A Lovable American Scholar Gets Attracted to Kamakura

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Date & Time: Tuesday, July 30, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Spots: Kotoku-in Temple (Great Buddha), Hasedera Temple, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu
Shrine, Sugimotodera Temple, Hokokuji Temple, Kenchoji Temple
Visitors: An American scholar and his Chinese colleague
Attendants: 2 KSGG members
Language: English

As Giovanni, an American scholar, had already visited Yokohama for sightseeing the previous day, he was used to taking trains. It took only 5 to 6 minutes from Hase Station to Kotoku-in Temple because it was a weekday and the road was not crowded. When we saw the Great Buddha, he said to his Chinese colleague, “Do you have huge Buddha statues in your country, too?” He seemed to be really interested in the enormous bronze statue of Buddha.

When we had lunch at Matsubara-an, a buckwheat noodle restaurant, he ate his soba noodles with a fork. Giovanni, who scooped up noodles in a Japanese bowl with a fork, looked so happy and content with his lunch.

We went to Sugimotodera Temple and Hokokuji Temple after lunch. Giovanni was really interested in Sugimotodera Temple, the oldest temple in Kamakura, and took a lot of pictures of mossy stone stairs and its main temple building with a thatched roof.

At Hokokuji Temple, we took a break after viewing its bamboo garden. As Giovanni wanted to know about Zazen, we also went to Kenchoji Temple. There, he carefully listened to the explanation of Zen meditation classes, while seeing its beautiful garden. Throughout this day in Kamakura, I was so impressed by his strong curiosity about Japanese history and religion.