Nextepisode’s blog

院生(M1) 専門-開発経済/国際関係

A day trip to Kamakura


 We stayed in Tokyo so we decided to take advantage of the opportunity with a day trip down to Kamakura. Located about an hour south of Tokyo. My body physically refused to get out of bed and open my eyes for more a few seconds. On the other hand, I couldn’t very well sleep through it. A train to Kamakura from our accommodation Kawasaki city was quite empty so we fell asleep on the train.We came to Kamakura Station around 10:00 and the weather in Kamakura was crisp and hot when We reached. Kamakura is a small, but historically significant city. It was established as the base for Minamoto Yoritomo in 1180, and the government he set up later became known as the Kamakura Shogunate, the name of the age the Kamakura era. What Kamakura is really famous for, though, is the Big Buddha. We decided to see this first.



Unlike the one in Nara, it did not crouch in a dimly-lit hall, but rather sat, starkly, among the cloistered pines and distant hills. There was also no fanfare leading up to the Big Buddha. We paid for our ticket to enter … and there it was. And this is what made it so impressive. Like a mountain or a river, it needed nothing. It simply was.




 I am of the opinion that the best way to explore a city is on foot, wherein you can really get a feel of the physically geography of the area.  I'm more likely to stop and get a closer look at something when I am on foot.






There are tons of shops where you can easily find traditional Japanese snacks and tsukemonos nearby big Buddha. But cons is that there is scarcely any trash bins at almost every touristic place in Japan, Kamakura wasn’t exceptional. So we had difficulty in throwing rubbish when we ate up something.





As we walked less than 1Km along the easy flat walk from Kamakura station, the torii came into  sight. As you enter beneath the larger torii gate of Turuoka Hachimangu making the scared ground of the shrine you cross over a bridge and once you inside if you again heard over a bridge to the right there are two ponds. 







Tsuruoka Hachimangu is one of the temples I had been dying to see in person ever since I was 18. Although my pre-research warned me that crowds swarmed the temple on weekends, I saw people here and there, not many turists than I expected. This might have been due to our timing, it was lunch time when we reached there, but I myself think the torrid temperature was keeping people away. 





The temple was architecturally impressive in addition to its cultural value. Although the main temple looks similar in style to the one seen at Kyoto, the gate gardian at a temple would normaly be the slightly scary looking. And the red color is relatively deep as you can see, which I thought to be more pale. It made this temple conspicuous.


Sitting down on a busy train we chewed the fat concerning our plan because we did not have specific plans about how long and where to go after Tokyo and Kanagawa trip. Eventually, I reached the same conclusion as gonca that the next destination is Yamanashi.






Enoshima is located only 8km from Kamakura. I fact, I knew only a slight amounts of Enoshima, so i was looking forward to the trip down to Enoshima and wondering what the day had in store for us. When we first arrive onto the island there's a small town containig the Onsen bulding on the far right of the photo above, a variety of places to eat and many sourvenir shops.








There is a day pass you can buy for 1000 Japanese yen which lets you use the escalators cutting out a lot of the hill climbing and gives access to the observatuon tower. Alternatively, you can pay for tickets to only the parts you want to access. In this way, elevators that carry you up the northen side of the island that do chearge a small fee, 300 yen each. We used it only one time when I fed up with climbing by foot. If you have limited mobility this may be a bit difficult to climb up a mountain without using escalators but otherwise it's feasible.




After exploring, we ate dinner at the same Izakaya and headed to Yamanashi and Nagano.