This is a LONG post!
What a great two days it’s been in Kamakura! Ian and Reiko took me down to this seaside town for an overnight trip. It’s lovely. On Tuesday, we started our trek with a few bad omens as Ian forgot his wallet and I was unable to withdraw cash from the ATM. Those crises solved, we proceeded on our way. It took about 90 minutes to get from Ian’s place down to Kamakura, all of which was done on public transportation. We saw a lot down there (Kamakura was once the capital of Japan, and as such, has an excessive number of shrines, most of which we hiked to), so I’ll let the photos do most of the talking.
The Great Buddha, which we saw as we ordered SWEET POTATO ICE CREAM!:
Our lunch of Kamameshi (rice, egg, chicken, and radish), veggies in vinegar, and miso soup:
A floating forest at Hachiman-gu:
And a shrine there too!:
A mossy yard at Enguko-ji:
And a spider there too! (click for a bigger picture):
Also, a shrine was there!:
That night, we ate a feast based on Shirasu, which is a tiny little fish that is the local speciality. Shirasu is about 1.5cm long, 2mm thick, and is eaten before it grows to any sort of maturity. With our dinner, we had grilled barracuda, baked yellowtail, Shirasu on rice, pickles, miso soup, tempura, sushi, a raw bowl of Shirasu with mustard, and Shirasu on salad. I took photos, but I’ll wait until I get home for you to see them.
After dinner, we walked on the beach, dipped our toes in the Pacific (the Bay of Japan, really), and looked at Enoshima island, which would be our destination the next day:
On Wednesday, we walked across the bridge to Enoshima:
…which has many more shrines and interesting sites. Here’s a dragon:
And a craggy shore:
We found a fence where couples secure locks, symbols of their unbreakable devotion:
And we watched the eclipse (through our cameras)!
We found another shrine:
and ate some funky octopus crackers!
After our lovely time on Enoshima, we headed back up to the main part of Kamakura. Before we left, we went to the shrine of Kannon, which looks like this, looking out over Kamakura:
It took a lot of steps to get up to see her:
She is beautiful, to be sure. Also at her shrine was this flame, which was lit from the burning rubble of Hiroshima, and has been burning ever since. In the background on the left, you can see a piece of rock that was also pulled from the wreckage at Hiroshima:
After that moving display, we decided that Kamakura couldn’t top itself, and we headed back to Tokyo, where we went to a Shinto Shrine right in the middle of the city:
The Hanazono Shrine is located conveniently near chain hotels:
After this last shrine, we were pooped and we headed back to Ian’s place to have some dinner and chat. I showed Ian and Reiko my photos from China and Korea and we talked recession, culture, and such. After Reiko left for the night, Ian and I stayed up later talking computers, personality, and relationships.
What a fun couple of days! I like Reiko a lot, and I’m glad for the chance to spend some more time with Ian.
Tomorrow, I’m on my own in Tokyo! Not sure what I’m going to do, but I’ll start with a late morning. From rise to bed, I’ve been surrounded by people for the last 5 days. I need a break.