10 May, 2010
Yatta Golden Week! Time for some nice day trips. One of the day trips we did was going to Kamakura, a coastal city south-west of Tokyo. It is known for it’s many temples and a very big Buddha statue. Getting there takes about 60-90minutes from Tokyo.
After arriving in Kamakura the first thing we went to was the big Buddha statue, because who doesn’t want to see a big ass Buddha. Using the map at the station as our orientation we started walking to the location. The route was really nice and showed us that Kamakura is a really nice city.
We arrive there after 30 minutes. It surely wasn’t hard to find because there were a lot of map-billboards alongside the road and we just had to follow the trail of tourists. The entry fee was 200円, so not too much and well worth the money.
There are always some lousy tourist trying to copy -in this case just the facial expression- the Great Buddha (on the left) and some locals who really know how to do it (on the right). This guy had a put on a mask for some friends to make a picture of him.
It’s also possible to get inside the statue, there you can see how it’s made. All nice and well but time for the next shrine, いこう! (let’s go!)
After a major detour we ended up at the Sasuke Shrine. There were a lot of Torii’s here, this reminded me of the Fushimi Inari shrine with a “thousand torii’s” in Kyoto.
Surprisingly there were a lot of squirrels there, Kawaii! They were jumping up and down the place very nervously. But you could clearly see that they got used to human presence. You could approach them very closely as long as you didn’t make any sudden -threatening- movements.
In between the squirrels there was this lonely pigeon looking to tag in on the eating. Pui-Yuk described this pigeon as “The Perfect Pigeon”, I must say this is a rather fine example. It was really funny to see it being causious with the squirrels and “stealing” some of their food when they were not paying attention.
Here the pigeon made it up to the main food place where there were several squirrels nibbling like there was no tomorrow.
Although the shrine itself was not impressive the presence and theatrics of these critters made it a very nice stop. I don’t know if they are always there but they sure make it fun. いこう! to the next attraction.
So walking on to the next shrine we found this amazing shrine really in the middle of a small mountain. You have to enter it by going through the cave (picture on the right). At this shrine there were however some weird things going on…. People were making their money wet (I’m talking about 10,000円 bills here) with the water in front of the shrine, which was beautifully lit by an opening in the cave. These people are taking the term “money laundry” a bit too serious.
The environment really made this a shrine well worth visiting. I’m calling it the “Money Laundry Shrine” because I forgot it’s original name.
The last place we visited in Kamakura was this shrine. It’s a very big a beautiful shrine. You can see it’s being well maintained by the person in the bottom right (left picture), he was actually watering the ground… On the right you can see a smaller shrine hidden away in the bushes.
These were just a couple of places you can go to in Kamakura, there is a lot more to see. I would recommend renting a bike though because we walked our asses of for these shrines.