Israeli Woman Enjoys Kamakura in Autumn Leaves

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Date & Time: Friday, December 1, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Spots: Kenchoji Temple, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, Komachi-dori Street, Hasedera Temple, and Kotokuin Temple (Great Buddha)
Visitor: An Israeli woman
Guide: 1 KSGG member
Language: English

Kamakura looked beautiful, being decorated with flaming autumn leaves. We first visited Kenchoji Temple and had a tour around its gate, temple bell, Buddha hall, Zen lecture hall and Karamon or Chinese-style gate. At the temple bell, I explained that, although a temple bell is supposed to be rung 108 times,the same number of worldly desires on New Year’s Eve, this bell is struck only 18 times because it is very old and gets deteriorated. The visitor was very much impressed by the power of the dragon picture in the Zen lecture hall. We then walked up to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, and had, for lunch, tempura soba (buckwheat noodles topped with tempura ) later. She seemed to like soba though it was her first time to eat it. When heading to Hasedera Temple by Enoden, she came across an Israeli couple with whom she chatted in her mother language and looked very happy. At Hasedera Temple, we had to walk quite a few stairs up to pray to the principal image, Juichimen-Kannon (Eleven-faced Kannon). Although she looked very tired, she really wanted to see the Great Buddha. We then slowly walked toward Kotokuin Temple. She seemed to be overwhelmed by the size of the Great Buddha. She felt the Great Buddha of Kotokuin Temple was larger than that of Todaiji Temple in Nara, though the former is larger than the latter. I was relieved to find out in her message that night that she had really enjoyed the tour for the day.