Tokyo Diary: 11/28/12 – Kamakura

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This batch is pictures is from a day trip out to Kamakura with the school.

The weather was a bit rainy, but that adds an even sense of great age to Kamakura’s structures.  This was the capitol of Japan from 1185-1333, and it has an astonishing array of temples (many of them Zen) and shrines as well as other historic sites.  I got a close look at Enoshima (Don!) but didn’t get to go out there this time – I’ll be making a solo return to Kamakura quite soon, as I like to see places like that on my own schedule and Kamakura has many treasures I haven’t visited yet.

Among the highlights of the pics are the Ryukoji (Dragon’s Mouth) Temple, which has the only five-storied pagoda in Kamakura and was the sight where a miraculous bolt of lightning spared the life of the Priest Nichiren, about to be executed.  We also have the Hasedera Kannon Temple, many images of Kamakura and Enoshima (from across the water) and of course, the Daibutsu.  I’ve seen all three of Japan’s “Great Buddhas” – this one, Nokogiriyama and Nara – and while Kamakura’s is the smallest at “only” just under 12 meters, I think it’s artistically the finest of the three.

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Lastly, we have some shots of the beautiful and atmospheric Hachiman-gu Jinja, Kamakura’s largest shrine.  We happened to arrive at dusk just as a traditional Shinto wedding was taking place,

and this was quite the experience – certainly one I’ve never been privileged to witness.  Quite remarkable.

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  1. A

    Japan has so much history and tradition I want to learn more about. Also love the pics♡♥♡(’‚’)

  2. B

    Great pictures. So jealous! I really want to go there someday. Is that you throwing the peace sign? lol

  3. Yes, that's me in all my glory.

  4. G

    Beautiful! I always find it very interesting that these historical sites are reminiscent of the architectures from Tang dinasty, which you don't see very much of in China anymore. They are very well preserved.

  5. Tang design was very influential in what came to be "Japanese" art and architecture, that's for sure.

  6. C

    Surely you also went inside the Daibatsu?
    When I visited in September the sun was shining, and everyone visiting the inside was well cooked for their efforts.

    Kamakura certainly was a neat change of pace compared to Tokyo, but unfortunately there are only so many temples I could see before I felt that I saw them all.

    Anyway, I'm not a regular reader here so I don't know how long you'll be staying, but be sure to visit Kamakura again in next September for its festival. Archery from horseback ftw!

  7. I'll definitely visit then. I did go inside the Daibutsu both times I've been there (possibly the cheapest tourist activity I've ever done at 30 yen) but pictures don't really come out.

  8. e

    Wah, kirei. Pics goodness ftw. The grey sky – and a bit of mist even? – make the red and yellow tones pop.
    And lookie! How he radiates dignity and masculine solid grace in his pose and gesture! That's some Buddha.

    'but be sure to visit Kamakura again in next September for its festival. Archery from horseback ftw! I'm fainting with delight. Seriously.

    Shinto wedding: thanks so much for sharing. I've always been struck by the – could we say? – elemental beauty of its ritual.

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