Kamakura is a coastal town in Kanagawa Prefecture, less than an hour south of Tokyo.
Kamakura became the political center of Japan, when Minamoto Yoritomo chose the city as the seat for his new military government in 1192.
The Kamakura government continued to rule Japan for over a century, first under the Minamoto shogun and then under the Hojo regents.
After the decline of the Kamakura government in the 14th century and the establishment of its successor, the Muromachi or Ashikaga government in Kyoto, Kamakura remained the political center of Eastern Japan for some time before losing its position to other cities.
Today, Kamakura is a small city and a very popular tourist destination. Sometimes called the Kyoto of Eastern Japan, Kamakura offers numerous temples, shrines and other historical monuments. In addition, Kamakura’s sand beaches attract large crowds during the summer months.
We decided to make a short trip to Kamakura.
It’s summer and it was really hot!
We’ve finally arrived!!
Specially for you ladies, there’s a 109 building in Kamakura too.
109 is the shopping complex of choice of all Gyaru(s)!
should you happen to come here for sightseeing, remember what I’ve said!
Back to topic, we arrived in Kamakura via JR.
Upon arriving in Kamakura, to get to the various attractions, you have to take the local railway.
It is called the Enoden railway.
There are many shops along the local railway station selling local delicacies.
Make sure you try them out!
Here are more links to interesting sights around the region.
Shin Yokohama Ramen Museum
This is the Enoden railway.
Check out these cute kids here!
They were on a school excursion!
The white hats they’re wearing are for safety reasons; so that the teachers would be able to recognize & spot them easily, should something unfortunate happen.
We’ve finally arrived in our destination!
We alighted at Hase station and our destination today would be Hasedera
This is directly outside Hase Station with all the usual convenience stores that’s always present in or around Japanese train stations.
So…Upon arriving, we had to take a short walk to our destination.
Saw a couple of nice cafes along the way! 🙂
Not to mention, a couple of beautiful gardens along the way too.
On and on we walked!
Saw a couple of retro shops too.
Old school camera shops that sells camera using film!
Kinda has a nostalgic charm to it, don’t you think?
We’re still walking…
We’re almost there!!!
Small restaurants where Japanese sweets such as mitarashi dango, small rice flour dumplings covered with a sticky sauce made of sugar and soya sauce, and other meals, snacks and beverages too!
All traditional -100%!
A couple of really traditional shops.
These shops are usually run by wonderful old folks who just live one level, right above the shop.
They basically live here and let me tell you, this is what I would call: A truly AUTHENTIC Japanese home cooked food.
I really recommend you to try food from such stalls.
You will never get this taste from the restaurants in capital cities like Tokyo, Osaka.
We’ve finally arrived!
This is Hasedera!!
Let me give you a brief introduction of this spectacular temple.
Hasedera is a temple of the Jodo sect, that is most famous for its statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy.
The statue shows Kannon with eleven heads, each representing a characteristic of the goddess. The 9.18 meter tall, gilded wooden statue is regarded as one of the largest wooden sculpture in Japan, and can be viewed in the temple’s main building, the Kannon-do Hall.
It was carved from the same tree as the similarly tall Kannon statue worshipped at the Hasedera Temple in Nara Prefecture.
More of Nara Prefecture here:
Hasedera is built along the slope of a wooded hill.
A pretty garden with ponds is found at the base of the slope just after entering.
The gardens are really beautiful and give you a sense of tranquility & peace.
More pictures of the garden for your viewing pleasure!
I hope these pictures give you a feel of the place, though pictures don’t do it justice.
It’s the best I could do!
Alright now, back to the temple compounds!
The temple’s main buildings are built further up the slope, reached via stairs.
Along the way stands the Jizo-do Hall with hundreds of small statues of the Jizo Bodhisattva who helps the souls of dead children to reach their paradise.
Next to the Kannon-do Hall stands the Amida-do Hall, which exhibits an almost three meter tall golden statue of Amida Buddha.
Nearby is also an observation deck with views over the coastal city of Kamakura.
Stunning views, don’t you think so?
And now for my favorite part!
Next to the temple garden at the base of the slope stands the Benten-do, a small hall that contains a figure of Benten (also known as Benzaiten).
Benten is a goddess of feminine beauty and wealth.
Sculptures of Benten and other minor gods can be found in a small cave next to the Benten-do.
Here’s the entrance to the cave!
Wanna have a look at what’s inside?
Inside, statues where Benzaiten and 16 children are chiseled out of the rock walls.
According to legend, Kobo Daishi carved it himself while in seclusion, inspired by Buddha.
Benzaiten is a sea goddess and the only female among the Seven Lucky Gods of Japan.
Her temples and shrines are located near water – the sea, a river, or a pond. She is the patron of music, the fine arts, and good fortune in general, and usually carries a biwa (Japanese mandolin) or plays a lute.
Darkness surrounds us….!
Be careful inside the cave. It was dark and the ceiling is quite low.
In fact…Really low!!!
I would say that the highlight of this trip, is this very cave.
I saved the best for last!
And this was what really made my day!!!
Finally… here are more pictures for your viewing pleasure!
Kyoto of the east, Kamakura.
Here are some more links to Kyoto:
Hope you dear readers enjoyed this post!!
Please feel free to drop a comment!
Would you like to visit this place anytime soon?
Let me know!!~
P.S: Please feel free to follow me via GFC.
It’s right at the top of my blog.
You can’t miss it!
Another really interesting and scenic place to visit in the Kanagawa region is: Owakuni, set atop a volcano; complete with boiling geysers & eggs that grant you longevity.
Check it out here if you’re interested!