Day trip to Kamakura
Last weekend, we took a day trip to Kamakura, a city located in Kanagawa, Japan, about 50 km SSW of Tokyo. It was the capital of Japan during the Kamakura shogunate, from 1185 to 1333, and is the home of many historically significant Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. The most famous is Kōtoku-in, with the monumental outdoor bronze statue of Amida Buddha (see picture below).
As usual, we traveled by train and our route info was:
- Ebisu -> Kitakamakura (JR Shonan-Shinjuku Line)
- Kitakamakura -> Kamakura (JR Shonan-Shinjuku Line)
- Kamakura -> Hase (Enoden Line)
- Hase -> Fujisawa (Enoden Line)
- Fujisawa -> Shinkuju (Odakyu Line) – return trip back to Tokyo
During this trip, we were lucky to have a professional Japanese tour guide with us, who is a good friend of my wife. We started our day at Kitakamura, visiting the Engakuji temple, one of Kamakura’s Five Zen Temples, founded in 1282 to commemorate soldiers who fell fighting off the Mongol invasion the previous year. We also had a Saiseki Japanese lunch at a local restaurant in Kitakamakura.
In Kamakura, we walked down the long, tree-lined Wakamiya-ohji Street, with cherry blossoms in bloom as a bonus. At one of the smaller shrines in Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, we witnessed a traditional Japanese wedding.
Of course, the highlight of the day was Great Amida Buddha in the Kōtoku-in Temple. It was an enjoyable visit – more pictures on Facebook.