Thursday, October 19, 2006

My Trip To Kamakura

Since coming here I wanted my trip to Japan to be everything my time in Toronto was not. I didn't want to sit in the same location all the time, even on my time off, spending money on random things and food. What I wanted to do was travel to as many different locations as I could on my days off. Granted, it doesn't always work out that way but so far, I've been an active Canadian. I've been to downtown Yokohama, Tokyo, and now Kamakura. Sure, these aren't hefty trips that would need planning and overnight visits but it just so happens that my home is located in the historical and metropolis part of Japan. So that is where we are now. I've just come back from Kamakura and ready to put my trip down on the Internet. So here it is: My Trip To Kamakura.

I don't like sitting around doing nothing when I've vowed to do something. Wednesday was one of those days that frustrate the hell out of you. Andrew said that he wanted to go to Tokyo and look around, check out some clothing shops, make a day out of it. I was definately in since the last time I was in Tokyo I did a bunch of touristy things. Now it was time to try and locate some new areas. What I did not tell you is that Andrew is shit when it comes to timing and such. It's like he's running on the classic Hamilton Time clock that we all came to know back in high school (sorry Ian and Dave, it was very true!) The day in Tokyo began at 4:00 in the afternoon. Actually, we didn't get into Tokyo until 5:00 and it was already dark. That will be the last time I rely on Andrew's sense of awful timing to plan a trip. And once we got to Tokyo all we did was hit Akihabara for video games (something I've already done) and went to Shinjuku to find cheap drinks and play video games (something I can fuckin' do at home!) Geez, what a waste of subway fare.

After assuring me he was in for Kamakura, Andrew bailed out Wednesday night ause his leg still hurt from this really weird cramp he had. A blessing in disguise! Now I am guarenteed some time to myself. I take off around 1 for Kamakura, a good time considering I've already done a load of laundry, showered, ate some cereal and mailed my postcards. Damn, my timing is incredible! Lucky thing too cause I took the wrong train and ended up having to search for a different route. Minor setback. I arrived in Kamakura in no time.

Kamakura is known for its giant statue of Buddha. That was the first thing I wanted to see. So I found it on the map and headed in that direction. After a long walk, I was sure that I had missed a turn or something. So I walked almost all the way back when I saw a sign pointing in the direction I had just come. So, I turned around again and this time found the turn-off I missed. Thank God for street signs pointing out all of the tourist sites. I walked a little longer and found Kotokuin Temple, the location of the statue. I pay the minor entry fee and walk in. The statue appeared in front of me in all of its majesty. After many pictures and a quick trip inside of the statue (which was ridiculously warm since bronze is great for heat!) I headed back to find some more temples.

I found Zeniarai Temple close by Kotokuin, which is famous for instructing people to wasah their money. It is said that if you wash your money at this location it will double. It was also lined with a small row of wooden archways, which looked very Memoir of a Geisha-ish (I must find that big row of arches! Maybe for next weekend). After that came Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, the biggest and most important temple in Kamakura. Apparently, the history is that this temple represents and is dedicated to the samurai. Whatever the history it was amazing and beautiful, so the majority of my pictures were taken there. Check them out on my picture site.

So there you have it. My trip to Kamakura. Like I said the pictures are all up on the picture site so take a look. I'm now trying to decide where to go next weekend: Nikko is supposed to be nice but I do want to climb Mt. Fuji before it gets really cold so I will keep you posted.


At 9:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HAHA! Hamilton Time! See the Hamilton's were simpy doing you a favour, preparing you for Andrew Time! hahaha! Sounds like quite the adventrue Don!! The temples must be really cool to see in person! And getting lost in Foreign countries is just as fun I am sure!

~ Jess

At 12:36 PM, Blogger Nix said...

So it IS true what they say about Kamakura... thanks for the clarification!

And yes, I hear that Nikko IS just not to be missed!

You're blog is really helping me prepare for my trip next year.


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