Date & Time: Saturday, November 26, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Place: Houkokuji Temple→ Sugimotodera Temple→ Egaratenjinsha Shrine→ Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine→ Komachi Dori Street→ Hasedera Temple→ Kotoku-in Temple(the Great Buddha)
Participants: A Polish Couple in their 30s
Attendant: Jiro, KSGG member
Report by Jiro
I took a Polish couple named Ola and her husband living in Sweden around Kamakura. They studied biology at a college, so they love living things and plants. They came to Japan for the first time.
When I met with them at Kamakura station, it stopped raining, which was a good start. We first visited Sugimotodera Temple by bus. Many people got off at the same bus stop, so they wondered if any event was going to be held in the temple. They liked bamboo trees and enjoyed matcha, or powdered green tea in the temple. They asked who made a thousand paper cranes displayed in the main hall, but even a staff of the temple didn’t know that.
They curiously were taking photos of a caterpillar at Genpei pond in Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. As they were happily looking at the photos on our way back to their hotel, I thought the most impressive thing for them might be the caterpillar at this tour!
As they would like Japanese food at lunch, we ate shirasu lunch, local food with small fish. They bought a Japanese hand towel called tenugui* as a souvenir for their family at Komachi Dori Street. At taiyaki** shop, Ola ordered a taiyaki because she could read Japanese.
Then we went to Hasedera Temple by Enoden, Enoshima Electric Railway, we saw beautiful autumn leaves. While overlooking the sea from the observation platform in the temple, they told me that people in Sweden possess their boat. Though drinking alcohol on the boat is OK, whereas drinking in the open air is prohibited.
At Kotoku-in Temple, when Ola was taking a photo of the husband, she happily found a spot where he could look like the same height as the Great Buddha in her photo frame. ***
*Tenugui is a rectangular piece of thin cotton cloth used as hand towel.
**Taiyaki is a Japanese sweet made by baking batter in sea bream shaped molds.
***The Great Buddha is very big, about 13.4 meters tall. However, if you stand at a spot from certain distance of the Great Buddha to take a photo with you, you can look like the same height as the Great Buddha in your photo frame!