Jember, a regency in East Java, is the third largest urban area in the province after Surabaya and Malang. It is internationally renowned for the annual Jember Fashion Carnaval (the world’s longest catwalk), Jember Kota Cerutu Indonesia (Indonesian Cigar City), producer of high-quality tobacco, coffee, and cacao, along with frozen vegetables for export that include edamame, okura, and sweet potato, and other high-value commodities.
Tourism is another potential sector available to Jember since it is strategically situated in fertile canyon plains in the central and southern parts, and surrounded by mountains such as Iyang and Argopuro, with the eastern part is part of the Ijen plateau of Banyuwangi. The 4-hour drive from Surabaya is prevented from being tiresome because of the huge variety of landscapes and terrains. It is interesting to see industrial areas in some parts, while other areas offer forests, rice fields, dry fields and plantations. Jember Regency also has small islands, the largest being Nusa Barong, and a popular beach named Papuma (Pasir Putih Malikan). Jember is also surrounded by rivers: Bedadung flows from Mt. Iyang in the central part, the Mayang river traverses down Mt. Raung in the east, and the Bondoyudo river travels in from Mt. Semeru in the west.
Travelling to Jember for business or leisure, you can choose to depart from Surabaya or Malang, as most providers have schedules for 2 trips in the morning and 1 trip each at noon and in the evening. Another option is to fly from Notohadinegoro Airport where the Jember-Surabaya-Jember route starts on the 2nd January 2023. The aircraft for the route is the new Cessna Grand Caravan EX USA, with a capacity for 12 passengers. The 2 flights scheduled daily in the morning and afternoon can cater for business and leisure travellers.
Recommended accommodation is Hotel Dafam Fortuna by Dafam, part of Dafam Hotel Management (DHM). Its strategic location on a bustling street lined with restaurants and local shops is only 10 minutes’ drive from Jember train station and 20 minutes’ drive from Notohadinegoro Airport. Featuring 120 rooms from standard, deluxe, family, and executive rooms, complete facilities and amenities for business or holiday trips include meeting rooms and a ballroom that can accommodate up to 500 people, an outdoor pool, gym and laundry service. For dining, the Ukafe lounge and bistro offers a retro style and energetic atmosphere and is the perfect place to savour Indonesian cuisine and local dishes, various beverages and finger-food.
The topographical characteristics and production of high quality commodities mentioned earlier has been a staple of the Regency since the colonial era. It has brought Jember to become research centre and offers educational and agro tourism opportunities that feature a laboratory, library, museum, and plantation. Visitors can have a wholesome experience learning about the processes from basic ingredients up to market-ready products.
♦ Pusat Penelitian Kopi dan Kakao Indonesia or PUSLITKOKA (Indonesian Coffee and Cocoa Research Institute)
As a science technopark and agro tourism feature, PUSLITKOKA was established in 1911 under the name Besoekisch Proefstation, and is one of the oldest research institutes in the world. The long history actually started from the 1800s when coffee was brought to Indonesia, followed by cocoa brought in the 1930s. With a total area of 160 hectares, 20 hectares are used for agro tourism.
The scope of research and development covers plant breeding and biotechnology, agronomy, soil science and water management, plant protection, post-harvest technology, machinery, and social economy. Supported by qualified researchers, research facilities, and a strong collaborative network with various national and international stakeholders, PUSLITKOKA also provides various training programs related to coffee and cacao from basic knowledge to the know-how to market the products.
♦ Tobacco Museum
Established in 1952 and divided into two floors. The museum specifically exhibits various types of tobacco and manufacturing equipment as well as product diversification of tobacco such as essential oil, perfume, pesticide, balm and more. On the first floor are displays of tobacco commodities produced by tobacco farmers in Jember Regency. The museum’s main collection is displayed on the first floor, namely dried VO and NO tobacco leaves, and visitors can learn about the process and ready to market products displayed at the museum. The second floor is used as a library room. The history of tobacco is closely attached to the culture of Jember’s iconography which is manifested in the logo, batik patterns, and many others.
♦ BIN Cigar
As the Cigar City, a visit to a cigar manufacturer is a treasured experience. BIN Cigar, first began operating in 2013, producing tobacco for cigars. BIN Cigar also produces Cuban Havana cigars, with the introduced tobacco seeds as the main ingredient and which has been cultivated in Jember for more than 20 years. At the present time, the cultivated seeds have been licensed by the Indonesian government as well as other seeds which have been developed. It is supported by experts who have 50 years’ experience in tobacco. The process of making cigars incorporates many steps, great skill, and is very labour intensive with a process from planting, harvesting, curing, fermentation, sortation, filling, binding, wrapping, packing to quality control. BIN Cigar currently has 24 trademarks and is exported overseas to 15 countries and is recognised as number two in the world after Cuba.
♦ Papuma Beach (Pasir Putih Malikan)
A popular destination, 40km drive from the city centre, the exotic beach of Papuma attracts the eyes and hearts of domestic and international tourists. During the Japanese colonial era, the forest around Papuma beach was used as a Japanese headquarters and fortress during the Second World War. Papuma, also known as Tanjung Papuma, is located overhanging the sea, and the many coral islands make the view of the beach even more beautiful, especially at sunrise and sunset. There are seven large coral reefs, and each have their own names taken from wayang characters such as Batara Guru Island, Kresna Island, Narada Island, Nusa Barong Island, and Kajang Island. There is even one named Frog Island because it looks like a giant frog in the middle of the sea.
On the way to the beach, you pass through a forest filled with unspoiled trees and a habitat of various tropical flora and fauna and not far from the sand, there is a beautiful pagoda overlooking the area. There are also plenty of local warung where visitors can buy meals and drinks while admiring the scenery and relaxing
♦ Restaurant Lestari
If you’re looking for local culinary delights to impress your taste buds, Restaurant Lestari is the best place to go! The legendary dining outlet has operated since 1982 and offers traditional Indonesian dishes such as Gurame Green Chili Sambal and Fried Beef Tongue, a special family recipe that has been passed down for generations.
Other items are available on the menu are Chicken Garang Asem, Genjer Shrimp Tauco, Pecek Eggplant with Peanut Seasoning, Tahu Telur, and many more. The restaurant also serves legendary Zangrandi ice cream, special origin coffee, and other beverages and can cater for private or special events, with supporting facilities such as bands and live music, sound systems, and meeting rooms.
♦ Primadona ‘Proll Tape and Suwar Suwir’ traditional food souvenir food from Jember
There is a long Indonesian tradition of bringing home gifts with you, and Proll Tape and Suwar Suwir are the perfect traditional snacks to give to family and friends. Both are made from the basic ingredient of cassava (or tape in Bahasa). Suwar Suwir is available in chocolate, soursop, pineapple, durian, and milk. It has a sweet taste, and a shelf life up to 1 year with no preservatives added! Proll Tape is available in flavours such as walnut, cheese-raisin, chocolate, and original, and is packed in two different size options, large and small.
Apart from producing Proll Tape and Suwar Suwir, Primadona also sells a wide variety of Jember signature food and souvenirs including Edamame Pie, Crispy Edamame, frozen or ready-to-eat Edamame, Edamame juice, shrimp paste, original Vicco chocolate from Jember, ground coffee, and original Jember cigars.