No curve was too sharp for them and their bicycle. No puddle was deep enough to stop them. -- Friends by Helme Hein

20 July, 2009

Kamakura

I crammed 3 of my 5 papers due before I leave this island on Wednesday so I could take a day trip to Kamakura and get away from the computer and apartment. It's a place I've always wanted to go and it was worth it. On the coast, just an hour away on the train, Kamakura is the old Edo capital and is beautifully relaxed and traditional.
Can I live here please? A meeting room in Joochiji Temple, the first temple along a 3 km hiking course through the hills.

The gardens and bamboo groves around this room are magnificent...

and I love the way traditional Japanese buildings bring nature inside. This is my dream home.

Such a cool flower. Reminds me that we live on a tropical island.

I walked that way and found...

Hotei, one of the Seven Lucky Gods of Japanese mythology! Hotei carries a bag on his back that never empties because he feeds the needy and the poor. Can you see how often his belly gets rubbed for luck and happiness?

Small shrine with koi in the pond at Zeniarai Shrine

These people are washing their money in tiny baskets with fresh spring water. It is believed that if you wash your money at Zeniarai Shrine then that money will double in fortune after you spend it.

Have you ever seen a lizard with an electric blue tail before?

Big, big Buddha. But not the biggest in Japan. This Buddha used to be housed in a shed, but a tsunami in the late 1400's wiped away the shed.

Is this the face of peace? enlightenment? I'm not sure...

Grilling o-senbei.

I had high hopes of enjoying some lunch on the beach, but as you can tell, I wasn't alone in that dream. When I planned to go on Monday I didn't know it was a Japanese holiday. The last time I came to the beach it was nearly empty and completely peaceful. Now that it's "beach season," makeshift bars with dance floors, 2-for-1 drink specials and loud blaring music, are set up all along the shoreline. It was a party atmosphere that I wasn't diggin' all by my lonesome.

The Japanese have a funny thing about "seasons." Nothing can happen outside of the season until that specific date hits...can't go to the beach until mid July, can only climb Fuji during climbing season which ends September 1st, and just because it rains before the middle of June doesn't mean that rainy season has arrived early. It must be hard to follow so many guidelines.

And of course, more food. Sweet potato and green tea swirl soft serve. Only in Japan.

4 comments:

YourFrenz said...

Great posts! One can get a feel for your experience through the lens of your camera and the catchy quotes and descriptions. Seems like things are moving along there and coming back to the U.S. will be a bit of a shock. No bidets here, but I think I might look into one of those.....

For Better or Worse said...

I ate the O-Senbei from the same guy when I was there! It looks like you have been enjoying yourself this summer. Let me know if you are headed up my way at all!

Wendy said...

It is just beautiful there! So cool that you are seeing as much as you can while you're there.

KP said...

Beautiful place. The ice cream frightens me though...