Sunday, November 2, 2014

Trip to Bukit Tinggi Malaysia - Berjaya Hills: Japanese Village

Photo By: Elin Chow

Continuing from our trip to Bukit Tinggi, we left Colmar Tropicale and headed off to visit the Japanese Village next. You may click to read about my Trip to Bukit Tinggi Malaysia - Berjaya Hills: Colmar Tropicale if you have not done so.

The Japanese Village

Located higher up at 3,500 feet above sea level is the Zen-Inspired Japanese Village comprising of the Japanese Tea House, Botanical Garden, Tatami Spa, Ume Tatami Suite and Ryo Zan Tei Restaurant.  Built by a team of 22 skilled craftsmen from Japan, the Japanese Village was specially planned and designed by renowned Japanese architect, Mr Kaio Ariizumi.

How To Get There

The Japanese village is located just a 5 minutes drive away from Colmar Tropicale. To reach the attraction, you could either choose to ride the free shuttle bus from provided by Colmar Tropicale Berjaya Hills Resort or drive your way there.

Since it was still early, we have chosen to take the free shuttle bus instead of driving our way to the Japanese Village, which actually offered us a different and better experience.

Upon arrival at our destination, we were delighted to be greeted by the stunning and spectacular view of the mountains. Truly breathtaking!

For those who have chosen to drive your way to the Japanese Village, there is ample of parking lots here for you to park your car without any charges. This would mean that you would not need you worry about where to park your car if you are to drive your way to the Japanese Village.

At the parking lot, where we alighted from the shuttle bus, you will find a gigantic golden Buddha hand with a Lotus flower for the Buddhists to pray for good luck and prosperity.

Located just right beside to the golden Buddha hand is a long flight of stairs that leads to a long stoned steep slope. We actually have to climb our way up in order to reach our final destination.

I must say it was quite a tough climb for us. So, just in case if you are interested to visit the Japanese village, be prepared for some exercises. I would strongly recommend you to come with a good pair of walking shoes as you will be going up and down the hill a lot. Imagine how tougher it will get if you are to climb all your way up with high heels. I think that will make you ended up looking really funny and ridiculous.

However, for people with weak knees and arthritis, visiting the Japanese Village is not definitely not advisable for you. Unless you have really good stamina and determination, I will suggest you to skip the Japanese Village and explore other attractions instead.

At the end of the steep slope, you will arrive at a crossroad where it leads to the Japanese Village on the left and the souvenir shop on the right. Since we were feeling extremely excited to visit the Japanese Village, we decided to take the path on the left first. The Japanese Village is actually located much further up the hill. So, be prepared to climb more stairs and slopes up!

After 10 minutes of climbing, we finally spotted the Japanese Village that is situated higher up the hill.  At least we have something to motivate and keep us going now.

We came upon a bridge that spans across a Koi fish pond and a beautiful waterfall. An prefect spot to start another photo taking session!

Reaching the top, we were delighted to see an exact replica of a Japanese Village. At RM 20 per person, you can rent and get dressed up in a Kimono. After getting dressed, you are allowed to roam freely around the area and capture several photos of yourself within the 30 minutes time frame.

It looks like really interesting experience, but we did not managed to try. Spending RM 20 to rent a Kimono is not really worthwhile. Furthermore, I was even more excited and keen in exploring the entire village than spending my time in some photo-shooting.

Situated in the middle of the village is the Japanese Tea House, also known as Chashitsu by the Japanese. The Tea House overlooks a Koi fish pond, surrounded by beautiful large moss rocks, trees and flowers. Outside the Tea House, a structured stone path encircled the Japanese hut, which seems to add some additional charm to the entire landscape.

The Tea House runs a tea ceromony several times a day. For RM 18 per person, this is where you will be able to learn about how Japanese Tea are prepared and served in the most traditional way.

We did not participate in the Japanese Tea Ceromony as well as we thought it is a little bit overpriced too.

There are plenty of brightly colored Koi fish swimming freely in the pond. It was such a very pleasant sight!

The water in the pond comes from a small waterfall, which added more vibrancy and beauty to the garden.

Further in, situated just right behind the Japanese Tea House, you will find a Japanese Spa center named as the Tatami Spa. The Spa center is housed within a two-storey bungalow that is beautifully surrounded by lush greenary. 

The Tatami Spa offers a wide array of spa treatments, ranging from aromatherapy, body scrub, reflexology and even outdoor Onsen (hot spring bath)! Sounds really good right? But sadly, its spa treatments are priced at the higher range, so I guess it is another place for the rich again. Just in case anyone is interested, below are the prices for its services.

A basic foot spa massage starts from RM 400++! Oh gosh! That could buy me lunch and dinner for a month!!! Spending it on a 1 and half hour foot massage is simply unacceptable for me.

Walking further in, the pathway is decorated by several Japanese traditional stone lanterns known as Isis-doro. 

The Ume Tatami Suite is a luxuxious two-storey Japanese traditional bungalow that is ideal for those who wish to experience the Japanese culture for longer than a day. Consisting a total of three tatami rooms, the Ume Tatami suite is capable of accomodate up to 10 guests at a time. Each of the suite is also well furnished with tatami floors, a kichenette, futon beddings and three bathrooms with tubs, including one with an Onsen.

To enjoy such luxurious stay, definitely, it is going to cost you a bomb. The published rate per night is RM 3,800, which works out to be RM 380 per person. Ridiculously expensive!

We reached the crossroad and decided to visit the souvenir shop located at the right side of the road. We did not get to spend a penny in the souvenir shop as nothing has managed to interest us. But, I really love the colorful Koi fish flags which we found hanging outside of the shop. These Koi fish flags, known as Koinobori by the Japanese, are hung to celebrate the Spirits of Boys Day or Children Day in Japan. As such, Koinobori is traditionally flown by Japanese families to wish the sons a good future.

Happened to spot some pretty pink flowers by the roadside while making our way back to the carpark.

Before we left, let's take a nice photo in front of the beautiful scenery. I believe I will miss the lush greenery, mountains and the cooling fresh air very much. Hopefully we would be back visiting Bukit Tinggi very soon again.

Well, with these, I ended day at Bukit Tinggi with satisfaction. It was a well-worth trip, although we found everything to be a little overpriced here. Even so, we could understand that the higher price is due to the fact that Bukit Tinggi is actually a tourist attraction.

Overall, I have a lot of fun exploring the Colmar Tropicale and Japanese Village. But I would say that I prefer the Japanese Village more. Comparing to man-made buildings, I love the tranquility and calmness of the nature even more. Always so relaxing and peaceful.

For people who are looking for a relaxing short day trip, why not consider making a trip to Bukit Tinggi. I believe the fresh cooling air, lush greenery and mountains view would not disappoint you.

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  1. I am planning to visit the place this weekend. Your post is very detailed and helpful. Good work. 👍🏿

  2. hai . thank you for your nice sharing . I would like to know , is it possible to visit both the colmar tropicale and japanese village in just 1 day ? Which we would like to come in the morning and back at night ?

  3. Such a helpful entry. Loads with information i was looking for. Thank you for the great post. Definitely will read all your post in future.

  4. Hi, I would like to know if there's any operating hours for Colmar Tropicale and Japanese Village? Or it's open at all times?

    Possible to explore finish within a day?
    Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi, I believe there is no closing time except for the activities. It is possible to explore the whole area in a day if you start early.

  5. Hi! Thanks for your tips. Especially regarding the price and also to wear sport shoes. I never thought we have to climb! Looking forward to go there soon. Thanks again for the helpful tips! Have a good day ahead. :)

  6. hai thank u or your post..... this help me alot

  7. Great article! is there any shuttle bus or transport to here from genting?