A day in Kamakura

Trip Start Jan 02, 2013
Trip End Mar 17, 2013

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Flag of Japan  , Kanto,
Friday, February 22, 2013

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The guide I had yesterday from Tokyo Free Guides was also my guide today.  He came by my hotel in the morning. We walked across the street to Ueno Station and caught a train to Kamakura, a city that was Japan's first feudal capital between 1185 and 1333.  We were going to visit a few of Kamakura's many temples and shrines.

Our first stop in Kamakura was Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu, a Shinto shrine.  It's a short walk from the train station through a very touristy neighborhood full of shops and restaurants.  Kamakura is a beach town and there is a pedestrian walkway that runs from Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu down to the water, which we took to the shrine.  It's the most important shrine in Kamakura and is dedicated to Hachiman, the god of war.  It's a popular spot in spite of it being  a weekday there were lots of people there. 

You can't enter the shrine but we went through the small museum next to it.  Unfortunately, like many of the places in Kamakura, photography was not allowed inside and of the buildings.

We walked back to the train station and stopped for lunch.  After lunch we took the train three stops to another part of Kamakura and walked to Daibutsu.  That might be a familiar word from yesterday since it means Big Buddha.  The one is an 11.4-meter-tall bronze statue of Buddha.  Unlike the new Buddha we went to see yesterday, this one is quite old.  It was completed in 1252.  The statue was originally inside a large building but it was destroyed by a tsunami in 1495 and all that remains are a number of large stones that supported the columns of the building.  For 20 yen you can go inside the Buddha.  You can't do much for 20 yen so I paid and went in.  It's cramped and there's not a lot to see but you can see some details of the statue's construction.

We then walked to Hase-dera, another temple.  Again, you couldn't take any pictures inside but you were allowed to go to a point were you could see a couple of the gold Buddha statues, which were very nice.  There were also some nice gardens and good views of the town.

We took a couple of trains getting back to Tokyo. I said goodbye to my guide at Yokohama Station and took the train back to Ueno by myself.
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