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8.18.2018

Mindfulness

Some of you might notice, I don't post pictures on instagram as often as before. Lately, it's been hard for me to pose in front of the camera. I still love dressing up, doing make up.. But I don't feel like being photographed unless I have to (e.g: my birthday, work-related). I even try to avoid gatherings because I'm scared of what people will say when they see me. 

Yes, I don't feel at my best these days. I have low self confidence. I know it's been a long time battle with self-love. But because I had a 3 consecutive bad experiences, my confidence who WAS slowly climbing up, fell back straight to the ground in a blink.

It's hard to write all the details, but basically I'm not as skinny as I was last year. I had health problems that forced me to gain body fats in order to recover. I hate to gain weight and to look chubbier. But what can I do? My body is just not meant to be skinny to stay healthy. Of course, health over looks. I don't wanna die young.

But some (or MOST) people, don't know that their actions and words can hurt somebody else. They don't know what I've been thru, yet it's easy for them to comment on my looks. 
Around 2-3 months ago, I had 3 relatives commenting on how fat I am. I tried so hard not to care. But in fact, it's not easy. Even until now, I still want to cry every time I remember those moments. For some of you, it might not be a big deal. But to someone who's conscious on how she looks, it means a lot. 

This year, I've turned into the most introvert mode I've ever been in my life. I really don't want to meet too many people anymore. I avoid meeting those that I haven't met in a long time (because my experiences made me scared to hear what they're gonna comment the moment they see me).

I still make new friends, because they never met me before. They meet me at my 'current' condition, hence I have no burden. I also feel comfortable hanging out with my close friends and my parents. 

I wonder... when will I be able to heal this scar? I wish people will start to be more mindful before they speak/ do something. Everyone has struggles. Everyone has different tolerances. What might be ok for you might not be ok for somebody else. Vice versa.

7.27.2018

Teatoxnco 14 Days Detox Package Review

Last month, I felt my eating habit had gone too uncontrollable. I snacked mindlessly and my stomach was so bloated! I exercised regularly but it's only plays 20% while nutrition plays 80% of your body's diet regime. I read about Teatox's programmes and was interested to try it to 'reset' my body.
I don't strive for weightloss, but fatloss and a better eating habit

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I decided to try their 14 DAYS Teatox Package which includes Good Morning Tea, Good Night Tea, a very stylish glass tumbler (to drink the tea on-the-go), tea infuser (to drink it at home with your mugs/ cups, and a booklet of the teatox's information!

Quoted from their website, this package will help you to:
Cleanse and detoxify body
Healthy weight loss
Improves digestive system
Improves skin clarity
High in antioxidant

What does the Good Morning Tea do for you?
Suppress appetite

Boost metabolism
Improves skin clarity
High in antioxidant
Improves ratio of good cholesterol


What does the Good Night Tea do for you?
Cleanse and detoxify body

Reduce bloating
Healthy weight loss
Improves digestive system
High in antioxidant


In those 14 days, I drank the Good Morning Tea EVERYDAY before I had my breakfast and Good Night Tea 1x in every 2 days before bed! 

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I made my own breakfast which usually consisted of 2 slices of pesto toast, grilled chicken/ tofu/ tempeh, and veggies (stir fry tomatoes/cucumber/lettuce). Dinner was usually my mom's chinese homecooked meals, but in moderate portion with no rice. On weekends, I ate out with friends !

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My impressions?
- YES! I really feel the difference after consuming the Good Morning Tea. My appetite became much more controlled, suppressed, and I didn't snack mindlessly like before. 
- Good Night Tea made my digestion better WITHOUT diarrhea-like stomachache
- I feel my tummy fat was reduced and less bloated
-Thumbs up for the glass tumbler as it's not only stylish but also very useful to drink the tea on-the-go
- I don't know whether I lose weight or not since I never weigh myself on scales.

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Overall, this package is recommended if you want to kick-start a healthy diet & lifestyle! It can reset your palette & cleanse your guts at the same time. Weight-loss will definitely be achieved if you combine it with regular exercise & calorie deficit. Remember, you are what you eat! Stay healthy, peeps! ;)

Where to buy Teatoxnco ?

6.23.2018

Day Trip from Tokyo to Tateyama Alpine Route

Hi, everyone! I went back to Japan last May and visited some new places I had never been before. One of them is Tateyama Alpine Route. The experience was very memorable to me and I really recommend you to do the tour when you're in Japan between April - June! 

On this post I want to share my tips to do 1 day trip from Tokyo (so you don't need to spend the night there) .

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First of all, Tateyama Alpine Route Tour can be done throughout the year, but the famous "snow walls" is only available from April - June. 

1. TICKET

You can purchase the tour ticket from major train stations & airport. I purchase mine at JR Shinjuku Station Travel Service Center (located at New South Exit). The price is 9000 YEN/ person. The ticket covers all your transportations from Nagano/Toyama to Toyama/Nagano. BUY Max. D-1 !

That means, from Tokyo to Nagano / Toyama (where you can start the Tateyama Alpine Route Tour) and from Nagano/ Toyama to go back to Tokyo, you have to buy shinkansen ticket! Luckily, I have a JR Pass that cover my shinkansen tickets! If you don't have a JR Pass, this day tour might turn too expensive.

2. ITINERARY

This tour consists of many stops and different transportations. They will take you from land to top of mountain, then go down to land again. The tour will take approximately 7 hours (can be more or less depending on how much time you spend at each stop.)


I did lots of research before the tour to prevent any mishaps as the tour is quite expensive. I read that it's RECOMMENDED to start the route from NAGANO and go back from TOYAMA instead of starting from Toyama. Most tour services start from Toyama, hence you might experience long queues for the ropeways and cable cars. 

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Nagano Station

I booked my shinkansen from Tokyo to Nagano at 07.20 am. I arrived at 08.43 a.m. After that, we start the tour by taking the (1) Alpico bus from Nagano Station to Ogizawa Station that departs at 09.00am. (please see the route image above, but start from right to left.)
You SHOULD take this shinkansen because the last bus departing from  Nagano Station (to do this tour as a day trip) is at 10.30am. If you start the tour too late, you will be rushing to take the next transportation in the tour without sight seeing. 

(I'm sorry that it's all crumpled LOL. CLICK TO ZOOM!)

In Nagano Station, you can go to their Travel Service Center to grab the tour's schedule pamphlet ! The pamphlet is so important because it writes all transportations' schedule throughout the trip. As we're doing a 1 day trip, we CAN'T MISS the last bus/any transport or else we have to spend a night there.

Once you've started the tour and hopped on the bus, the key is only to remember the next bus/transport's schedule that will take you to the next destination! ;)

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One of the ropeways that took us to the top!

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Kurobe Dam is one of my favorite stops. We had to climb lottttsss of stairs but it's worth the view!

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Yup, I went with my college bestie and her aunt & grandma on this trip!
We were inside the cable car!

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Don't worry! There are few small restaurants / food stands and souvenir stops at every stop.

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Yay! The Snow Wall was indeed beautiful. Why is it only available from April - June? Because in July - October, the ice has melt and there's not any snow yet. The winter season lasts until March and the snow will be too thick! When the Ice starts melting in April, they will "build" the snow wall! 

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After sight seeing the snow wall, we went "down" by bus and another ropeway before finally taking the train from Tateyama Station to Toyama. I arrived at my last stop (Toyama Station) at around 6pm.  My shinkansen to Tokyo was at 7.37pm. The journey took 2 hours and 19 minutes. If you don't get this train, the last shinkansen to Tokyo from Toyama is at 9.20pm (but you'll arrive in Tokyo almost midnight!).

Overall, please visit this place if you happen to visit Japan in April - June! I thought 9000 yen (around USD100) was expensive at first. But after seeing the view throughout this trip, I think it's cheap! 

You can read more detailed informations from tripzilla or jrtateyama


3.27.2018

8 Days in Japan Itinerary with Budget & Lodging Details

Oh my! Is it my first blogpost in 2018?? I feel so bad for neglecting this blog. Quick updates, I feel so much happier nowadays than the end of 2017. Maybe because I choose not to overthink, live 'slower', and just go with the flow! 

As some of you might already know, last month I went to Japan  (Tokyo, Disneysea, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kanazawa) for 8 days. Here, I want to share my 8 Days Itinerary in Japan. You can use it for your future trips! I visited quite a lot of places in 8 days, so this itinerary is perfect for those who enjoy walking. 

BUDGET (major expenses):
- JKT-NRT-JKT return ticket by JAL : IDR 4.500.000
- 7 Nights Lodgings (airbnb, hostel, hotel) : around IDR 3.500.000/person (decent hotels/airbnb's price is around IDR 1,5mills/night. I divide it within 3 people)
- JR PASS 7 days : IDR 3.700.000/person
- Suica Card (e-money) to ride subways which were not covered by JR Pass : IDR 500.000/person
- Disneysea : IDR 971.000/person
- Pocket Wifi : IDR 200.000/person (IDR 650.000/ 3 )
- Meals & Snacks : around IDR 4.000.000/person (we spent around IDR 500.000/day on food. This can be less if you don't eat a lot. lol.)

TOTAL: Around IDR 17.000.000/person without shopping.

For shopping (clothes , makeup, cosmetics, etc) it really depend on each individual. I won't share how much I spent on clothes as it's a private matter! :)

MY LODGINGS FOR 8 DAYS:
27 Feb - 2 March: AirBnB at Shin-Okubo, Tokyo
(review: 2 mins walk from station, but the station doesn't have elevator hence we had to carry our luggages up and down the stairs. The apartment fits for 2-3 people. It's clean and modern. The host gave clear directions to the apartment & easily contactable.)

2 March - 4 March: Backpacker K's House Hostel Kyoto
(review: 8-10 mins walk from station. We booked the 4 beds in 1 Mixed Dorm room, but since there's no other guest in the room, it became a private room for the 3 of us. Bathroom & toilet were very clean, but we shared it with other guests in the hostel (each floor has 3 bathrooms/toilets). The staffs can speak English well & greet you warmly everyday. They can give you tourist informations too. Recommended for youngsters (not for elders).

4 March - 5 March: Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kanazawa
(review: quite spacious for 3 people. I booked the deluxe room with twin beds. It's very close to Kanazawa Station, around 1 min walk.)

5 March - 6 March: AirBnB at Ikebukuro, Tokyo
(review: 5mins walk from station, very spacious for 3-4 people. The apartment is modern & clean, but too bad the host didn't give clear direction to the apartment (& was not reachable when we needed him).

Pocket Wifi: Rent from @jetfi.indonesia 


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26 Feb : 
-Night Flight from Jakarta to Tokyo (Narita) by JAL. 
It was my first time taking a flight with JAL. I was surprised with so many food they gave us during the flight. I got 1 full set of meal, 1 snack, and 1 bread. I literally was so full & slept almost throughout the flight. LOL. They got lots of new box office movies too!


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27 Feb : 
-Arrived at Narita Airport around 8am
-Went straight to the airport's train station, exchanged our JR Pass (we bought 7 days package for IDR 3.7 millions from HIS Travel Jakarta. You must purchase it before your flight as it's cheaper. But you can only activate the pass at the JR Ticket Office (read more on google))
-Took NEX (Narita Express) Train from NRT Airport to Shinjuku Station (covered by JR Pass).
-Changed line to JR Yamanote Line and went to Shin-Okubo Station (our AirBnb's location).
-Went back to Shinjuku, had lunch at Hachidaya Omurice (it wasn't that good).
-Explore Shibuya (Shibuya Crossing, Hachiko Statue, went up to Starbucks Shibuya to see the crossing from above, shopping at Shibuya 109)
-Went to Senso-ji Temple, Asakusa. Tried the Kagutsedo Melon bread, Cremia Ice Cream
-Went to Harajuku (Omotesando Exit) (Shopping and had dinner at Ichiran Ramen & supper at Luke's Lobster).


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28 Feb :
-Went to Shinjuku, ate BAKE Cheese Tart (South East exit of Shinjuku Station), late breakfast or lunch at the most delicious Gyu-Katsu Motomura (you should never skip this one)
-Went to Hamamatsucho Station to visit Zojoji Temple & Tokyo Tower
-Went to Ginza (shopping at Dover Street Market & Uniqlo)
-Went to Harajuku (again....) . This time we visited both Omotesando (shopping lots of SANRIO goodies at Kiddy Land, ate Gindaco Takoyaki) & Takeshita Street (Tried the crepes, Purikura photobox)
-Went back to our AirBnB and bought our dinner from 7eleven & Family Mart nearby.


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1 March:
-Breakfast at Yoshinoya, in front of Shin-Okubo Station. (the menu has wider range of options, price start from around 350 yen)
-went to Tokyo Disneysea the whole day! I also bought the ticket from HIS Travel Jakarta for around IDR 900k (1 person, 1 day only). Theme parks in Japan are always CROWDED even during weekdays. Therefore, it is recommended to buy your tickets daysss before your departure.

NOTE: There's NO FAST-TRACK/FASTPASS ticket that you can buy like the one from Universal Studios at Disney. This is a system that lets you minimize the amount of time waiting in line at certain attractions by assigning you a specific time to enter the attraction (It's like making a RESERVATION.To receive a FASTPASS ticket, just go to the FASTPASS ticketing machines near the entrance of the FASTPASS attraction you want to ride and hold your Passport ticket under the reader. Then return during the time period printed on the FASTPASS ticket and enjoy the attraction without the wait. READ MORE HERE

-Left Disneysea at 7pm, went back to Shinjuku Station to make a ticket reservation for our Shinkansen to Kyoto the next day (it is also covered by JR Pass, you need to go to JR Ticket Office at major train stations to RESERVE your seat. (Small train stations like Shin-Okubo don't have JR Ticket Office.) You don't want to stand during the whole train ride, right?)
-Bought our dinner from 7Eleven again~ (It's cheap, delicious, has many options!)



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2 March:
-Check out from Shin-Okubo Station, headed to Tokyo Station (took Shinkansen to Kyoto Station)
-Arrived at Kyoto Station and went to K's House Hostel
-Went back to Kyoto Station and took the train to Inari Station to visit Fushimi Inari (Ate Manneken Waffle at Kyoto Station, ate lots of snacks such as Okonomiyaki, Yakisoba, Kaarage, Yakitori, and many more at the temple)
-Went to Arashiyama to visit the Bamboo Forest 
-Went to Gion and explored Hanamikoji Street 
-Had our dinner at Soup Stock, Kyoto Station.


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3 March (on this day, we did a day trip to Nara & Osaka)
-From Kyoto Station, we took a train to Nara Station and explored Nara Deer Park (yes, the deers roam freely around the park & you can purchase the 'biscuits' to feed them for 150yen). NOTE: Nara is a small town near Kyoto, so a day trip is enough to explore the city.
-Had late breakfast/lunch at Coco Curry Ichibanya
-Left Nara for Osaka (Nara Station - Tennoji - changed to LTD.Express train bound for Shin-Osaka station)
-Went to Osaka Castle (ate snacks such as dorayaki, kaarage, and takoyaki at the park)
-Went to Shinsaibashi & Dotonbori to shop till drop ! (Had dinner at Gyoza No Osho, Dotonbori)
-Went back to Shin-Osaka station, changed train (shinkansen) to go back to our hostel at Kyoto Station


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4 March:
-Check out from hostel and took shinkansen to Kanazawa (bought our breakfast at Kyoto Station's mini markets)
-arrived at Kanazawa station & check in at Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kanazawa

Actually we wanted to do a day trip to Shirakawa-go (we just need to ride a bus from Kanazawa Station, but sadly the bus ticket for that day was sold out, and we only stay there for 1 night). So we cancelled the plan and decided to explore Kanazawa.

-Higashi Chaya District (we took the bus no.4 from Kanazawa Station, we thought it'd bring us to Kenrokuen Garden, but after 30 minutes or more, the bus was going to different direction. Turned out we took the wrong bus. But luckily the bus driver dropped us off at Higasichaya District, which is an old district , similar to Gion in Kyoto.). We tried Ville de Croquette and Miso Soup-flavored Ice Cream. There are many gold-sprinkled soft serve ice cream there, but i think they're too expensive ! (950 yen for a soft serve?!! I'd rather try weird-flavored ice cream!)

-From Higashi Chaya District, we found out that Kenrokuen Garden is only around 1km away. As the queue for the bus was too long, we decided to walk there. Kenrokuen Garden's view was breath taking!! We were so happy to see thick snows there. The weather was hot, but the snow hadn't melted yet.

-From the garden, we went to 21st Century Museum on foot. It's around 1km walk. The famous art object was the Leonardo Elrich's swimming pool. They have free & paid attractions. You can see the pool for free, but to be inside the pool, you need to purchase a ticket.

-As we had NO IDEA on how to take a bus back to Kanazawa Station, we decided to go back all the way to our hotel (which is next to the station) ON FOOT. It's around 2,5km walk from the museum to station. LOL. 
-We had dinner at a department store connected to Kanazawa Station. It has many restaurants and shops! We had amazing Omurice at Pomme's. (I tried this resto 3,5 years ago in Takeshita Street. I was so happy to find this place again. The portion was so big yet we finished our meals without any crumbs left as we were so tired after exploring the city on foot all day long!!)


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5 March: (This was our last full day. We didn't go to any sightseeing spot, because we chose to eat & shop till drop. lol. You can change this to a Mount Fuji Daytrip*)

-Check out from the hotel and took shinkansen to Tokyo (had our breakfast from Kanazawa station's 7eleven on the train.)
-Arrived at Tokyo Station, changed to JR Yamanote line to go to Ikebukuro Station (Our AirBnB's location). Since we could only check in at 4pm, we had to store our luggages at Coin Lockers, it's located next to Ikebukuro Station)
-After storing our luggages, we took train to Harajuku Station (agaaaiiiin....) to shop & eat all things we want before going back home the next day. We ate Luke Lobster's again (it's expensive but it's really worth the price), Croquant Zaku-zaku (at Takeshita Street)
-From Harajuku, we went to Shinjuku to go to Don Quijote (to buy snacks as souvenirs for our friends), did some last minute shopping at Uniqlo, ABC Mart (they sell Nike, Adidas, Vans, Reebook sneakers and manyyy more), etc.
-Dinner at Menya Musashi Ramen, Shinjuku
-Went back to our AirBnB at Ikebukuro Station 

*For a day trip to Mt.Fuji:
-Take the earliest shinkansen from Kanazawa to Tokyo (7am departure, 9.32am arrival at Tokyo Station. the ride was around 2,5 hours). 
-The soonest you arrive at Tokyo Station, go to Shinjuku Station & head to the Shinjuku Station Expressway Bus Terminal. 
-Purchase the 2 way tickets (so you won't miss the returning bus) to Kawaguchiko. (3400 Yen/person 2 ways).  Store your luggages at Shinjuku station's coin lockers. 
-Once you arrive at Kawaguchiko (around noon), you can explore Lake Kawaguchi, Chureito Pagoda, or go to the Shibazakura Festival with the local bus from the station. READ MORE HERE
-Remember to set an alarm 1 hour before your returning bus' schedule, so you don't miss it. If I'm not mistaken, when I went to Mt.Fuji last year, my returning bus was around 5.30pm. I arrived back in Tokyo 2,5 hours later.

NOTE: There's a drama during our check in to this AirBnB. It was raining when we arrived at Ikebukuro. We took our luggages out of the coin lockers and went to search for our AirBnB. The direction to the apartment wasn't clear enough, plus it was hard for us to drag our luggages with such a heavy rain. 

After we found the apartment, we couldn't find the key (the host told us that they put the key at the apartment's mailbox). The host wasn't reachable no matter how many times I messaged him. We were hopeless and didn't know what to do after searching the key for 1 hour. Then a Japanese passed by the lobby (she lives there) and I showed her the address of the AirBnB (it was in japanese, I could not read it).

and  guess what.......she pointed to the back side! (She couldn't speak english but she meant..... the correct apartment is the one behind the one we were stupidly at!!!!). Japanese apartments are SUPER DIFFERENT with the ones in Jakarta. They RARELY have huge signs in the buildings, they don't have lobby / even a receptionist, the design of japanese apartment's buildings is VERY SIMILAR. So.. my TIPS are:
-Ask your AirBnB host for a clear picture of the apartment's building (Front, side, back if possible) OR at least the surroundings. Some hosts will give you clear pictures (like the 1st apartment I stayed at Shin-Okubo, she gave me clear picture of the building before I checked in. It was my fault too for forgetting to ask the pics of the 2nd AirBnB).
-Always read thoroughly all the informations /details the host give you after you booked their apartment, so you can ask for more infos you need out of what they provide, before your stay. 

Actually, it would've been a nice stay if the direction was clearer & more detailed, and the host was reachable when I needed him. The apartment was really spacious for 3 persons and not that far from the station. I didn't have any issues too during booking. The host immediately sent me directions to the apartment after I booked too. Up until now, the host didn't even send me any apologies.. wtf! I even messaged him informing "I've finally checked in, I've checked out, etc...."


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6 March:
-Before we checked out at 1pm, we went to explore nearby department stores in Ikebukuro to did another last minute shopping.
-Had breakfast at SUBWAY near the station
-Took the Keisei Skyliner to Narita Station (our JR PASS was already invalid on our 8th day. Hence we paid around 2000 yen for the ticket)
-As our flight was at 4pm, we had plenty time to buy souvenirs like Tokyo Banana, Tokyo Milkcheese, Kitkat, Pocky, and the other famous Japanese delicacies at the airport. It's recommended to buy these at the airport because they have SHORT EXPIRY DATE! 
- Last, we board the plane that took us back to Jakarta. The meals during the flight were super delicious. I had Chicken Oyakodon, Panacota, Pumpkin Salad, Haagen Dasz Caramel Ice Cream, and other snacks till I felt really full. Seriously, JAL did awesome job on creating delicious in-flight meal! 

We arrived in Jakarta on 7 March, midnight! 

That's all for my 8 Days in Japan (Tokyo, Disneysea, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kanazawa) Itinerary. It was full of eating and shopping! Actually you can  do a day trip to Mount Fuji on the second last day. But since we chose shopping, we skipped it.