Date & Time: Tuesday, October 31, 8:45am–4:00pm
Spots: Engakuji Temple, Kenchoji Temple, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, Hokokuji Temple, Sugimotodera Temple, Kotoku-in Temple (Great Buddha) and Hasedera Temple,
Visitors: A Spanish couple in their 40s
Attendant: 1 KSGG member
The Spanish couple came to Japan on October 13. It rained almost every day due to the two typhoons that recently hit Japan. Kamakura was the last place to visit before they returned home. We met at Kitakamakura Station and went to Engakuji Temple first.
I supposed they were interested in Zen, but it seemed that they wanted to go to as many places as possible because Kamakura was the final destination. I changed my original plan to “Kamakura highlight” and took them to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine via Kenchoji Temple. They looked more attracted by the scenery surrounding the shrine and the temples and visitors than the shrine and the temples themselves. So they took pictures of Chinese juniper trees, a wedding ceremony and children who were celebrating Shichi-Go-San (Japanese custom to give thanks to the gods for children’s healthy growth and development when they are seven, five and three years old).
There were only a few people in Hokokuji Temple and they were moved by the beauty of bamboo grove. They joked, ” As there were too many people at Arashiyama in Kyoto, we saw umbrellas and people instead of bamboo.” We went to Sugimotodera Temple since I chose to see moss after bamboo. They looked fascinated by Senjafuda (literally “thousand shrine tags”, votive slips or placards posted on the gates or buildings of shrines and Buddhist temples in Japan).
At Kotoku-in Temple, they said “The figure of Great Buddha against the blue sky is beautiful, and this looks bigger than that in Nara.” In Hasedera Temple, they were attracted by the beauty of Nishikigoi (colored carp) in a pond. In spite of the tight schedule of the day, we fully enjoyed the day trip. I felt at ease as I helped them make good memories of the trip.