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.
If you know me, you know I’m a planner. I plan ahead, I organize, I schedule. I have flights and hotels booked (at least) several weeks, hopefully months ahead of time. I spend hours researching routes and airlines and prices to the point of Shaun exclaiming to just book one already! That being said, the last 48 hours have been a whirlwind. Our itinerary has shifted from flying home to California in a week, to instead flying to Tokyo in 3 days.
Denpasar, the capital and largest city of Bali, is a primary hub for authentic Balinese market shopping. It’s hectic, intense, chaotic but also lively, fascinating and full of color. We both found unique, handmade souvenirs for $5 – $10 and had such a fun experience that we’re considering going back for more. The toughest part was getting there with a two-hour round trip riding tandem on a motorbike.
Pura Luhur Uluwatu: an 11th century Balinese sea temple built atop stunning 230 feet sheer cliffs over the Indian Ocean, on the southernmost edge of the Bukit peninsula. Beyond it’s incredible architecture, the Uluwatu Temple has also gained popularity with tourists because it’s occupied with an amazing amounts of grey monkeys- super, super cute but with a naughty side!