Date & Time: Sunday, April 16, 10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.
Visitors: Felix and Marina, American couple from California
Spots: Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, Hasedera Temple, Kotoku-in Temple (Great Buddha), and Yuigahama Beach
Attendant: KSGG member, Hiroko
Report by Hiroko
Kamakura Festival, one of the biggest events in Kamakura, was held on the day when Felix and Marina visited Kamakura. Kamakura is an ancient city with history and tradition. Around Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, the symbol of Kamakura, this annual spring festival is held in April, with such events as Shizu no Mai(dancing), Yabusame (horseback archery by samurai warriors), and Nodate (tea ceremony in the open air). Because of this festival, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine was so crowded.
When Felix and Marina looked toward the main street after visiting the shrine, they luckily happened to see Shutsujin-Sai, a samurai procession in armor, walking along Dankazura (approach to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine). As they had been looking forward to seeing the samurai procession among all the events of the festival, they exclaimed with delight, “Amazing!” They ran after the samurai procession, pushing through the crowds to take photos of the procession. I, their guide, ran after Felix and Marina so hard not to lose sight of them. When all the samurai warriors went up on the Maiden stage in the precincts of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, Felix and Marina stood right in front of them and looked up at Mayor of Kamakura City in a samurai costume who made a speech.
In the afternoon, Felix, Marina, and I went to Hasedera Temple. Before seeing “Eleven-Headed Kannon,” I explained about the legend of the statue of Kannon (the Goddess of Mercy) at Hasedera Temple. When they saw “Eleven-Headed Kannon” for themselves, they were really impressed. Then the visitors and I went up a walking path named Prospect Path and enjoyed the view of the Sagami Bay to our hearts’ content.
Next, we went to Kotoku-in Temple. Marina, who is learning Yoga, sat on the foundation stone in the same posture as the Great Buddha, which surprised people around her. Later, strolling along the street, we reached Yuigahama Beach, where we saw the blue and calm sea to find that it was already 6:00 p.m. As a guide I had such a good day with cheerful and curious visitors that I forgot the passage of time.