Friday, April 24, 2009


Well, I have gotten some complaints (ahem, William) that Dan and I eat too here is a bona fide non-food post!
We went to Kamakura this past weekend, and it was glorious.  The weather really cooperated, and we had a great day of temples and hiking.  Kamakura is famous for its many temples and big Buddha.  It's also great because it's so close to Tokyo.
The first temple we went to was called Engaku-ji.  The Rough Guide considers it the "second most important but most satisfying of the Kamakura Zen temples."  Knowing our tolerance for temples, we decided to try this one out.  This is no small temple; the grounds extend on and on!  Very beautiful gardens and buildings.  Must be tough to keep it so clean.

I like how they shade their flowers with umbrellas!

This is a famous bell, called Ogane.  It was forged in 1301!  We had to climb a lot of stairs to get here, so we paused for some tea and sweets (you saw the pictures in a prior 'dessert' posting.)  The view was amazing from up here!

Then we took the Great Buddha Hiking Trail and wandered into this place.  Everyone here washed their money in the small stream.  Apparently, whatever you wash in the stream will double!  Dan wanted to try a $10,000 yen, but I chickened out and made him do a $1000 yen instead.  I mean, what good is it if you rip your $10,000 yen note!  I noticed a lot of people were washing coins, anyway.

Walking up the steps to the shrine of Sasuke Inari

His messenger is the fox.  As you can see, there were fox statues everywhere!  I think you could buy one and leave it there, maybe for good luck?

Finally, after much walking, we made it to the Great Buddha (Daibatsu)!  It was amazing!  I'm so glad we made it before closing.  Look how peaceful and elegant Buddha looks.  He was built in 1252, isn't that amazing?  It has withstood all sorts of natural disasters -- fires, earthquakes, typhoons, and tidal waves!

Here is Buddha eating some green tea ice cream.  :)

This was the coolest part -- you can actually go INSIDE Buddha!  For only 20 yen, you can walk around the inside of its body.  This picture is a bit disorienting, but the empty cavern up there is where his head is.  
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