Taking part in homestay program of Gerakan Mari Berbagai makes my dream to explore the unspoiled beauty of Japan come true. It’s really valuable opportunity for me. As what i planned before, i had prepared some places to visit. Fortunately, i have 4 cities to visit as part of my homestay program’s agenda. They are Tokyo, Yokohama, Kyoto and Osaka. It means that i have my time to explore the wonderful places in those cities. One thing makes me more excited is i have opportunity to visit some ancient cities since i love to learn history. I just feel impressed when step on the cities which is center of civilization in the past.
The most gratified thing about exploring wonderful places is confirming some pictures i saw before visit in Japan. It’s fun when see the real one and compare them to the picture which i usually see in internet. That’s all make me feel amazed. Seeing is believing. It’s simple way to make me believe in my self about travel i do.
After had a travel in 4 cities in Japan, there are some wonderful places which make my travel impressed. They should not be missed when visit in Japan. As what i stated, i call them the unspoiled beauty of Japan. Here the places:
1. Kamakura, Tokyo
Kamakura is ancient city which is located in prefecture of Kanagawa, south west of Tokyo. This is a place i really want to visit. Not only because of the ancient shrine but also the story behind. It’s center of Japan Government in 13th century. Kamakura is often mentioned as a former de facto capital of Japan as the seat of the Shogunate and of the regency during the Kamakura period. Kamakura looks like a city which never die. I can feel how this city take important role for Japan. I can find a way which is used as war strategy in the past. Not only that, i also can enjoy the view of old shrine in highland which stand with other Torii (Big gate of Shrine) and make straight line. It’s amazing.
One thing should not be missed in Kamakura is visit to big statue of buddhism. It shows the the grandeur of buddhism in Japan. I enjoy the green view around the big statue which is complete with the shiny sky.
2. Minato Mirai, Yokohama
Because i stayed with my host family in Yokohama, i had my time to explore Yokohama more than others. Minato Mirai is always the best choice for sightseeing and enjoy the unspoiled beauty of Japan. For me, Yokohama is a place to enjoy the view of sea. I never feel bored to visit in Minato Mirai although i have 4 times to go there during my homestay program. There are many beautiful views. I can see the view of sea with big wheel near of. Not only that, the big building around the sea make it looks great. The views i really like are two historical ship of Japan. They are Hikawa Maru and Nippon Maru. I feel lucky to see inside of these ships. Many stories about how these ship go around the world at their own period.
For me, there are two good places to enjoy view of Minato Mirai. The first is on the ship. I can see the beauty of Yokohama’s sea with the wind which make me feel relax. People who take a walk around in the park and the colorful of trees also become good view. The second is in the tower. Marine tower and Landmark Tower are two towers i choose to see full view of Minato Mirai. The night view is the best because i can see the light which make the sea look colorful.
3. Kinkaku-ji and Fushimi Inari, Kyoto
As Kyoto is called “City with thousands of shrine”, so i have to prove it. I have to say that Kyoto is very amazing. It has many shrines and temple which has various shape and story behind. I believe, people will always be excited to explore Kyoto. Many places wait for us to visit. Among the beautiful shrines and temple, Kinkaku-ji and Fushimi Inari are two places which make me impressed. I feel amazed when see them. Kinkaku-ji is a great temple for me. It has gold paviliun which is surrounded by small lake. I believe, i can’t find this scenery in the other place. It looks luxurious with phoenix statue on the top of paviliun. Kinkaku-ji is a proof of the greatness of Japan’s culture since 600 years ago. That’s why Kinkaku-ji is like symbol of Kyoto. Another thing which make Kinkaku-ji different with others is many great leaders in the world do visit every year.
Another wonderful place that makes me impressed is Fushimi Inari. It’s a shrine with many orange Torii (gate of shrine). Everything is orange. It’s really amazing. One of the unique thing in this shrine is we can see many statues of fox. They looks like guard that protect the shrine. Another view is a way filled with so many orange torii. Each of torii stands closely and arranged. Not only that, the pole of Torii also has letter of Japanese that has its own meaning.
4. Osaka City
I also had my time to visit in Osaka. Osaka is in the Kansai region of Japan. I always love Osaka’s history. It’s been known as the nation’s kitchen and served as center for the rice trade during the Edo period. That’s why i decided to go around Osaka city especially to market and food center. Most of the restaurants have red crab as icon of Osaka. It’s almost everywhere. Traditional food is easily to find. In Osaka, i also found many beautiful rivers and bridges. It’s really beautiful since Osaka’s also known as water metropolitan. Moreover, a travel in Osaka is not complete if not enjoying the bustle and view of high building as part of Osaka as major economic hub.
Alumni Youth Adventure & Youth Leaders Forum 2014
Participant of GMB Homestay Program 2015