In an unconventional / first birthday overseas, I indulged myself to Sushi Dai - the best sushi in Tokyo as most visitors and locals to Tsukiji Market would concur. As the plan goes, after having the sushi breakfast, we decided to pay a visit to Kamakura (鎌倉市), a coastal town in the Kanagawa prefecture. What used to be a political center of Japan, Kamakura is now a popular tourist destination for those who would want to explore slightly further from Tokyo itself.
Getting to Kamakura takes less than hour from Tokyo itself. If you are traveling via the Tokyo Metro or the JR line, get to the Shimbashi station and you would find your way to Kamakura via the railway.
|Facing the Great Buddha of Kamakura|
Bro Tips : For the Tokyo Metro line, get to station A10 for the Asakusa line or G08 for the Ginza line (Shimbashi station). Get to the Shimbashi station for the JR Yokosuka Line (fees would be around ¥800 one way).
You can easily see up to 8 attractions in a day, from visiting the abundant Zen temples available here or go back in time and feel like a samurai for a day (after all, Kamakura was known as the Home of the Samurais, or something like that). But if you have half a day like I did, perhaps going to a few key attractions would suffice. A trip to Kamakura would be incomplete if you have not visited the Daibutsu (大佛), the Great Buddha statue homed in the Kotoku-in temple (高徳院). This iconic landmark in Kamakura can be reached by getting to the Hase station from the Kamakura terminal station, and walk about 10 minutes to Kotoku-in. Entrance fee would be ¥200 to the temple.
|Sammon (Main-Gate) of the Hasedera Temple|
The entrance fee would be ¥300, and upon entering you won't miss the lush green garden and to the right there is an underground cave (benten kutsu cave) devoted to Benzaiten, the sea goddess from the Seven Lucky Gods Japanese mythology.
Ascending the steps up to the temple, you would also notice numerous Jizō statues that were placed by parents to mourn their departed offspring.
As the Kamakura beach was not in my check list, having the height view of the Kamakura bay from the Hasedera was suffice for me.
|Sleepy Totoro from a My Neighbor Totoro themed store|
|Kamakura Ham & Shirasu in a bowl.|
|Kinda regretted just having one. Gahhh...|
- Zeniarai - Which means 'coins washing',
- Benzaiten - A Buddhist Goddess
- Ugafuku - A traditional spirit ugafuku-jin (宇賀福神) associated with snakes as the shrine is said to be divined by a dream that occurred at a day, month and year of the snake.
|Above : Wash your money with the spring water using the ladle & sift.|
Below : Allow money to dry 'naturally'. That was the actual instruction.
|Can I get one of those sakedaru (酒樽, sake barrels) ?|
Read more of what I've experienced in the Kanto region, mostly Tokyo area :)
|Bonus scene : This is actually a setting in a local Starbucks here in Kamakura. Patrons can enjoy their coffee while admiring the garden (hydrangea I supposed, I *think*). Gahhhhh, why Malaysia don't have?|