They Would Never Forget the Sea They Saw for the First Time in Their Lives

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Date & Time: Sunday, October 21, 9:30 am – 3 pm
Spots: Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, Hasedera Temple, Kotoku-in Temple
Visitors: The Association for Overseas Technical Cooperation and Sustainable Partnership (AOTS) trainees from China (18), Indonesia (7), Vietnam (5), Myanmar (4), Laos (4), Brazil (4), Thailand (3), Turkey (2), Nepal (2), India (1) and the Philippines (1)
Attendants: 16 KSGG members
Language: English, Chinese, Thai and Japanese


The 51 AOTS trainees were divided into smaller groups, of which I was assigned a group of three men and four women. Though they came to Japan a month ago, they have studied Japanese for two years, and as such I decided to conduct the tour in Japanese. They were eager to learn the local customs and traditions. At Kamakura Hachimangu Srine, they observed with great interest my demonstration of how to purify oneself at chozuya*1 and how to pray in front of the altar. We then proceeded to the second floor of Kamakura Lifetime Learning Center to watch a Kamakura Kagura*2 performance, which involved the catching of lucky mochi*3 thrown at the spectators. When I suggested going to Yuigahama beach after the tour, almost everyone joined me. The members of my group, who were from Nepal and Myanmar, told me they had never seen the sea before. By the time they crossed the road approaching Yuigahama beach, they were shouting aloud in excitement like children. At the beach, they took off their shoes and soaked their feet in the sea for a long time with obvious pleasure.

*1 chozuya: Water-filled basins used by worshippers for washing their hands and mouth
*2 Kagura: A Shinto dance
*3 mochi: rice cake