I have been to so many places in Tokyo so far, so why not step outside of the city center and explore somewhere not as crowded? This week, I was able to go to Kamakura with other students in my program as well as some Japanese students who are also our mentors! Prior to this day trip, I had made really good friends thus far, so throughout the trip I was grouping up with them more often which made the experience so much more fun.
Kamakura is a very famous city in Japan because a massive statue of a Buddha is actually housed there. Outside of the Buddha, the town is very traditional in its architecture and even the scenery is beautiful. The start of the day was at 7 am as we (me and my temple house roommates) had to meet other students at Takadanobaba Train Station. Following everyone gathering, we rode a train for an hour and a half to Kamakura. The train was completely packed but it still went by pretty quickly since I was able to talk to so many other students.
We finally arrived at Kamakura and our first destination was a the Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine which was really massive. We were taught proper etiquette to wash our hands with fountain water as well as the proper way to bow when making a prayer to the Gods. After my prayers, I pulled a fortune (which is called an omikuji) and I pulled “best luck” which I was extremely happy to have received. After we finished visiting the shrine, we had free time in our own groups, so my group ordered soba noodles, and for dessert tanghulu strawberries. Everything I had on this trip was fantastic.
After eating, we went to visit the big Buddha Statue (which is the Daibutsu statue (that is in the background of the first picture) and stayed around the area for a few hours. In that particular area was really fantastic scenery which I have posted in the second picture of just one example. After visiting that area of Kamakura, we went to Yuigahama Beach, which was completely different from California beaches, but it was still a nice experience to go there to experience the differences compared to California. By the time we got to the beach, it was nearing sundown, so the trip was close to its conclusion, but before we officially finished, I was able to dip my feet in the ocean water and viewed the sunset since it was so beautiful.
Even though this experience was truly wonderful, I am truly enjoying my time in Japan, a complete opposition compared to my first post once arriving to Japan, and I am so happy that I was able to move past that era so that I can experience Japan for it’s entire beauty.