Date & Time: Friday, October 18, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Spot: Engakuji Temple, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, Kotoku-in Temple (Great Buddha), Hasedera Temple
Visitor: An American couple
Attendant: A KSGG member
An American couple, Jeannie and Bob, had to postpone their visit to Japan due to the typhoon. So we suddenly changed our schedule and visited Kamakura. It was chilly and cloudy on that day, but we were so lucky that it didn’t rain.
Jeannie is an ER surgeon. Bob used to work as a lawyer. They travel around the world on their own. It was their first visit to Japan, and their son is an English teacher at an elementary school in Yokohama, Japan. We met at JR Kitakamakura Station and then went to Engakuji Temple, which is one of famous ZEN*1) Buddhist Temples. They really seemed to like the appearance and atmosphere of the ZEN Temple surrounded by trees.
We headed to Kamakura Station by train, worrying about their knee pain and backache, and then had lunch. As they loved the local beer called “Kamakura Beer” very much, they had seconds saying it’s so rich and tasty. At Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, they actively took pictures of Japanese children who came to the shrine for “Shichi-go-an”*2).
The next day, they were going to Kyoto and Nara, so at Kotoku-in Temple I explained the differences between the Great Buddha in Nara and that in Kamakura, and so on. At Hasedera Temple, they really admired the beauty of the garden and the elegance of the “Eleven-faced Kannon”, the statue of Bodhisattva that has eleven faces. I really enjoyed guiding because they were so impressed with what they saw. In addition, I am so happy to hear that they came to love Japan.
*1) ZEN is a quiet contemplation and basically searching for the truth of who you are
*2) “Shichi-go-an” is an annual Japanese festival to celebrate the growth of children which is for boys aged three and five and girls aged three and seven. That’s why it is called “Shichi-go-san (Seven-five-three)”