I can’t believe I just made it to Kamakura. I’ve been in Japan just about a year, and live barely two hours from this great little town. Anyway, I finally made it and did a great little overnight stay.
It was really hot so one of the first things I did was eat ice cream. Japan sure loves soft serve ice cream, which is great since I do too! I really enjoyed this beni-imo ice cream (purple sweet potato).
Yum! Then we went to see the “big Buddha,” otherwise known as Kamakura Daibutsu. It’s the second tallest bronze Buddha statue in Japan, and was constructed in 1252! Wow! My friend Raymond did a great job making it look like I was the only one there.
Next we went to Hase-dera. I really liked this temple, especially because of the sentai jizo.
There’s a lot of them! One thousand, in fact.
Jizo are guardians of women, children, and travelers. I’ve seen him described as a “child-monk,” which I think is a pretty accurate description. Because he is the protector of children, sometimes you can see toys near the guardians, given as offerings from families with sick children, or children who have recovered from an illness and the family wishes to give thanks. We saw some toys at this temple near the jizo. Sometimes they are seen wearing red bibs or little hats. None of these jizo were, I think because it’s summer and they don’t need the extra warmth 🙂
Here’s some more sights from the temple! Then we had lunch. Yum!
Next we went over to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu.
Then we went over to a pond within the shrine and saw some crazy amazing turtles.
Haaa oops he fell!
Here’s a video of the turtles being cute!
This is also where I saw this crazy, dinosaur-lizard-turtle. He pretty much terrified me, because I was crouched down right by the edge of the pond when he popped his head out. At first I only saw his head, too, so I really thought he was some kind of giant lizard. I was pretty relieved he was just a turtle in the end. He was pretty quick, too. He only came up for a few seconds to nab some food and then was gone.
Then I went to check into my guest house, Kamejikan. It was a great place to stay, here is their website.
The sort of living room/kitchen area:
That night we ate sushi at a kaiten (conveyer belt) sushi place. These places don’t always have the best reputation for great sushi, but this one was pretty delicious!
The next day we headed to Enoshima.
I had more ice cream! This time it was ramune, Japanese soda flavor swirled with vanilla.
Now for the sights!
After that we spent some time at the beach, but I didn’t get any pictures of that, what with all that water and sand threatening to destroy my camera.
It was a really great trip, and I am planning to go back soon actually, to get to some of the temples and shrines I didn’t get to see this time around.
(Update: I have many more pictures of my trip to Nara! But I’m trying to save space on my blog, so for more, please go to my flickr account, here.)