|I love how, in Japan, you can go from metropolis to forest in almost no time|
|Not sure why it's wearing a tuque...|
|A cool dragonfly that we saw|
Next stop was Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, one of the most famous temples in Japan, certainly the most famous in Kamakura. Pictures!
|Torii gate at the entrance|
|Cool bridge bro|
Unfortunately the lotus plants weren't really in bloom. The story goes that the lotus plants on either side of the bridge represented the two families that built up Kamakura: one side would bloom white, the other red, the families colours. However, today, the plants have mingled, so red, white and pink show up on both sides.
|This is a pineapple stand - yup, you can go buy a piece of pineapple on a stick|
|On our way to the temple!|
|Weddings are often held in this pavillion - it was too hot that day, though,|
so we didn't get to see one =(
|Who's this guy?|
|The guards got upset at me for taking this picture...|
|Gotta love the random French!|
|He looks so happy!|
|Before I get questions, no, that's not a swastika; yes, Hitler ripped off the Buddhists|
|These small statues, called 地蔵 (じぞう, jizou) are laid in memory of|
miscarried and aborted children, or children who die very young
Now, I found out that my camera can take panorama shots and actually stitches them together for me - here are a couple that I took of views from the temple. Unfortunately, they won't look amazing in the blog, so I suggest clicking on them to get a better view.
The day's final stop was the 大仏 (だいぶつ, daibutsu), or Great Buddha. It was actually built in 1252, and was put together with over 30 different moulds. A pretty impressive feat, I would say...
|Gate leading up to the 大仏|
|People posing for pictures|
|It's actually really big.|
This statue has survived countless earthquakes, typhoons, tsunamis... The priests at the temple tried time and time again to build a roof over the statue, but it would always get destroyed. The statue, however, has remained largely unharmed...
|It's customary to make sandals for statues of divinities, allowing them|
to go out for a stroll, if they should so desire...
"I looked up at that centuries-old symbol of peace and tranquility — the great bronze Amida Buddha. And as a child, I was more focused on the 'matcha' ice cream ..."
Since then, a myriad of shops have opened up selling Obama-cha, green-tea flavoured ice cream like he had as a child. Here is a sample, though this one was swirled with sweet potato:
|Obama-cha (green tea) and sweet potato ice cream|
I had this for about 30 seconds, and you can already see it melting...
Finally, it was time to head home. On our way back to the station, we happened upon a 100Y Shop, like the dollar stores back home. Here are a few gems:
|"A soft towel with the feeling that the touch is very sufficient"|
|Promenades dans Paris: |
On nous demande toujours quelle race est ce chat-là.
Eh bien nous disons: on ne sait pas... on ne sait pas,
nous-mêmes, qu'est-ce que c'est comme race..."
And then! In one of the stations, outside the bathroom...
|Who the heck needs a map of the bathroom?!|
Finally, it was time for the long train ride home. A few of us were more tired than others...
That's it for the Kamakura trip!