing gear was another thing. To rent the Ski gear along with the clothing was 5000 Yen! It was quite expensive, but we couldn’t turn back so we paid the amount. The first problem I encountered was the Ski clothes. I had to change 3 times to find the trousers that fits my fat body. The second problem was finding the right ski shoes for my first ski experience. And the last one, the most important one, I had to figure out by myself how to slide using the ski gear.

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At the changing room of the Ski Resort

I thought it’ll be easy. In fact, it was reaaaaally hard just to stand up by yourself from sitting position while using a ski gear. Secondly, it was reaaally hard to walk or slide while wearing the ski board as well. Once I slided down the low hill, it’ll be a problem climbing up the hill (eventhough the hill was low). We should’ve take a beginner lesson. The only person able to master sliding and stopping while using the gear was Fira. The other 4 girls failed miserably (except maybe Nazik who had better control over herself while sliding than us). But at least I got some nice pictures of myself in skiing gear. Hehe.

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Sleeping on the snow. Not. They just fell.

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As I stated before, it was reaally hard climbing up the hill while wearing the ski gear so we used to elevator instead. It was a short ride but it was fun. There was no brake when riding the elevator. So we had to be ready to sit when the chair came and jump right away after we reached the other end of the elevator. Otherwise we will be taken back to the starting point of the elevator.

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The Ski Elevator

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We close the day by having some hot ramen on our way back to the center. This time we ride the train to go back because we missed the last boat from Kobe to Kansai Airport. It was a tiring day, but we had so much fun having our first ski experience. (npa)

How to Onsen

Greetings lovely readers! Merry (belated) christmas and Happy (belated) new year 2015! We are so sorry for not updating for quite a long time. Everyone has been busy with their works and holidays. Some of us just got back from a Euro trip and the other from a China trip (I’m going too at end of this month. YAY). Let’s hope they will update their stories soon!

Enough with the chitchat, today I’m gonna share with you on how to take a bath in an Onsen. Onsen (温泉) is a term for hotspring in Japanese language. However, the term is often used to describe the bathing facilities and inns around the onsen. It was traditionally used as public bathing places and now play an important role in Japanese domestic tourism.a0001_012001

Personally, I think it’s a must to have a dip in an onsen while you are in Japan. Though for foreigners the idea of getting naked with a whole lot strangers might seemed… strange. At first I also against the idea of having a bath in an onsen. But let me tell you this, it was not worth it to be reluctant trying an onsen. Once you are already in the water, you’ll be thankful that you didn’t miss one of the best thing life could offer. If I may quote Naruto I’d say, “Believe it!”

I was quite lucky that my first encounter with onsen was in a Ryokan (a Japanese style inn) in Miyajima island (just a 30 minutes away by boat from Hiroshima city). I went there as part of a study trip with my group from the Center. Upon entering the onsen, there’s a changing room. You have to put off your clothes (all of them) no swim wear allowed. Before taking a dip in the water, clean yourself first at the bathing section not far from the pool. Usually soap and shampoo are also provided. After you are cleaned, enter the pool quietly. No jumping and don’t splash water everywhere. Don’t dip your towel in the water or worse wash them in the water. No swimming as well. Just sit in the water and enjoy the heat. Don’t talk too loud and respect other people in the bath. Of course, no camera is allowed inside the onsen as well. Enjoy the bath for 20 minutes at max and get out of the water. Clean your body again with water in the bathing section and walk out to change your clothes. After an onsen, don’t forget to hydrate yourself by drinking much water.the-amazing-onsen2012-12-20-1804Refresh after onsen. (Miyajima island)

Having a dip in an onsen is good to ease the fatigue in our body. Especially for travelers who have walked so much during their travel. Onsen in Japan is a cheap option compare to having a massage. My fave one is located in the middle of Osaka. It is called “Spa World”.DSC09728Ticket vending machine to the onsen in Spa WorldDSC09731DSC09734Entrance to the bathislamic-bathIslamic bath in Spa Worldp12-jenkins-spa-world-c-20140419European bathphoto_baliBalinese bath

Though I’m not sure if they get the hot water from a hot spring or not, the place was really fancy. With a 1000 yen, you can enjoy all the onsen facility to your heart content. There are 2 baths, the european bath and the asian bath. Every month they swap the bath to be used by men and women. Of course it’s a separate bath. Personally, I like to go alone to an onsen. That way, I don’t have to see my friends or family naked -_- Only people I don’t know.

So, bear in mind if you happen to visit Japan, put onsen as one of your to do list. There are a lot of options to choose. Do your research and have a try! (npa)

Spa World Osaka is located in Shinsekai near Hitachi/Osaka Tower.

As I said before, It’s not allowed to take picture inside the bath. So, some of the pictures I post here are from the internet.

Sleeping at the Airport

It was winter of December 2012. I was on a study trip to Hiroshima on the day my little brother landed in Kansai International Airport to visit me a little later in the morning. I was scheduled to reach Osaka later at night around 7 PM while my brother was supposed to arrived around 9 AM in the morning. He didn’t contact me until midday to which I kept contacting the center to make sure whether he has arrived or not. Finally a little later after midday the front desk people at the center told me that he has arrived safe and sound at the center.

Later in the evening I arrived in Osaka by Shinkansen along with my trainee group from Hiroshima to Osaka station. There was a bus already waiting for us to take us back to the center.  Feared of traffic and restless of the fact that I might not arrive at the center quick enough to catch our flight (yes, me and my brother has a flight at 8.30 PM that night) to Tokyo, I rode the train instead of the bus prepared. However, in the end the bus arrived at the center faster than me who rode the train. Damn.

Arriving at the center I frantically asked the front desks people of the being of my brother since he was no where to be seen. They said that he was just there sitting, waiting for me. One of the guy said that he saw my brother talking to one of my friend who arrived earlier by the bus and he took him to the cafeteria. I rushed there and found my brother was about to have dinner with my friends. Geez. I excuse the both of us to my friends and proceed to the airport to catch our flight. We arrived later that night in Narita Airport without too much hassles.

That was the second time I spent a night sleeping at the airport. It’s never comfortable to sleep in a public places like that. But this is Tokyo we’re talking about and it was in the middle of the night and spending the money to stay at a hotel nearby for a couple of hours is really a waste of money for backpackers like us. So we decided to sleep at the airport. However, on contrary with my first experience sleeping at the airport in Basel, Switzerland, sleeping in Narita is a lot harder.

My little brother. The only picture he took in Narita Airport.DSCF9515First we occupied some seat along with other passengers who seemed to have the same intention like us but a few minutes later some officials of the airport shoo us away from our spot. Finding another spot to sleep, our luck was no different, another official shoo us away again and told us not to sleep on the bench there. I asked one officer in Japanese, why are  we not allowed to sleep in any of the bench but he just said “because”. But since I was asking in Japanese politely he agreed to find us a spot to sleep since it was too late to find accomodation and I said we’ll leave with the first train in the morning.

Finally we were granted a not too crowded spot at the departure hall. We sat on the bench and tried to sleep but a little far from our bench was the automatic door that separated us from the entrance so everytime someone enter the airport we were greeted by the cold wind of winter! It was a long long day. In the morning I was in Hiroshima and then back in Osaka and now in Tokyo. My brother was no different. He just had a long flight from Jakarta and after waiting for me for hours in Osaka, he had to fly again to Tokyo (all just to catch the Jump Fiesta). And apparantly, the day hasn’t over yet. A couple of hours later, the officials came and checked on everyone’s passport and plane tickets to make sure that the people sleeping there has an early flight tomorrow morning so their being at the airport that night was justifiable.

When it came to our turn (I was affraid they would kick us out in the middle of the night to the evil winter outside) I presented our passports and told them that we had to catch the first train in the morning. Not too convincing, eh? But maybe the japanese that I used saved me from my situation that time.  And so that described our experience of sleeping in Narita. A piece of advise, avoid a late night flight to Narita unless you are prepared to have the same experience as us. (npa)

Mangacon and Naruto

Since last Thursday (6/11) they released the last chapter of Naruto manga, I have been feeling sad and was trying to move on from the fact that it has already ended. Despite the fact that I’m not quite happy with how it ends. Yes, the story that I have been following for the past 8 years (I’m a little bit late to know Naruto) has finally come to an end. So to cerish the moments I want to write story of when I came to the Jump Fiesta back in 2012, the first and maybe the last Jump Fiesta I’ll ever visited.

DSCF9529Jump Fiesta 2012

Jump Fiesta is a manga conference held by the manga magazine Shonen Jump every December. That year, it was held on December 22nd-23rd. I and my brother departed from Osaka in the evening by airplane. We arrived late at Tokyo and spent the night at the airport. Early in the morning we went to our hostel that was located in Nakano. I printed a map on how to get to the venue of Jump Fiesta, but it wasn’t so clear. Fortunately, the people in our hostel helped us in reading the map. So we took the train and went to the venue.

It was raining that morning, but the event was held indoor so we had no problem with the rain. There was a really long line when we arrived there. But there was another very short line. So we took that one to get into the venue. I’m not sure about the long line, but I think it has something to do with original manga submission or something. Maybe the people who were lining up wanted to become a mangaka (manga author). The entrance was free anyway. The venue consisted of 3 huge halls, each displaying different stuffs. They had giant balloons in the shape of anime characters, action figures, cosplayers, manga, CD, DVD, you name it. I recognized some foreigners as well, attending the Fiesta like I did.  I was super excited seeing all anime stuffs there.DSCF9541Schedule book of the 2 days event.

As if not wanting to miss a single booths there, we peek into each booth as some of them had a very long line to get into. We listened to some free music demo and bought some manga, music CD, and anime DVD along the way. I need to rethink of my spending after this as I spent quite much at that time. They held interviews in some of the booths (the one that was very crowded and had a very long line) with anime seiyuus as well. However no mangaka was seen in any of the booth. Figures, I bet they were occupied drawing manga thus they can’t come to such event.DSCF9535DSCF9546DSCF9547DSCF9559Ordering Naruto the Movie : Road to NinjaDSCF9569DSCF9572Listening to some music demo.DSCF9582DSCF9595Lining up just to have a look on the displays.DSCF9568Went on a shopping spree.DSCF9607Seiyuu event.DSCF9621Some cosplayers.DSCF9637Btw it was in the middle of winter and this was outdoor and he was bare chested. Salut to you Roronoa Zoro!DSCF9623Another one :pDSCF9628DSCF9602Some messages from Kishimoto-sensei : “The last chapters are coming up. I will do my best next year too!!” #IThink

We wandered around the halls so much especially in hall 2 as the cosplayers gathered there. I spent so much time taking pictures of them which now I regreted because in hall 3 they were holding Jump Super Stage featuring Naruto seiyuus, Junko Takeuchi (Naruto’s voice) and Sugiyama Noriaki (Sasuke’s voice). I read some information about Jump Super Stage and was hoping that any of my favorite seiyuus might come to the stage, but as soon as I stepped inside the hall earlier that morning, I completely forgot about it and were too busy exploring Hall 1 and 2.

It was a little passed lunch that me and my brother finally reached Hall 3. When we were about to sit to have our lunch, I heard Naruto’s voice in the hall. My brother told me to go to the stage, but as soon as I reached the tip of the huge crowds surrounding the stage, Junko said “Sayounara”.  CRAP.  How could I forget about this stage and went crazy in the first 2 halls. I cursed my stupidity. Can you imagine how disappointed I was at that time? Lesson learned, always read the event schedule when they gave it to you (we were given the event schedule while entering the venue but we didn’t bother to look). The rest of the day we strolled around some more of Hall 3 and then went back to our hostel. That sums up our first day in Tokyo. (npa).

Self Study Trip : Shirakawa-go

DSC02635Shirakawa-go from the hill

It was mid February last year when I got to go Shirakawa-go for a self study trip. There were no snow in Osaka, but the temperature was pretty cold. Just the day before I departed to Shirakawa-go, my parents went back to Jakarta after visiting me. It was exam week and I had to manage my time between exam and to spend time with my parents, so I was quite tired to begin with for my study trip. But anyway I enjoyed them very much.

Early in the morning I had to depart from the center (the center where I studied Japanese has accomodations for its participants) to the train station. I totally forgot to reserve a taxi to take me to the station. It’s only a 20 minutes walk though to reach the station but still I barely make it to earliest possible train that will take me to Osaka station. I was half walking and half running to reach the train station because if I missed it, I will also miss the train in Osaka station that will take me to Takayama (the nearest town to Shirakawa-go).

Seated safely in my train I cursed myself for not waking up and departed earlier from the center. It was Monday and the train was packed with people. I could have already imagined how crowded it will be in the Osaka Station where I’ll have to catch my next train.

An hour later I arrived in the station and was proceeding slowly among all other people who were also catching their next train. The first thing I did after I managed to go up to the 2 floor was to ask the station officer the platform of my train. She checked on her computer and I rushed to the platform the moment she told me the location. Upon arriving to the platform I was greeted with an empty platform. Disappointed, I did my last attemp to ask a nearby station officer the being of my train. It was actually right behind me! I happened to arrived in the very front of the platform. Rushing to the train, I managed to get into it. Finally catching my breath I sit on a random seat and wait for the train to depart.

It took around 4 hours from Osaka station to Takayama station by train. It was a special direct train. The scenery that accompanied me along the way was snow and later hills and river. I sat alone as there were not many people in the train.

I was planning to travel alone for my self study trip as the purpose of this trip was to create a condition for the participants who were learning Japanese to use their Japanese to survive during the trip. But incidently I picked the same destination with some other friends. Not exactly the same, but we would somehow cross each other way during the trip. For example, I met Bion-san from Ivory Coast in the train who were heading to Takayama as well. I was also met with Kwan-san from Vietnam and Ken-san from the Phillippines who happened to be in Takayama and were planning to visit Shirakawa-go as well. So in the end I met people here and there along the trip.

1073112_10200438631473675_747557846_oKen-san and Kwan-san

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It was noon already when I arrived in Takayama station, after saying goodbye to Bion-san, I went to the bus station to purchase a ticket to go to Shirakawa-go. It’s another one hour from Takayama Station to Shirakawa-go. In the bus I met a girl who I thought was an Indonesian, who happened to think that I was from Thailand. I made friend with her. Arriving in the Shirakawa-go village, we said goodbye as I need to find Kwan-san and Ken-san.

I booked an accomodation in the village because I planned to stay the night. There is this unique accomodation owned by local people called the Gassou-zukkuri. The architecture of the building was design to face the harsh winter with a lot of snow which happen to pass by the village every year. In 1995, the buildings itself was declared as UNESCO World Heritage because it was build since the Edo Period. Most of the accomodation there were at least 150 years old. I thought the inside would still be traditional, but it was not. The local people used some technology as well. Well what do you expect, this is Japan anyway. Haha.

DSC02721A Gassou-zukkuri

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Upon arriving to the accomodation that I have booked, the owner apologize because due to renovation of the house they couldn’t host me in their house. But she asked her neighbour instead to host me in her house, which also a Gassou-zukkuri. To stay in a Gassou-zukkuri, you had to reserve online first. Drop us a message if you want to know the website to do the reservation. One night stay includes room, dinner, and breakfast with local menu.

DSC02771Dinner served in the guesthouse

Later after check in, we rode a bus that take us to the hill nearby. From the hill we could see the village. The village looked like the one you might see in a christmast greeting cards. I felt like I was viewing the village of Santa Claus. Occasionally, they light up the village. When I visited that place, the light up schedule has passed so I didn’t get the chance to see it. Check the schedule for the light up if you plan to visit Shirakawa-go. You might be able to view it from the hill at night.

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With Ong, the Thai girl I met in the bus.

The village also has some museums, temples, onsen, and souvenir shops. It’s a small village indeed. I think everybody knows each other in the village. I visited one of the museum and stroll around the village before going back to the guesthouse.

DSC02665DSC02672DSC02681The attic of a gassou-zukkuri

DSC02689Someone was cleaning the snow from their rooftop. It was a harsh winter in Shirakawa-go

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The girl I met in the bus to this village, happened to stay in the same guesthouse as I! We were served nice dinner by the host and the head of the family came during dinner to chat with us. He couldn’t speak english and none of the guests speak Japanese, so I acted as an interpreter for them. He told us about the history of his house and that he was the 3rd generation who own the house. They had to renovate the house regularly in order to preserve it. When someone from the village is renovating their house, everyone else come to help with the renovation. Since the declaration of the village as UNESCO World Heritage in 1995, more tourists come to visit their village and it is good for the economy. Although Shirakawa-go is a surrouned by mountain, that doesn’t hinder modernization from coming to that village. While preserving the long history of Gassou-zukkuri the people of Shirakawa-go were able to keep up with the present era.

DSC02779Dinner at the guesthouse

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I ended the night with a nice warm bath at the onsen nearby with other guests. We got a discount ticket from our host. Night in Shirakawa-go was silent. The sheer moon and stars brought an enthraling feeling while we stroll back to the guesthouse. (npa).

Toei Kyoto Studio Park: Uzumasa Eigamura

When tourists came to Kyoto, they usually go to temples or Gion districts, as Kyoto was once the capital of Japan in the old times. Kyoto is home to many temples, both Buddist and Shinto, and also the place where Geisha was born, which proof could be found in the Gion districs. That is why tourists usually visit the district in hope to catch a glimpse of the infamous Japan’s traditional artist, the Geisha.

In this writing, I would like to intoduce you to another part of Kyoto. Being famous as an old city, as well as rich in traditional buildings and culture, Kyoto is often used as the setting to film old Japanese movies. To entertain the movies’ fans, they also created a studio park, namely “Uzumasa” that looked a lot like Japan in the Edo Period, with houses, buildings, characters, and everything.

To reach the theme park, the closes train station is the Uzumasa Station in the Keifuku Arashiyama Line in Kyoto. It’s a 5 minutes walk to reach the park from the station.

DSC03293Uzumasa station

Once you entered the park, you will be greeted by some ninja climbing a building discreetly.

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Welcome to Uzumasa

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The ninja

Don’t bother them as they seem to be in the middle of a mission. Next is a room full of posters of Japanese movies with the Edo period theme, and then you find yourself in a narrow street full of street food vendors. Haven’t had you breakfast yet? You’ll have to wait a little bit longer as the vendors were a fake one, sorry.

After you exited the narrow street, you’ll see a vast area filled with buildings from the Edo Period. There were ghost/mystery house, restaurants, exhibition halls, souvenirs shops, photo shops, replica of the old area of Edo Period such as the Yoshiwara street and Nihonbashi. You shall also find some museums such as optical illusion museum, anime and tokusatsu museum, museum of anything in huge size.

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What’s interesting about this place besides the wonderful decorations is the characters walking around the park. Often you way find samurai, ninja, and people wearing kimono. On top of that, there were many people cosplaying as well. Usually as an anime character to take picture in the theme park. If you feel like it, go to a costume shop in the park, they rent cloth for guesses to wear around the park.
In the park, you can also watch some performances. There are studio showing how they created special effect for samurai movie, a studio where they explain information about how the people live, and a drama about samurai.

DSC03478Live drama on the street.

DSC03499DSC03318The samurai was explaining about Katana

DSC03334They showed us how to make effect in the movie

DSC03458Yondaime is looking for Akatsuki!

DSC03312Turns out, they are eating dango here! Haha

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If you plan to go to this park,  make sure you check the weather forecast because it’s an outdoor park. Have fun! (npa).