Japan (Part 1)

Japan hadn’t always been my to-go list until this past year. Along the time, hearing friends’ stories and pictures flying online sparked my interest in visiting Japan. It wasn’t easy planning this trip but we made it through. After months and months of researching, airlines and hotels were booked. Off we went to Japan. I had never fully experienced what autumn really liked. When I was in the States I spent most of my time in California. Even though the weather was nice in autumn (clear sky and less fog) but autumn wasn’t so visible over there. That’s why I had a high hope prior to this trip.

Tokyo 

We decided only to visit Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto given our short period of time. We did not want to rush to get our checklist done. And 2 weeks were clearly not enough. We arrived at Haneda, Tokyo in the morning. Just like little kids going on a trip, we were pretty stoked. After going through the immigration process, we took the subway to the city. I was pretty lost, but Hans was an expert in reading maps. He was the brain in our marriage, clearly! Haha. The subway system was complicated at first but once you understand the color system I think you’re all good.

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Japan was chillier than what we both thought, a light sweater just wouldn’t do. On our way to the hotel we had to open our luggage on the side of the road just to get our coat and scarf out. To tell you the truth, the first couple of days in Tokyo weren’t like what we expected. But what did we expect? Perfect weather? Pile of leaves on all of the roads? Sometimes you just have adapt at what life throws at you. And I think there’s where the fun begins.

Tokyo is indeed a strange place. And oddly, Hans and I enjoyed it very much, even though we gravitate more toward the quiet and suburban towns. But minutes from the very busy city streets, you can find a tranquil garden/park or even a shrine nearby. Which was perfect for us. There’s only so much hustle and bustle one can take before she or he must escape to a quieter area. And that’s exactly what we did.

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The weather has gotten colder but the colors had yet to come out to play. But it’s all good, we both actually enjoyed our time there so much we could care less about the colors 🙂 I’ll break down the story into couple of posts as there’s so many pictures I want to share.

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Bromo Part 2

Day 2

We woke up at 3 am to get ready for the day. We were picked up around 3.30ish by a Toyota Jeep Hardtop (that’s what they called it there). We were riding in the dark not really knowing what’s in front of us. It really was pitch dark.  Kinda scary but it’s such a cool experience! We arrived at Penanjakan (the best spot to view sunrise we were told) in about 30 mins and walked for a bit to reach the top. It was supposed to be a low season but there’s still such a crowd there.

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Waited for half an hour, but too bad the cloud was too thick  I couldn’t really see the majestic sunrise I was hoping for. But at around 6 am the sky started to clear up and I could really feel the warmth of the sun on my skin.

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When the sun finally appeared, it was such a profound feeling really. I felt grateful for that day, being given an opportunity to stand there to witness all these. Being able to do things that I liked, being loved. I was thankful for everything that’s going on in my life.

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After spending quite some time up there, we went on to our next place. During the ride, we saw such a beautiful scenery laid out in front of us. So so so beautiful. That reminded me a lot of Yosemite.

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Second stop was supposedly to be the crater, but one thing we didn’t know prior to this trip was that Bromo was still active at that moment. We were warned to go within 1km radius. But that day I still saw so many people went up to the crater. We didn’t though, so we just snapped some pictures and left. But for some of you who want to get there, you can hike uphill or opt for a horse ride.

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I am not sure you can see the trail or not, but it’s there. And it’s quite a lot of work to get there so don’t forget to bring your shoes appropriate for walking/hiking.

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Next was Pasir Berbisik. The driver slash guide told us that it was named that way because in the summer the sand would make a whispering sound. But from what I read, the name was adopted from a movie. The weather was pretty fickle. When we got to Pasir Berbisik at 9 am the cloud was grey. So much for thinking the sky would stay blue, clear, and pretty. Haha..

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Our last stop of the day was Savana. This is definitely my favorite spot. I can imagine waking up early and making Savana our first stop, that would be so nice.

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Beautiful ain’t it? That’s the end of our trip. We initially rented the car to go to Ranu Pani as well, but then we got there it’s raining quite hard so we had to make a u-turn. It means I will go there again next time 🙂 thank you for reading.

Bromo Part 1

Earlier last week I had the chance to go to Bromo with my family. It’s not really planned so I didn’t do much of a research which I should have. We flew from Jakarta to Surabaya and then from there we spent more or less 4 hours in a rented car.

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Sorry for the rather blurry pictures since they’re mostly taken on a moving car. The scenery was beautiful though! I felt like I was transported into a different place. And talking about the anticipation of getting closer to the destination.

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The weather changed so much from Surabaya to Bromo. It’s rather cold up there, so be prepared to bring some warm clothes with you. The driver told us it gets even colder at night during July-September. Being in a tropical weather for so long my body wasn’t used to the cold weather. My skin got really dry, and even taking shower felt dreadful. Hot tea and coffee helped a lot. When we got to the hostel it was really foggy. The hostel was overlooking the Mount Bromo but given how misty it was we couldn’t see a thing.

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We decided to call it a night on day one since we had to wake up at 3am in the next day to watch the sunrise. Clearly we’re on the wrong month to visit Bromo, haha but more on that later.