Japan – Day 2 (Part 1)

Day 2 was our first full day in Japan and I awoke after the best night’s sleep I have had during the entire trip.  Seriously, the futon was really comfortable!

Day02JPShibuyaDaytime1

We made our way back to the Shibuya scramble crossing in the dry daylight via the overpass walkways.  It’s a nice way to cross some really busy intersections and the bus terminal!

Continue reading

Japan – Day 1

After 11 days in Taiwan, we awoke early to grab a taxi and head for the airport to catch our flights to Japan.  Two of us were on ANA (All Nippon Airways / Air Japan), our host from Taiwan was flying on China Air, and our host’s childhood friend had booked on…Vanilla Air.  Seriously, that’s a real airline.

The flight attendants on our ANA flight were very helpful and polite.  Their English was also very good, which helped us a lot.  Surprisingly, ANA served a meal for our ❤ hour flight.  When I used to fly to Mexico from Detroit on a longer flight I never got a meal but then I was flying via an American airline so I guess that’s to be expected.

Day01JPAirlineLunch

Continue reading

Taiwan – Day 11

Day 11 was our last day in Taipei as we had to get up early the next morning to catch our flights to Japan so we spent the morning packing up before heading out to Taipei for some souvenir shopping and a last view of the city.  As we packed, we turned on the television for the first time and found the historical drama soap operas that were playing completely mesmerizing.  We couldn’t understand a word, of course, but that didn’t stop us from making up the plot as we went.  I have no idea what we were watching but we ended up dubbing the 2 shows, The Saga of the Ugly Belt and Palace Drama.  We’re pretty sure we nailed it.

Before heading to the HSR station for our last ride from from Zhubei to Taipei, we headed for Starbucks for a caffeine fix.

Day11Starbucks1

Continue reading

Taiwan – Day 9

After an overnight stop back in Zhubei to do some laundry and pack up for our next adventure, we headed for Taipei via HSR and then boarded a train for Hualien on the east coast.  The trip from Taipei to Hualien took a couple of hours and from there we needed to make our way down the coast for our night’s accommodation in Shitiping.  We were a group of 8 people and my host’s plan was to have all of us rent motor scooters and drive down the coast.  In short, he wanted to form a scooter gang.

Day09ScooterRental

Continue reading

Taiwan – Day 8

Day 8 dawned and we found that what we considered to be hot and humid weather in Taipei was mere child’s play when compared with the conditions in Kaohsiung.  In such conditions, any normal person would want to stay in the share or, better still, in an air conditioned room but not us: this was a day for a hike!  Yes, I realize you may have doubts about our sanity but rest assured we did as well, though that didn’t stop us.

At first things didn’t seem so bad as we caught a cab from the Just Sleep hotel to the Yuanheng Temple at the base of the hiking trails.

Day08YuanhengTemple

Continue reading