Strolling around a New Year season’s Kamakura with a young Guatemalan

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Date & Time : Thursday, January 4, 2018 10:30 am –4:00 pm
Spots : Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, Hasedera Temple, Kotoku-in Temple (The Great Buddha)
Visitor : 1 Guatemalan man
Attendant : 1 KSGG member
Language : Spanish

On a sunny day of January 4th, a Guatemalan visitor and I strolled around Kamakura, which was still full of New Year worshippers. It was my first time leading a tour in Spanish so I was a bit nervous. However, the visitor was a gentle and kind looking young man, so I felt at ease as I gave an introduction on Kamakura and shrines. By the time we finished seeing Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, the town was getting even more crowded, so I proposed to the visitor, “Let’s sample street food at Komachi-Dori Street for lunch” to which he happily agreed. We purchased dango (sweet dumplings) and bo-zushi (a bar of sushi topped with pressed pickled fish). It made me smile and feel happy to see him curiously taking photos and then taking time to taste them, but I felt sorry that he had to eat cold food on such a cold weather. Enoden (Enoshima Electric Railway) was already getting extremely crowded, so we walked to Hase Station.

At Hasedera Temple, as the visitor was seeing Amida Buddha and Kannon Bodhisattva, he asked me whether those two deities were lovers. I was amused at hearing such an interesting question. (The answer is “no.”) At Kotoku-in Temple, after seeing the Great Buddha (the huge statue of Buddha) we ate “oden” (Japanese stew of fish balls, vegetables, boiled eggs etc.) at a teahouse, and I was relieved that at last he could eat something warm. At the teahouse, he talked about his hobbies and work, and taught me the history of Guatemala, Guatemalan specialty food, etc. Walking around with a pleasant young man and taking a new step forward to lead a tour in a new language, it had become an unforgettable day for me.