Teacher Training To Japan

ONE HEART, ONE SPIRIT, TO INSPIRE

Visiting Okayama as tourist

One thing I had known about Okayama was The Okayama University. I knew it from the Monbukagakusho University Guidance Manual Book while I was searching for scholarship. Don’t know why, but at that time, I thought to spell Okayama was easy and interesting for me. It was just a non academic reason, wasn’t

it? Silly me…hehehe.  No wonder, once I got the confirmation that I would be one of the participants of Okayama Survey Tour, I was so excited. I was looking forward to enjoying the days and finding out what I would see in the City.

Hm..Mm…How do you think? Is my reason about my first impression of OkayamaCity is strong enough to bring me up to there? I am saying this because My Japanese friends told me that they didn’t even know whether any best place for doing sightseeing or maybe short traveling in the City I talked about.. Whoaaa….

However,that’s it! That is the good point of view, isn’t? Well, at least, I had to take my survey seriously. Hihi…After the first meeting with the staff and other participants for many countries (except Japaneses of course ^.^) ,on the purpose of preparing the Journey and getting some stuff about the Tour, I did the inquiry. Anyway, I did this activity based on the instruction from the staff who asked us to do some inquiries about Okayama Tourist Information. So, I browsed the internet, tried to find out about some of tour destinations and gave report about everything I found. I have to confess that I didn’t have any idea and I finally couldn’t expect too much for getting more interesting experience at the place I had adored before. I thought, at this time, I finally agreed with my Japanese friend’s opinion.

Few days remains were running so fast. The Okayama Survey Tour was started.

me. at the bus

It needed 1.5 hour by bus from Higashi Hiroshima to Okayama. We arrived around 11.30.

walking to kurashiki,us,canal,tree

I give 2 thumbs up for the Touring Schedule. Are you curious to know why? Please Guess…No, don’t worry, just joking, here is my reason. I was so hungry, and I thought all the participants were getting hungry too. Thanks God the staff took all of the participants to have lunch together. In fact, we were having our lunch time at Japanese traditional style restaurant. Hooraay…. J

It is a small restaurant, but it is cozy. It has two floors, and for the visitor who wanted to eat at the 2nd floor, they had to take of their shoes. I chose to go upstairs. Although the room was small, it still could give space for more than 25 persons.

kurashiki

And what’s next? Surely no doubt, Kurashiki sushi was coming. The scrumptious local specialty suddenly grabbed my attention. I always adore the way Japanese people decorate the sushi. Even for small pieces. So sophisticated! Next, to define the difference of Kurashiki style among others, just check the vegetables. I think it consists of seafood and seasonal vegetables gathered from the area. Ok, no more review. In processing of moving the dishes into my mouth,hehehe. Unluckily, why did I think that the portion was too small?

before eating the lunchlunch!

Later, I realized that this area was half European – Japanese style. One good point I got from Okayama Tour. Canal is the main view. The key is just enjoy walking as pedestrian without getting afraid of hit by car or other vehicles. Don’t forget to visit all the spots.

swan?

There’re more than 20 museums for us to hunt for. According with my experience, firstly, I visited Kurashiki Ivy Square.

kurashiki ivy store

Then I moved to YurikoIgarashi Art Museum. Oh, by the way, Yuriko Igarashi is the name of the author of the popular manga, Candy Candy. My friend and I also took a picture in front of Momotaro Karakuri Hakubutsukan Museum. Momotaro is the protagonist of one of Japanese best-known folk tales, is said to be based on someone actually active in the Okayama region. We didn’t get in because the museum was being closed.

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No problem, because we moved to Senichi Hoshino Museum and other places.

ohara museum of art

chugoku bank

Do you still remember my chloe? Just enjoy walking as pedestrian, visiting from one museum to another.

momotaro plateyurinso villa

In my opinion, this place is bit quiet or maybe because I didn’t come at peak season? I don’t know. But somehow, I were dreaming to have vacation with my best friend, visiting this area, enjoying walking around with slow rhythm, and sharing conversation at Japanese traditional restaurant without hectic schedule. IMG_1248Europe style

Oh, I think I have to tell you that I found delicious omiyage at a shop near Archaelogical Museum. Good price for the nuts.

omiyage shop

Almost 3 PM when we walked back to Kurashiki bus station. The Tour will be continued with something started with S and ended by G.

in front of the bus station

Yup,Shopping. The next destination is shopping mall. I can’t give lot of comments unless this is a shopping mall. That’s all. I only visited a kind of 100 yen shop and ABC MART, shoes shop. I did transactions there. Umbrella and a new red tracking shoes! hehehe.

I didn’t get bored because I was searching for those items. So I can imagine if people just drop by to the mall without any purpose, or let’s say, only for sightseeing, maybe it will be quiet boring.

We were leaving the shopping mall for checking in at the hotels. I found traffic at this main street. Just a short line, but it had reminded me with my lovely town, Jakarta. Yes, Jakarta is one of most crowded city in the world. I was supposed to criticize the traffic I found, wasn’t I? I adored it instead. Hahaha…

It was getting dark and I thought yes I should have regretted the traffic because we checked into the Kooraku Hotel so late. To have dinner, we had to walk around 5 minutes to Okayama Station. That was the theory; we took almost 30minutes of walking instead. We got lost…AARRR…… To reach the place, through reading map at night, under the rainfall, was truly difficult. We entered the building from the other side and went down to the basement, and guess! we got lost again….

Twice we got into the restaurants, and they refused us as after 9.PM is the time where they prepared to close. (I regretted why none of the staff told us about the rules before). But don’t worry, we were safe. Or maybe I should have said, “Fortunately”, there was a restaurant which could accept us to order menu. Yokatta….I couldn’t say more about the food, I was so hungry. So everything was delicious..hehehe. But this is my opinion,at least, they served us well. Especially me, Regarding to my capacity of not eating pork and drinking kind of alcoholic, they cooperated well.

dinner

We went out of the building perfectly, without getting lost at the basement, and even so, we got lost again. Hahaha..we took way too much, so we turned back little bit.

Here i show you the illumination in front of Okayama station. Since we had had hectic time of getting lost the way to get dinner and then forgot to take pictures a lot, we tried to get some evidences of spending night at the city.

in front of okayama station

momotaro fantasy

in front of okayama station

The Kooraku hotel, again, I couldn’t say more. Just about wifi, I didn’t use smartphone so I didn’t get connected the internet unless I went down to the first floor. I didn’t drink from the tap water,but that’s not problem. I brought my own drink.

On the next day, a friend of mine and I took breakfast at the restaurant. This buffet style gave me chance to choose my own dishes. I avoided meat just in case the 2 items I have talked about were put on.

breakfast

breakfast

After taking huge breakfast and preparing our stuff, we went down to the lobby and waited for the bus. It’s good that i could connect the internet so i checked everything through my mobile pc.

kooraku hotel, the lobby

OK, ready to go! Next destination…

IMG_1302

Last destination on Sunday morning was Inujima Island. But first, we stopped by to local shrine due to the 11.00 PM boat departure. We took some pictures.

148961_399879120091177_91226692_nat the shrine

Here, every year, in February, if I am not mistaken, there is a festival held at the shrine. That’s why I saw seats provided, similar with soccer stadium.

IMG_1305

Do you see the blue seats with numbers from the picture above? So during the festival, people can see many attractions from that seat. I think the shrine will be more interesting at the festival time, livelier.

IMG_1317

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We just had less than 20 minutes to take pictures and walk around the shrine. We needed to catch up the departure.

the shrine

Near port, apparently, we still had to walk to reach the port. The road isn’t enough for the big bus to go in. So, just enjoy the time…!

heading to the port for inujima island

The port is smaller than another port I have visited before. I found the atmosphere around the area was so quiet. What happened?

waiting for the boatwaiting for the boat

I was worried about how the island was. I really hoped that I would get good experience of joining the A course. Have I told you that, on the last day, this tour had been divided into 2 groups? Group A, the Inujima Island. Group B, the Okayama Castle-Korakuen Garden etc.

the boat is coming

We were in the boat when I saw few local tourists.Which is mean, I assumed the reason of people going to the InujimaIsland. Hmm..mmm…maybe because the island was so quiet? As you know…some people like crowded area for tourist destination, some people don’t.

Then we arrived at Inujima Island.

inujima portjust arrived at inujima port

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The first spot grabbed my attention was a small dark wooden house. Behind the house, I could see large yard surrounded by fence. What should I say? Wind blew strongly and I feel freedom. The landscape I stood at was breathtaking.

large yard

How could I say? I wondered at glance that the place had reminded me of some kind of movie setting area; sea, large yard, wooden building, and lighthouse.

isogashius

Then we were walking to the gate of Inujima Art project, holding the ticket and waiting for the time of going inside the building. Still my friends and I took pictures, a lot.

usme

At Inujima “Art House Project”, we were guided by Japanese lady. She spoke English clearly. This is one good point. Without the guidance, I wouldn’t have understood the art of the building. As we were surrounded by natural environment which had been preserved in the original state, we should obey many rules, including not taking picture inside. Ok, no worries.

our tour guidecouerse A team

Inujima was once the site of copper smelting, and industry which fostered modernization in Japan, and the smokestacks and slag bricks that were left over after operations ended are still part of the Island’s landscape.

154901_400719700007119_1683447862_nsight seeing

Now it becomes the museum called Inujima Art Project Seirensho.

slack brickspart of smelting ruins area

Just try to visit thearea, trust me, you’ll get good experience as tourist. Oh, even for the lavatory, they made it artistically. I was the only member who tried it. I like it so much..

inujima "art house project"toilet 1

Well it’s about time we went back to the main gate.

landscapein front of the gate

Having lunch at the house where I have told you about, the small dark wooden house. Raw fish style was the menu. Honestly, the interesting point of having lunch here is when we could see the nature landscape while eating. It was magnificent.

lunch at inujima

We ran out of time and headed back to the main Island. Don’t forget to walk or you couldn’t reach the bus..hehehe

waiting for the bus

Arrived at the city around 2.PM, the B course team was still taking the journey. The staff asked us to pick them up at Okayama castle. Wow, bonus for us. Not only the InujimaIsland we went out, but also Okayama castle. A very good point we got. Thaaanks’

to okayama castle

okayama castle

From now on, I have figure of what I will say to my friends about going to Okayama. First, Kurashiki is for you who like to walk around the historical place, chat a lot with your (best) friend at Japanese style restaurant. Just be careful with the kurashiki map, little bit confusing.

kurashiki tourism office

Just follow the canal as the main spot. However, The Europe-Japanese style area is the compliment of your visiting.

canal is the backgroundvivin

Next, InujimaIsland is for you who like to spend the time in a quite island. I think it will be good if you come in a group. The entrance way to the port is bit different with usual port. You need to walk without many direction signs. At least, you can ask local people how to get the Island. That is why I suggest you to go with friends, otherwise you could get lost alone.

direction sign

sign75570_464306716962197_280973021_n

I couldn’t give any figure about the shopping mall because I don’t see any difference with other mall in Japan. Nevertheless, visiting the city plus having a walk at the shopping mall is needed ( girls opinion).

Anyway, I think Korakuen Garden or Okayama Castle is another nice spot too although i don’t have any experience further about both.

But friend of mine said so. OK..Lastly,have a nice trip at Okoayama! Don’t forget to buy the omiyage’…  :D

souvenir

course A and course B team, at Kurashiki

About ni_lasha

Hai,aku nilasha. Tukang nulis, terutama saat kerjaan numpuk. Pelariannya adalah menulis. Pas menengok kerjaan yang masih menumpuk, kembali melarikan diri untuk menulis. Aku terobsesi menjadi populer, untuk novel yang belum terbukukan, untuk buku yang masih di awang-awang dan untuk puisi galau yang bersinergis dengan nuansa alam.

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This entry was posted on December 27, 2012 by in trips.
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