Today we went to 鎌倉 (Kamakura).
Kamakura was once, long ago, the capital of Japan. It’s not too far south of Tokyo in 神奈川県 (Kanagawa Prefecture).
Kamakura is my favorite part of Kanagawa Prefecture.
It’s still very “traditional” Japan. There’s a nice beach, 大仏 (Great Buddah), many shrines and temples, lots of great souvenirs and food to buy, and 江ノ島 (Enoshima) and 横浜 (Yokohama) aren’t far.
One reason we decided to go to Kamakura today was because they were having a 流鏑馬 (Horseback Archery) show (like the one I watched in Tokyo yesterday) today.
My wife’s aunt wanted to join us today. So we woke up early and met her at the train station at 7:30AM and the six of us (my wife and I, our three kids, and my wife’s aunt) got to Kita-Kamakura Station at 8:45AM.
From there, we walked to 浄智寺 (Jyouchiji Temple).
Then we walked to 源氏山 (Genji-yama Mountain) and followed the hiking course.
And we walked to the 高徳院 (Koutokuin Temple) with the 大仏 (Great Buddah).
At the 高徳院 (Koutokuin Temple), there were some children dressed in kimono who were learning 茶道 (Tea Ceremony) (In Japan, preparing and serving Green Tea properly involves an elaborate ceremony). The children and their 茶道 teachers were preparing and serving tea for free. So we decided to have some.
It was very good!
The tea ceremony teacher:
From there, we walked over to 長谷寺 (Hase-dera Temple), which is a beautiful temple with a beautiful garden and Koi (Carp) pond.
The temple is up on a mountain with a beautiful view of Tokyo Bay.
In addition to that view, on the way up to the temple we were able to see 富士山 (Mt. Fuji).
At Hase-dera Temple, we ate a picnic lunch.
After lunch we headed to the 長谷駅 (Hase Station) on the 江ノ電 (Enoden Train Line) and rode the train to 鎌倉駅 (Kamakura Station) and then we walked down the 小町通り (Komachi-doori) shopping street which is lined with many great traditional Japanese shops. We bought some freshly cooked おせんべ (Rice crackers) at a shop here.
We went to the 鶴岡八幡宮 (Tsurugaoka-hachimanguu Shrine) which is where the 流鏑馬 (Horseback Archery) show was. Since it was extremely crowded and I watched Horseback Archery yesterday, we didn’t stay for the entire show.
After that, we went back to the shops and got a few bottles of “Kamakura Beer” and some famous “Hato Sable” cookies from the 豊島屋 (Toshimaya) store for souvenirs.
Then we headed home. It was a fun day.