Sunday, November 27

Day Four: Kamakura, Vol. 1

On the fourth day the sun came back out and I headed to Kamakura, figuring I should do the daibutsu thing, that is, check out the Great Buddha. Well, that was the original plan. Here's what really happened:

I took the train to Kamakura and got off at, you guessed it, Kamakura Station (there actually is another station I could have gotten off at, but I didn't.)

From the station exit I managed to evade the rickshaw "drivers" and make it to
Hachimangu on foot. Here's some aisu kurimu / sofutu aisu I saw on the way:

The entrance to Hachimangu is very pretty, with a bridge I couldn't get enough of:

It helped that I was there in late March and some of the cherry trees were blossoming.

I checked out the museum at the shrine. Took some illegal photos of the building (not the exhibit) before I realized they were illegal.

Here is the entrance to the museum*.

(*Photo not illegal)

Tooled around a bit on the grounds. Checked out the omikuji scene:

See, what you do is, give 100 yen or so to the nice person behind the counter. You then shake a container until a wooden stick falls out (looks kind of like the stir sticks at Starbucks). This stick has a number on it. The nice person behind the counter opens a drawer behind him/her that has the same number on it and removes a paper. This is your fortune. You read it, fold it, tie it to a string or pole and leave it in the hopes that it will come true. I would have tried it, but, again, the Japanese thing.

These are ema. They can be bought at the temple / shrine for a small price. There are different kinds for different types of wishes or prayers, which the wisher or prayer writes on the back and ties to rack.

Again, check the main Japan 2005 page for more visual enlightenment.


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