A Trip to Japan in the Past: Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum

Hello everyone! Sorry for the long hiatus. I found first and second semester in Master were quite hectic. First semester: adaptation, new language, and actually trying to feed myself. Second semester: Covid-19, online class, and still trying to feed myself but now with healthier food. This is a strange time and I’m sure that everyone is affected by this situation. I hope you guys are healthy and doing fine wherever you are. ><

Today I’m gonna recount my experience visiting Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum. I visited this museum last January and I think this museum has not gotten enough exposure among overseas tourists despite the lovely architecture. This museum is located in the western part of Tokyo, specifically in Koganei, Tokyo. It’s open from 9:30 to 17:30 (or 16:30 for colder months, October to March). Admission to the museum costs 400 yen, but there are special days you can get in for free such as during New Year holiday (just like us!).

If you think that this museum is similar to any other museum, you’re in for a treat because the museum is an open air one (… just like its name)! The area includes historical buildings such as public bathhouse, residential houses of important figures, and common shops found during Edo era. I think the museum is a good trip back in time as we could freely enter most of the buildings and imagine the lives of people who used to live in similar houses in the past.

Before we reached the museum, we went through rows of sakura trees. I imagine this area would look very beautiful during spring!

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Moving to Japan: Residence Card, Health Insurance, and Sim Card

Illustration of residence card, taken from here.

Hello! Welcome back to Going Vibrant. Sorry for the lack of posts, things have been so hectic during this semester. I might/might not cry during the exam week given I had to write three different papers in one week and prepare my research presentation. Man, it was fun time haha.

Anyways currently it’s holiday week already for graduate students although it is not for employees yet. Do you know that Christmas is not a public holiday in Japan? But then public companies here will have a longgg one week holiday after New Year so I guess all’s good!

Today I’m going to tell you about my experience when I just came to Japan, particularly about Residence Card, Health Insurance Card, and Sim Card! I hope that today’s post will be useful for you if you’re thinking of moving to Japan!

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Book Review: Confessions by Kanae Minato

Her pupils killed her daughter. Now, she will have her revenge.
After an engagement that ended in tragedy, all Yuko Moriguchi had to live for was her four-year-old child, Manami. Now, after a heartbreaking accident on the grounds of the middle school where she teaches, Yuko has given up and tendered her resignation. 

But first, she has one last lecture to deliver. She tells a story that will upend everything her students ever thought they knew about two of their peers, and sets in motion a maniacal plot for revenge. 

Centered on revenge, Confessions told a story about the death of a middle school teacher’s young daughter and the events that unfold before and after the incident. Everyone thought it was an accident, but the mother is aware that her daughter was actually killed by two of her own students. Now, the teacher is set for her revenge…

Confessions has some of the best character voices I’ve ever read. Told from multiple first POVs, they are all unreliable narrators but it made me enjoy the story even more. I love how distinctive the voices are, and I was eager to learn more about each characters and the aftermath of the teacher’s revenge. Still, I found the novel very engaging and I couldn’t seem to put it down. I read it during my lunch break, as I queued to claim my visa, as I rode MRT… it was a very fascinating read that I slipped into easily.

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Review Buku: Mantappu Jiwa oleh Jerome Polin

“Jadi ini buku latihan soal matematika ya, Jer?”


Kata orang, selama masih hidup, manusia akan terus menghadapi masalah demi masalah. Dan itulah yang akan kuceritakan dalam buku ini, yaitu bagaimana aku menghadapi setiap persoalan di dalam hidupku. Dimulai dari aku yang lahir dekat dengan hari meletusnya kerusuhan di tahun 1998, bagaimana keluargaku berusaha menyekolahkanku dengan kondisi ekonomi yang terbatas, sampai pada akhirnya aku berhasil mendapatkan beasiswa penuh S1 di Jepang.

Manusia tidak akan pernah lepas dari masalah kehidupan, betul. Tapi buku ini tidak hanya berisi cerita sedih dan keluhan ini-itu. Ini adalah catatan perjuanganku sebagai Jerome Polin Sijabat, pelajar Indonesia di Jepang yang iseng memulai petualangan di YouTube lewat channel Nihongo Mantappu.

Yuk, naik roller coaster di kehidupanku yang penuh dengan kalkulasi seperti matematika.

It may not gonna be super fun, but I promise it would worth the ride.

Minasan, let’s go, MANTAPPU JIWA!

Di mana ada niat, asal mau berusaha, pasti ada jalan. Mungkin jalannya tidak semulus orang lain, atau mungkin hasilnya tidak sebaik orang lain, tetapi setidaknya kita bisa menghasilkan sesuatu. Dan sebagai awal, itu sudah cukup baik. #rumusjerome

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Pengalaman Les IELTS dan Tes IELTS di IALF

IALF Jakarta, foto dari situs resmi

Halo! Ini postingan ketiga saya tentang perjalanan mendapatkan beasiswa Monbukagakusho S2 di Jepang. Bagi yang penasaran bagaimana saya mendapatkan beasiswa Monbukagakusho di Waseda University, bisa baca pengalaman saya di postingan sebelumnya tentang: Pengalaman Mendaftar Monbukagakusho dan Daftar Dokumen yang Dibutuhkan untuk Melamar Beasiswa.

Saya ikut kursus IELTS di IALF mulai akhir Juli 2018, dan saya mengambil tes IELTS di IALF pada awal Februari 2019.

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Daftar Dokumen yang Dibutuhkan untuk Mendaftar GSAPS Waseda University

Sungai Sumida di Tokyo!

Halo! Post ini dimaksudkan untuk membantu teman-teman dalam mempersiapkan dokumen beasiswa Monbukagakusho dari MEXT. Mungkin bagi yang lewat jalur G to G (embassy), bakal ada dokumen-dokumen yang beda. Daftar ini saya siapkan untuk apply beasiswa MA in International Relations, Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies, Waseda University.

Berikut daftar dokumen yang dibutuhkan sekaligus penjelasan singkat dari saya:

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Pengalaman Mendaftar Beasiswa S2 di Jepang dengan Monbukagakusho (U to U)

Tokyo Skytree!

Halo! Sudah lama ya rasanya saya enggak menulis blog hehe. Untuk post kali ini agak berbeda dari post-post saya lainnya karena saya khusus bercerita tentang pengalaman saya mendaftar Monbukagakusho, sampai akhirnya mendapatkan beasiswa Master degree di Graduate School of Asia Pacific (GSAPS), Waseda University, salah satu universitas swasta di Jepang yang berlokasi di Tokyo. Jurusan saya di GSAPS adalah MA in International Relations, dan program ini termasuk International Priority Graduate Program dengan pilihan perkuliahan dalam Bahasa Inggris.


Sekilas tentang Beasiswa S2 Monbukagakusho

Monbukagakusho adalah beasiswa yang diberikan oleh MEXT, kementerian pendidikan di Jepang. Monbukagakusho sendiri punya banyak jenis beasiswa yang ditujukan untuk berbagai jenjang pendidikan, antara lain beasiswa D2, D3, S1, pendidikan bahasa Jepang, dan research student.

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Halal Ramen in Japan (Tokyo and Kyoto)

Tokyo’s cold weather in the morning!

Being a Muslim, I understand how it can be quite a challenge to find Halal food in Japan or any other Muslim-minority countries. Ramen’s broth in Japan is usually made from simmered pork, so it would be best to avoid ramen without Halal stamp on it! Nevertheless, with the increase of Muslim travelers in Japan, there are more Halal-friendly restaurants including ramen restaurants. I will only personally introduce ramen restaurants in this post because they are the only Halal-certified establishments which I tried in Japan.

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Nostalgic Lunch in Nippori, Tokyo – Japan

 Hello! Happy weekend. This month has been pretty eventful for me. I managed to take small pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina last week. It was a wonderful event in my life although I caught flu when I was there haha. I’m still recovering now and what’s the best thing to do while recovering? Blogging of course!

Today I’m going to tell you about my lunch experience in Nippori, Tokyo! This was our last proper meal in Japan before we had to catch our flight. We went to a French restaurant in Nippori area whose name is in Japanese. ケープルヴィル写真館&カフェ is a restaurant and portrait studio which is managed by a small family.

The restaurant looks very beautiful from the outside, and it was right across Sakura Hotel Nippori. I have embedded map of the restaurant at the end of this post if you’re interested to visit the restaurant by yourself!

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[Exhibitions] Instrumenta 2018: Sandbox and 2018 UOB Painting of the Year, Jakarta – Indonesia

  I’ve always had soft spot for art, be it literature, music, drawing, architecture, film – and in this case, painting and media arts. With growing consciousness of art in the mind of Jakartans, art galleries and performances become more prevalent. It’s good news of course – although maybe not for my wallet haha. Thankfully, we always have public gallery to rely on!

Last Sunday, I went to Galeri Nasional – or the National Gallery of Indonesia – to visit two exhibitions at once. It was the last day of 2018 UOB Painting of the Year and early days for Instrumenta 2018: Sandbox.

The first exhibition I went to was 2018 UOB Painting of the Year. When I left my bag in the cloakroom of Building A, we were strictly reminded to stand two tiles aways from the painting. If violated, they have the right to throw us out of the exhibition. There wasn’t any leaflet or brochure provided regarding the paintings in display. Unfortunately, save for the name of the painters and the titles, there wasn’t any interpretation/explanation about the paintings provided. Therefore, it’s left for us to imagine what the painters intended to say through the artworks.

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