Japan is one of few countries that I want to visit before end of the world. I have a chance to visit Japan many times but canceled it because of several reason. This time, I have chance to visit Japan because LibreOffice Asia Conference. It’s first time Asia conference and also my first time in Japan.
Flight and Arrived
My flight to Japan was at May 23, 2019. At that time, it’s still in Ramadan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramadan). It’s my first time to visiting another country during Ramadan. Fasting along the flight gave me more experience. You can imagine when flight crew spread the meals to all passengers and they open the meals, the smell can blow up your mind. Probably that’s part of feeling of poor people that difficult to have food got smell from our food.
I’m lucky that Singapore Airlines crew treat me well when time to Iftar (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iftar). Arrived at Hostel near Kamata Station about 23.00, I feel the weather of Japan is good enough for me. I was amazed by several thing at the first day.
Day -1 of Conference
One of my reason going to Japan except for the conference, to buy Japanese guitar. Many stories about how good quality of Japanese guitar spread among musician. First trip starting go to Shibuya, found famous Hachiko statue and Shibuya crossing, then straight go to Ishibashi Music Store to sight seeing lot of guitars there. But can’t find which on is suitable for me, according to style, model and price.
Next trip is Ochanomizu which I called it guitar heaven. Many guitar/instrument store along the street, both left side and right side. After visiting almost all guitar shop there, I found one guitar that actually I fall in love at first time seeng it. It’s Japanese famous brand (Fernandes), telecaster model (where I didn’t have it yet), single coil pickup (where also not in my collections right now) and good price (around ¥40.000). I also amazed with the guy who pack the guitar. It’s perfect packing. Good service!
In evening I’m going to dinner with other TDF members. Japanese team arrange it. I meet Italo and his wife, meet Lothar (for the first time) and his wife, meet Franklin, Naruhiko-san, Shinji-san and others TDF members. It was expensive dinner according to Indonesian by the way. Hahaha.
Day 0 of Conference
The conference located on Nihonbashi Tower, at Cybozu Office in floor 27. It’s great place, the decoration and also the window. You can see Tokyo Landscape around Skytree Tower. The conference started at 10.30. I’m not tell about the detail of the conference here but it’s was very comfortable conference that I ever attend. The interaction between speaker and participant is very close, so language barrier is not big issue anymore (yeah we have different languages).
They also have party at the end of day. Japanese team also prepare halal food. I really appreciate it. I share pack of dates (palm fruit) to others. Many people never eat that before.
*I’m sure Japanese team will upload the video of the conference, that’s why I did not to tell about the detail
Day 1 of Conference
Second day of conference, in morning is about Business Workshop by Lothar and Italo. It’s strategy and sharing experience about how to deal business with LibreOffice. After lunch (of course I’m still fasting) it’s Certification Interview, several people got interview by Lothar and Italo. I skip this session and going to Ginza around Sony Theme Park to find some souvenir for my daughter.
On this day there also CJK Hackfest. Many people also joining, especially from China, Japan and Korea.
Afternoon session, Franklin talk about “ODF Certification” proposal for Asian member. He also named Asian team as “LibreOffice Asia League”. I hear it for the first time.
After conference, I asked to Iwan and Andik (who traveling with me several time in Japan) to company me to Tokyo Camii (some Japanese friend call it Tokyo Jamii) Mosque. But I failed to pray there. The wudu (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wudu) place blocked by queue of people who waiting for iftar meals. Then we go to Ouka Ramen restaurant.
It’s halal ramen. We need to write down our name for waiting list. We can’t enter it as we like. Waiting list not take long time. The result is that’s most delicious ramen that I ever eat. The service also good. I give five star (from 1 to 5) to this place. Notes for this place, the spicy level: 1 for Europe, 2 for Korean/Japan/China, 3 for Malaysia/Indonesia, 4 and upper is unknown. For normal Indonesian, level 3 is spicy. Iwan took level 2, Andik took level 3 and I took level 4.
One Day Tour
On Monday, May 27, I go to one day tour with others (Kukuh not joining this tour because he need to flight back to Indonesia). We need to meet with other in basement of Nihonbashi Tower, then walk together to Nihonbashi bridge and several place around Nihonbashi. Naruhiko-san became our tour leader. He almost know many history of several place. I’m thinking he’s from History Faculty, not Computer Faculty. 🙂
The trip continue to Hamarikyu Garden, then take water bus for an hour to Asakusa Temple. I enjoy this water bus because I can see many sight from different perspective. When landed, we decide to split in several group for lunch. Because me and Andik fasting, Iwan and Naruhiko-san accompany us to walk around. Naruhiko-san show us underground market. Sorry for others, you not get this. Hahaha. Then we meet at Kaminarimon Gate.
While waiting others, magic happen. I see Marty Friedman (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marty_Friedman) and asking him for taking photo together. Andik help me to take it. Marty-san is one of my favourite guitar player, probably the most influence of my playing after Yngwie. I’m very lucky.
After gather with others, we go to Asakusa Temple and have some group photos. This also last point, after this we split into several groups or individual. Hatori-san bring me to his favourite guitar shop, TC Gakki in Shinjuku area.
I became exhausted. Need to stop and rest in several station. After guitar shop then going to Akihabara, need to buy some souvenir. Then find some place to sit down and waiting for Iftar time. My plan is going to some halal ramen (other ramen restaurant) at iftar time, but Hatori-san told me that Shinji-san, Naruhiko-san and Sven will join us to Akihabara. So we have ramen time together. 🍜
After ramen time, I go back to hostel preparing tomorrow flight and other three going to some bar for drinking beer. 🍺
May 28, I’m going to Haneda Airport with Iwan. It’s was nice to have chance to stay in Japan, next time I will bring my family. Special thanks to Iwan who help me in many thing, Andik for taking special photos, Hatori-san for taking me to guitar shop, Shinji-san and Naruhiko-san for having great time in Japan.
I got another idea for contributing, but let’s see it in several month.