Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Niijima part II

Here's our tent at the campsite, and our rental bikes. The campsite was full of surfers, and surprisingly multicultural. There were Brazilians, Japanese, British, and Americans. Our bikes were rusty and hard to pedal up the many hills, but that seemed to be the case for every rental bike on the island. 

We biked around to the other side of the island, and found Maehama beach. The water here was just as turquoise and clear. Maehama doesn't get the big waves that Habushiura does, so this beach had more families relaxing on the white sand and playing in the water. Still nowhere near crowded, though!

This was about as crowded as it got. A refreshing change from Tokyo!

We took a stroll along this path running parallel to the beach. It was pretty but really, really hot. 

We found this secluded cove, and while it was nice and shady, getting there was a nightmare because the beach changed from soft white sand to little sharp rocks and pebbles. Plus it was burning hot, so we had to walk in the surf at a sloping angle. 

After that crazy walk, we went to relax in the free open air hot springs. It was mixed baths so you had to keep your bathing suit on, but it was really nice and relaxing. There were about 5 baths of varying temperatures, from scalding hot to lukewarm. The whole place had a great view of the coast.

That one up the staircase had the best view! It was designed to look like a Greek ruin, for some reason.

Niijima part 1

This is the view of Tokyo Bay as we departed on the overnight ferry!

And here's the sunrise from the ferry! That island in the distance is Oshima.

The first view of Niijima after getting off the ferry. Look at that blue water!

Niijima is full of these stone statues, called moyai in Japanese but actually spelled moai. Niijima gifted one of these to Tokyo, it's at Shibuya station.

This is the lifeguard station on Habushiura beach. Looks so Mediterranean, doesn't it?

Habushiura beach! This beach is famous for surfing, but when we were there the waves were small so we could swim. 

It wasn't crowded at all, either. The water was clear and beautiful and there were maybe three or four other people around. This was early morning though, in the afternoon a few more showed up.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Yukata cruise

My friend's combination birthday and farewell party was held on a cruise around Tokyo Bay. Everyone dressed up in yukatas, and it was all you can drink. It was super fun!
The Rainbow Bridge was spectacular in person as we went under it!

We tried so many times to get a nice shot with the sign, but this candid one was the best.

There was a dance show too! It wasn't traditional dancing though, it was hip hop. We were amazed that the dancers could move so well, a yukata isn't the easiest thing to dance in. Traditional dances are all about arm movements!