I have been dreaming to go to Japan since I was in 10th grade. At first, I’d be there because of Tokyo’s beauty and a novel titled “Winter in Tokyo” by Ilana Tan. Well, it was kinda romantic and metropop story written for teens; and I was overwhelmed. But then, I took Japanese class as compulsory additional language in high school and universities; thus I realized how mesmerizing this country was!

I have been also trying to get there many times, through various and numerous ways but still I couldn’t be able to do that. Hm, seems I have to wait with more patience.

But luckily today I visited Surabaya Nihon Matsuri 2016 with mbak Dee, the biggest Japanese festival held by Japanese scholars, Japanese studies’ members, and the Embassy of Japan in Surabaya! Yay! Sadly, I didn’t take photo with kimono because I had to pay 20.000 (rr… I’d like to save money this month) and I didn’t try chanoyu (how to drink green tea in Japanese traditional culture) because I had experienced it.

So, these are what I got.


So, matsuri (or festival) is usually held when the spring comes. Ya, it is spring in some areass of Japan right now. There, you’d see cheery blossoms (sakura) and people are flocked to do hanami (cherry blossom sightseeing while having vacation with their family) in parks. It is lovely and worthy to have such agenda with beloved ones. (*I hope I could do that in the future with my own family).


I also learned how to write Katakana, Hiragana, and kanji with a brush. All this time, I always use pen or pencil to do my homework and assignments in writing Japanese characters. This was the first time ever I used brush and tint; well… it was a bit difficult because how to shape it was a little complicated. Basically I need to learn a lot and get used to do it. Lol. By the way, the writing is read “Anisa no hoshi” or “Anisa’s Star”. And Mbak Dee wrote her name and “Kawaii” in katakana and hiragana. If I conclude, she wanted to write “Dee wa kawaii desu” or “Dee is cute and pretty”. OMG, how different with the real Mbak Dee! LOL!

The last thing in every matsuri were cosplayers and bazaar. Hm, I think this is the most influential rundown for young people watching matsuri: food and fantasy. I don’t know how is the real matsuri in Japan; yet in Indonesia, Japanese culture reflected through its modern-and-traditional-mixed-culture (which is formed through adaptive transformation during modernization era) are introduced by anime, traditional food, and performances. For example, cosplayers depicted anime character from manga and I met many of them in today’s matsuri. Another thing is about food. Japanese food is uniquely combined from raw materials (let’s mention sushi). I found stalls selling Japanese food from sushi, onigiri, wasabi, etc. Yet, I didn’t buy any food; because I bought dragon fruit to be juiced at home.

Overall, it was a great evening chilling out and sharing and shopping healthy food with Mbak Dee. Ya, although my journey to Japan is postponed, I hope I could arrive in one of Japan’s beautiful park to do hanami with my beloved ones.