Hands down, my favorite beach in Bali. Thomas Beach is private, quiet and beautiful with lengthy white sands and crystal clear turquoise water. Every one of the surrounding area’s beaches (Uluwatu, Padang Padang, Bingin) are filled with hoards of tourists and even more locals (trying to sell sarongs!) resulting in a less than peaceful beach experience… speakers no doubt blasting Bob Marley, an excess of Bintangs and no elbow room. Thomas Beach feels worlds away; we were among five other tourists on a beach half a mile long. The only beach vendor was selling ice cold coconuts – exactly the one thing I would actually like to purchase at the beach.
Shibuya! Home to the world’s busiest crosswalk (in the world’s most populated city!): a five-way free for all surrounded by skyscrapers and mega-screens that’s said to have up to 1,000 crossers at a time during rush hour. When you imagine Tokyo, this is it. We stuck around after sunset to see Shibuya at it’s best, neon lights and all.
Shinjuku embodies the urban side of Tokyo: government building skyscrapers, upscale department stores, crowded streets teeming with bars and cafes, and the world’s busiest railway station. Since the weather is brimming on the beginning of typhoon season here, our first day out in Shinjuku is through the drizzle.
Ichinomiya, Chiba is a quiet, rural country town along the coast of Japan with plenty of rice paddies, a scarce amount of restaurants and nearly zero English translations. Our Airbnb was in walkable distance of a convenience store, a supermarket, and the train station but not much beyond that. Luckily, we were able to borrow bikes and explore further along to experience Ichinomiya’s cafes, coastline and surf shops.