Gallery

Kamakura & Enoshima 2013

In the Spring of 2013, I met up with a couple of friends, husband and wife, who were traveling in Tokyo at the same time, and they suggested that I must visit Kamakura. Which I heeded and did not regret.

DSCF0735

There are two ways you can see Kamakura; you either start from Kamakura Station or from Kitakamakura Station. For my first trip, I took the first option of starting from Kamakura Station. I don’t recommend this route unless you like going back and forth between what I think are the two main shrines: Kōtoku-in (where the infamous Great Buddha is, as noted in the photo above) and Kenchoji Temple (the oldest temple in Kamakura).

Tip: Go for the second option, the option I took the second time around, and start your journey with Kenchoji Temple which is just next to the Kitakamakura station and walk all the way down to Hase.

Once there, the hilly terrain is apparent. Together with the mountains that surrounded the city, made Kamakura a natural fortress. In fact, partly because of its natural environment, Kamakura was even once the capital of Japan albeit for a very short period of time. Kamakura is well known for its Buddhism and Shinto shrines as well, so it is as historical as it is zen.

DSCF0740 DSCF0737

On my way to Kōtoku-in, I met this cat. I love walking through alleys and peek into houses everywhere I travel. These walks/peeks gave me so many insights on how differently people live in different countries as compared to Singapore.

 

Kōtoku-in

The serenity of a Buddhist temple was something I enjoyed even back at home. At Kōtoku-in, the 700+ year-old statue of the Great Buddha or Daibutsu sits in the middle of a beautiful garden with mountain and the sky as a backdrop. Very minimal, very zen. Om.

DSCF0754 DSCF0761 DSCF0771

Hase-dera

Next, Hase-dera. Hase-dera houses one of the biggest wooden Kannon (or Guan Yin) statues in the Japan. Legend has it that a monk, all the way in Nara, carved two identical statues from a single tree, and dropped one of them into the sea. This was so that two karmic forged temples can be built. One in Nara and, of course, another in Kamakura where the sea, finally, washed it on its shores. We were not allowed to take any photo of the statue though.

DSCF0781

At Hase-dera, I saw another cat. A grumpy looking one too.

DSCF0782 DSCF0790

The weather wasn’t as great as I hoped for as one can tell from the photos. However, for my second visit a year later with my family, it was a much better experience.

 

Enoshima

From Hase, I took a tram, by the Enoshima Electric Railway, down to Enoshima. Enoshima is a tiny island with a lot of street food that are littered along the way to a few shrines that are up on top of a hill.

DSCF0802 DSCF0807 DSCF0813

Collectively, they are called Enoshima Shrine.

DSCF0818 DSCF0820 DSCF0823

Apparently, you can see Mount Fuji from here. It was there… somewhere past all the fogs and clouds that prevailed that day.

DSCF0830 DSCF0834 DSCF0838

I saw some cat figurines that I did not buy.

DSCF0841 DSCF0858 DSCF0861

And, there was also a beach.

DSCF0868 DSCF0879 DSCF0885 DSCF0909 DSCF0910 DSCF0918

Hachimangu Shrine

After visiting Enoshima, my final stop was Hachimangu Shrine. I took a tram straight back to the Kamakura Station where people were keen to take photos of the tram and, most importantly, a figurine of a frog. I have often observed in some train stations a figurine of a frog as seen below. From the pieces of information I got from googling, I gathered that frog was a play on the Japanese word “kaeru” which meant return as well.

DSCF0923

From the train station, I walked to the Hachimangu Shrine next. Even if it was not the most perfect weather, walking from the station to the shrine during cherry blossom was highly enjoyable. The path towards the shrine was beautifully layered with cherry blossoms and ginkgo trees and people were just hanami-ing.

DSCF0929 DSCF0955 DSCF0961 DSCF0986 DSCF0988 DSCF0999

Japanese pets are always clean, well-dressed, fluffy, and traveled in style… in a pram for some reason. It was hard to resist to take photos of them.

DSCF1002 DSCF1007 DSCF1013

In my humblest opinion, Kamakura was like a little Kyoto. Definitely, a very good side trip to take when in Tokyo. I returned to Kamakura in Autumn 2014 when the weather was a lot more lovely. Do read about it here.

One thought on “Kamakura & Enoshima 2013

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s