October 8, 2008: “Day #5: Adventures in Kamakura”

Buddha Daibutsu, Kamakura, Japan. This statue,...

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008: “Day #5: Adventures in Kamakura

Konnichiwa!

Yesterday we went to Kamakura – a temple district in Japan.  We met Lisa’s friend and student, Hiroko, who is in her 40’s.  She is positively adorable and she used to live in Oklahoma years ago (the Japanese are unable to pronounce “L’s” because there aren’t any letters similar to a “L” sound in their culture).  She gave us a brief guided tour of Kamakura and she asked me a lot of questions about America.  Lisa and I asked her why people stare at us and she said, “Because you look like movie stars and speak English.”  Needless to say, Lisa and I both got a good laugh!  We had a Japanese student take our picture and instead of saying “cheese” they end everything in “u” so they say “cheeseu” which was a bit odd because I thought they were saying “Cheeze-It!”  We saw the Great Buddha (Daibutsu) which weighs 274,429 lbs!  The massive bronze structure is too amazing for words!  I’ve seen pictures of it before but nothing can compare to visiting it in person.  It also gave me the opportunity to take a photo of a Japanese style toilet in the women’s restroom – it looks like a urinal built into the ground and you squat.  Rather odd but the Japanese believe it is cleaner.

We then went to the Hasedera Temple which is solely dedicated to children that have died.  It was quite sad and moving.  There is a small statue for every child that has died so I was able to get some beautiful pictures of the thousands of statues (once again, I’ll send those out when I get back – sorry!).

We then went to Komachi-dori, a shopping district in Kamakura.  I was able to buy more Christmas presents for people and the shops were so cute.  Kamakura is similar to Anacortes – very laid back and not in a hurry.  Tokyo is similar to Seattle x10 … with people pushing and shoving to go places and a completely overwhelming experience.

We ate at a sushi go-round (where the sushi plates move on a conveyor belt) in the Komachi-dori shopping district.  The most adventurous thing I tried was eel, which has a very odd mushy texture.  I can’t bring myself to swallow raw octopus tentacles … it just scares me!  I’m going to try and overcome that fear while I’m here so it’s good that I’m staying until Sunday.

Afterward we went to the Tsurugaoka Hachimengu Shrine where we were able to watch a traditional ceremony (through a wired gate so the public can view but not participate).  I wasn’t allowed to take a picture of the ceremony which disappointed me but it was quite interesting to watch.

Sorry this is so short.  I got up late today because I didn’t feel well so I need to get ready so we can head out and go shopping today (we have a much more slow-paced day planned today).

Japanese Style Women's Toilet

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