Tour in Year-End Kamakura with a Mexican Family of Four

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[Date & Time] Saturday, December 31, 10:00 am—4:30 pm
[Spots] Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, Komachi Dori Street, Kotokuin Temple (Great Buddha), and Hasedera Temple
[Visitors] 1 Mexican Family of 4
[Attendant] 1 KSGG member
[Language] English

I showed Mr. B and his family from Mexico around Kamakura. Mr. B had his friend introduced pro-Japanese Mr. R, whom I had guided last March. Mr. B said Mr. R had recommended his visiting not only Tokyo, but also Kamakura, Osaka and Kyoto and his asking SGG clubs for volunteer tour guides. According to Mr. B, in Mexico, the number of the tourists to Japan is small. However, the reason he came to Japan this time was that he works for one of the Japanese automobile companies, the number of which is large in Mexico. His son and his daughter were also interested in Japan, because they had watched Japanese cartoons during their childhood. At Donguri Republic on Komachi Dori Street, both of them were greatly pleased with the cartoon characters they have been familiar with. Because of the flight delay, I guided the Mexican family on December 31. Thus we were lucky to see some year-end special events. At Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, we watched Ooharai Shiki (Shinto ritual: to purify oneself for the removal of all sin, impurity and misfortune so that one can have a fresh start on the New Year morning). I explained that the shrine would be crowded with millions of people who would pay the first New Year’s visit in a few hours. Furthermore, I told them about the traditional Japanese year-end cleanup and how to spend our New Year days. At Kotokuin Temple, we entered the inside of the Great Buddha. At Hasedera Temple, we saw lots of candles ready for Manto Kigankai (Buddhism ritual: to light candles in hope of national safety, rich harvest, and everybody’s health through the coming New Year) held on January 1. Seeing these candles, we appreciated the quiet and sacred atmosphere of the Year-End day in Kamakura.