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Windows in the vernacular house of Kampung Naga

Jendela kaca mulai diperkenalkan di Kampung Naga sekitar tahun 1957.
Foto ke-1 adalah jendela asli. Foto ke-2 adalah jendela yang telah dimodifikasi.

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Kenapa diganti?
Menurut salah satu warganya karena jendela kayu membuat ruangan lebih gelap. (Any comment?)
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Teknologi modern yang lebih cepat guna memang lebih praktis namun berpotensi menghilangkan ‘sistem’ di bangunan vernakular yang sudah teruji ratusan tahun mampu bersahabat dengan iklim.
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Contoh lainnya adalah atap rumah gadang atau rumah panggung di Malaysia yang kini lebih banyak menggunakan seng. Tidak heran, temperatur udara di dalam rumah menjadi panas. Beda halnya dengan atap ijuk yang mampu menahan panas dgn baik.

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Japan: the cyclist paradise

There are five reasons that make Japan the paradise for cyclists.

First of all is because of the safety. In Japan, some areas are officially designated as the cycling routes, like in Shimanamikaido. In that kind of route, the bicycle lane is indicated with the blue-colored line, painted next to the usual white-coloured road marks. However, of course, not all the roads in Japan are designated as the cycling routes. In that case, the cyclist can still use the road side together with cars or motorbikes. The good thing is, the car drivers and motorbike riders are generous enough to wait patiently for the chance to overtake the cyclist. Even during the overtaking, they make sure to spare plenty of space between their vehicle and the cyclist.

The second reason is due to the widely available vending machines and convenience stores. This makes the cyclist can do a long-distance trip by carrying less stuff or with a light-weight luggage. No need to worry about drinking water shortage, food, or supplements because the convenience stores provide them all. The vending machines are also available even in the very countryside areas.

Third, the fairly good road conditions. Most of the road are paved with asphalt. It is quite rare to see bad road condition in Japan. This may be the reason why the road bike model with slim tires (23-25 mm) is more popular than the mountain bike model.

The fourth reason is because there are many cycling routes that have been mapped. Thanks to the huge cycling community in Japan. I am not sure whether this issue is a good or bad. But for me, this is a good thing because the route has been guaranteed to be accessible or at least someone can share the tips and trick for some particular routes.  Some cycling maps also include the recommended sightseeing spots, cafes, or restaurants. This can make our cycling trip more fun and enjoyable. I don’t really like to go ‘blind’ on a trip. However, I also know that to discover a new route is one of the joys of cycling/traveling, right?

Finally, the last reason why I think Japan is the paradise for cyclists is because of its natural environment. I think Japan was created when God was smiling. Everything in Japan is just simply beautiful. The seasonal variations can make the same route has a different atmosphere, depending on which season you pass through it.

Five reasons mentioned above are based on my personal opinions. If you have different opinions, please write on the comment box below.

Cheers, and keep the wheels spin.

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Cycling at Tobishimakaido

For the foreign cyclist who is coming to Japan, the Tobishimakaido maybe not as famous as its close neighbor, Shimanamikaido. Both routes offer an island hopping experience, meaning that we can move across the islands by using the bridges connecting them.

I’ve experienced cycling in both Shimanamikaido and Tobishimakaido so that I can compare between those two cycling routes. To be noted, I don’t intend to conclude which of the route is better than another.

The Shimanami Kaido, one of the world’s best cycling routes. It spans about 60 km from Onomichi City to Imabari City, crossing six small islands in the Seto Inland Sea. The routes are well designed, well-planned, and well integrated to the local tourism map. Therefore, there are many sightseeing spots along the road, such as temples, museums, restaurant, etc.  Further, the routes are divided into three categories, let’s just call it as ‘easy’, ‘medium’ and ‘advanced’. For everyone happiness, the steep roads in the ‘easy’ route are mostly (or only) located near or before passing the bridges so the rest of the routes are mostly flat roads. This makes Shimanokaido is a good cycling destination for all ages and gender.

Meanwhile, the Tobishimakaido offers shorter route, about 30 km, crossing five small islands in the Seto Inland Sea. There are few sightseeing spots. Not so many cars as well, unlike in Shimanamikaido. When I visited there, I could only found two sightseeing spots, which are the old town of Mitarai and the Kenminnohama beach. Nevertheless, the beaches and the views along the coastline could be the ultimate sightseeing spots in Tobishimakaido. Unfortunately, there are many steep roads. As for me, the steep roads are challenging and also very exciting but maybe not for the other. Kids or people with less cycling experiences may find difficulties in this route.

To conclude, if you are with family or you have less cycling experience, I highly recommend you to go cycling in Shimanamikaido. But, if you prefer to experience the beaten roads, the views, or the feeling to be very close to the sea, I highly recommend you to drop your wheels at the Tobishimakaido.

The route that I took for Tobishimakaido trip can be seen here:

https://www.plotaroute.com/embedmap/398403

Route map for Ngonthelhiroshima-tobishimakaido by ANDHANG RAKHMAT on plotaroute.com

Enjoy the highlight of the cycling tour of #ngothelhiroshima in Tobishimakaido here:

 

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The old town of Mitarai in Osaki-shimojima.

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The memorial for Nakamura-san, the first Japanese who traveled around the world by bicycle.

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View to the Seto Inland Sea.

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Filosofi Otot

Judulnya kayak judul film kopi-kopian ya.

Ada hal menarik yang gw amati dan pelajari dari hobby baru gue. Jadi, sejak beberapa bulan lalu, dari awal musim dingin tepatnya, gue makin rajin ke gym, untuk olah raga, angkat beban, lari, dsb., pokoknya kegiatan dalam ruangan yang bisa mengeluarkan keringat. Kebetulan di kampus gue ada fasilitas gym gratis. Gue pikir-pikir, membership fitness center di Indonesia bisa sampai jutaan rupiah, ini ada fasilitas gratis kok gak gue manfaatkan. Maka fitness gratis pun jadi salah satu motivasi untuk nge-gym. Awalnya gue sendirian aja. Tapi karena obrolan makan siang, mau gak mau ya kegiatan gw itu jadi topik pembicaraan. Bermula dari topik pembicaraan saat makan siang itu lah beberapa teman jadi tertarik untuk ikutan. Akhirnya jadi rame deh.

Sulit banget membuat olah raga menjadi sebuah rutinitas. Rasanya beraaat banget. Komitmen gw di awal-awal ngegym ya at least gw 3 kali seminggu lah ke gym (Senin-Rabu-Jumat). Latihan yang gue lakuin di minggu-minggu awal juga sempat membuat gue kesakitan, pegel-pegel, dan males ke gym lagi. Hal kayak gitu lumrah karena otot belum terbiasa. Tapi, setelah kurang lebih 3 minggu menjalani rutinitas ke gym, gak terasa psikis dan fisik gue mulai terbiasa. Gue merasa lebih bugar dan segar. Lebih bisa berkonsentrasi. Selain itu, perubahan secara fisik di bulan pertama jg terlihat. Gue merasa postur badan gue lebih baik dari sebelumnya. Akhirnya, nge-gym yang awalnya coba-coba itu jadi sesuatu yang ‘addicted’ dan sekarang gue minimal 5 hari ke gym dan menghabiskan waktu 1-2 jam disana.

Menariknya, teman-teman yang ikutan pada datang dan pergi. Ada yang baru sekali latihan, terus pegal-pegal, kemudian gak datang-datang lagi. Ada teman yang nanyain terus kapan aku ngegym biar dia bisa join bareng, sampe gue capek jawabnya. Tapi ya cuma sekedar di mulut saja-dia gak pernah datang. Ada yang menganggap gue sebagai personal trainer-nya. Jadi dia cuman ngikutin yang gue lakuin, apa yang gue suruh, beban nunggu dipasangin, dan gak hafal-hafal gerakan-gerakan yang gue ajarin. Gue gak habis pikir. Kalau orang yang punya motivasi pasti akan cari tahu sendiri, inisiatif untuk pelajari gerakan-gerakan latihan. Dan yang pasti, I train for my own sake, for my own health. Ada juga teman yang awal-awal motivasinya gede banget bahkan sampai membayangkan otot-ototnya bakal segede Kaesang dalam beberapa bulan ke depan. Tapi, jangankan ototnya gede, untuk datang rutin aja belum tercapai. Maybe, they haven’t got the motivation yet and that kind of activity is not their thing,  or not something they like…yet.

Mengamati perilaku teman-teman itu jadi refleksi untuk diri gue sendiri: Kita semua pasti,di suatu titik dalam perjalanan hidup kita, akan punya sesuatu yang dituju. Perjalanan mencapai tujuan itu dimotori oleh mimpi, berbahan bakar motivasi, passion, dan konsistensi, serta dengan do’a sebagai pelumasnya. Lima hal itu lah yang menurut gue bisa jadi kendaraan kita mencapai apa yang ingin kita tuju. Lalu, bagaimana kalau kurang salah satunya? Mungkin… kamu bisa sampai tujuan, tapi kamu gak bahagia. 🙂

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The white January

The long awaited snowfall finally has arrived!

Winter is the season I love the most, especially when the snow covers the whole town of Saijo, the little town where I live, and make the whole town turned into white. The day when the snow fall is so quite, nature becomes so simple, expressing less color but still showing its great beauty. When that moment comes, doing contemplation is the best thing to do. I feel so content.

As this winter would be the last winter for me (hopefully), I would like to freeze the moments by taking some photographs. Hope you guys enjoy!