Date & Time: Friday, September 27, 9:30 a.m.― 6:00 p.m.
Spots: Hasedera Temple, Kotoku-in Temple (Great Buddha), Jomyoji Temple, Houkokuji Temple, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine
Visitors: Three Chinese people from Shanghai
Attendant: 1 KSGG member
Language: English and a little Japanese
The three visitors have been close friends for over ten years. Hailing, who led the trio in this tour, has been studying the Japanese language and has a great interest in history and culture, especially in Kamakura. This was her third visit to Japan. In order to meet their requests to enjoy Kamakura to the fullest, the guide had made an itinerary for them to experience three aspects of Kamakura: Buddhism, wabi-sabi*1), and samurai. They bought the Kamakura Freepass, took an Enoden Train*2), and got off at Hase Station.
They were impressed by the Eleven-faced Kannon*3) and took pictures with Nagomi Jizo*4) in Hasedera Temple, and then at Kotoku-in Temple, they were amazed at the massiveness of the Great Buddha.
They were satisfied with deep-fried mackerel for lunch, a specialty of Sagami Bay, and soothed by matcha*5) green tea served with Japanese sweets in Jomyoji Temple. Calmed by the subtle sound of Suikinkutsu*6), they let the time go by slowly.
It was past four o’clock when they arrived at Houkokuji Temple. Too bad the temple gate was already closed! They just glanced at the photos of the bamboo garden, and headed for Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine due to the tight schedule.
It was getting dark when they got to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. There was some sort of elegance around the precinct on the evening in early fall, and the guide showed them around every spot in the shrine.
They couldn’t eat matcha ice cream, which they had longed for, because the ice cream shop was closed. Full of energy all the way, they kept asking questions without a break, and their conversation might have sounded like a hot debate. The day turned out to be hectic for them; but they walked fast and vigorously, and completed the daylong tour without showing any fatigue.
*1) Wabi-sabi : Japanese beauty through a sense of austerity and antiquity
*2) Enoden Train : A private train connecting Fujisawa and Kamakura Stations
*3) Eleven-faced Kannon : A statue of Kannon, the “Goddess of Mercy,” with eleven more little heads on her head
*4) Nagomi Jizo : The stone statue of a deity called Jizo, with a soothing expression on his face
*5) Matcha: Powdered green tea
*6) Suikinkutsu : A kind of music device consisting of a pot with a hole at the top buried upside down