Date & Time: Monday, July 2, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Spots: Kotokuin Temple (Great Buddha), Hasedera Temple, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine
Visitors: 3 Australians
Attendant: 1 KSGG member
As it was a scorching day, we started the Kamakura tour earlier than we had planned. We visited Kotokuin Temple to see the Buddha statue first, and then went to Hasedera Temple before it became too hot. It was peaceful at Kotokuin Temple, as only a few people were there. As the participants had already seen the Great Buddha at Tōdai-ji Temple in Nara, I decided to highlight the differences between the Buddha statue of Kamakura and that of Nara. The participants were astonished by the 13th-century bronze craftsmanship of the Kamakura Buddha. They also made use of the time there to buy souvenirs, including an iron wind chime, T-shirts and chopsticks. At Hasedera Temple, we saw the eleven-faced statue of Kannon, as well as the pruning of the last hydrangeas of the season. It was hot well before we went to the restaurant I had booked for lunch. In the afternoon, we visited Hokokuji Temple, which had a bamboo grove that relieved us somewhat from the scorching heat. The participants were impressed by the beauty of the moss on the stone stairway at the entrance of the temple and the bamboo grove. They had matcha (a kind of green tea), which they had missed the opportunity of tasting when they were in Kyoto. After the temple, we took the bus to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. It was a quick tour, at the end of which we followed up with a visit to Komachi Dori for some street shopping. At the end of the day, I took them to their hotel.