The weirdest thing is they served capuccino in a soup bowl. And the spoon is totally flat and useless for drinking the coffee.
But it’s delicious, expecially the french toast with the syrup oozing from the outside and inside.
Chihaya san came to my hotel in Shinjuku and brought me to Kamakura via JR. It was a quaint town with many traditional houses and foods sold on the streets. Many japanese tourists also visit Kamakura for the sightseeing and the food!!!
First, we walked through the Komachi dori Street filled with shops selling freshly toasted senbei crackers, ice cream, warabi mochi (cool fern jellies dusted in kinako), ume products (preserved plum), croquette and all kinds of souvenirs.
The cicadas were just deafening! We climbed up to the shrine and after tossing a coin into the box and clapping, we walked around a bit. There wasn’t much to see at the shrine. Probably that’s why the tourism dept. put *Must See!* on the English brochure. A nice guard recommended us to go to see the Great Seated Buddha in Kotokuin Temple. This means we have to make our way back to the JR station to catch the bus. Hungry, we stopped for some croquette. There’s plain, meat, ume, yuzu(mandarin orange), black sesame and omigod, chocolate.
The ume croquette is delicious although the ume bits are sour. The yuzu one reminded me of orange flavored mooncake. It’s quite filling though and we didn’t have a proper lunch.
We caught the bus to Kotokuin Temple from JR station. As the weather was so warm, we could get a bit of a shut eye for 10mins. There are quaint little shops on both sides of the road to see for hardworking travellers.
We reached the place and ooh lala, the great seated Buddha came into view. The highlight of Kamakura.
We explored the surroundings and had cool drinks from the vending machine at nice little rest area with large flat boulders for seats.
We found the tablet carved with Tanka poet, Akiko Yosana’s poem. It was composed after she saw the huge statue of the Buddha.
Seems she found the Buddha a ‘美男’ (beautiful male). And I told Chihaya san we’ve finally found the world’s first fuujoshi. (´∀｀)
There’s even a pair of warashiki sandals made for him!
Seriously, the Buddha is such an icon, the Japanese entrepreneurs decide to merge Kamakura’s symbol with other icons. Namely, Hello Kitty and Disney character, Stitch.
We strolled down to Hasedera temple and personally, I think it’s a nice place to end the day in Kamakura. The garden pools are brimming with koi fishes and flowers.
But it’s not just the gardens at the bottom. As we ascended the stone steps, we see lots of stone jizos clustering at the 2nd part of the climb. Chihaya san explained that each stone jizo represents an unborn child that has either been lost by accident or abortion. Eeks. No wonder I saw a jizo with a blue baby’s bib around its neck.
And I can’t help but take picture of a very ‘sian’ statue. I could almost hear it grumble: “Oh here the tourists come again. What’s there to see? Go away.” Chihaya san added : “Mendou kuse na-” (Troublesome…)
We reached the shrine housing the Hase Kannon, the Golden Goddess of Mercy.
The towering statue is almost 2 stories high, with a long and exquisite necklace draped around her neck and chest. And of course she gleams in the dark with all the gold and bronze. Too bad photography is prohibited.
Chihaya and I went to scale the tip of the hill and although it killed my calves, the scenery and cool breeze is worth the pain.
We descended the hill back to the garden pools where we started. There’s lots of fragrant lilies on the side.
And at the bottom near the toilet was this strange tree..
We saw this guy as we headed the dark tunnels where the different types of jizos reside.
In the dark and low tunnels, there’s money jizo, which got the most candle offerings, safety jizo…et cetera. A little scary with its dark, moist and claustrophobic environment but otherwise it’s worth a try.
Off we went for Yokohama for a fireworks gala at the park. On the way, at Kamakura station, we saw the commemorative train for the 40th anniversary of Shonen Jump comics.
The ride to Yokohama is a super squeeze. I’ve gotten squeezed to the point I could stand without holding onto anything. Plus in summer, people sweat. And my dress has probably absorbed the sweat of Japan in one day. The crowd is so huge and all are rushing to grab a nice spot before the fireworks gala starts.
Kiasuism knows no boundaries.
We arrived at the park where the police are starting to move the crowd around. We were very lucky to find a spot at the perimeter of the park. However, we’d wished someone could cut down the trees which were blocking the view.