Day 7: Temples! Buddha! Koi! Sushi!

Someone more historically-minded than I can answer this question: why are there so many temples in Kamakura?

And more importantly, why don’t American convenience stores sell rice balls??

Kamakura was beautiful, impressive and serene. The temples we saw were some kind of serious. Our first visit, Engaku-ji, is right off the train station. The area is also just a mountainside away from the beach, which we would have visited had we made the first express train from Kichijoji.

It’s a working temple, as we witnessed some archery practice happening just past the area open to the public. Not as decadent as others we saw later in the day, but just as lovely.

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A sense of calm pervades the campus. The feel and architecture here was Vincent’s favorite.

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Hokkuji Temple was too far to walk, so we took a cab, and learned that cabbies in Japan charge you from where they are when you call them, not from where they pick you up. About 2,000¥ later we arrived here…

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This was my favorite temple of the day. Peaceful, serene, cool and beautiful. You can’t help but walk about in awe.

We were served green tea on a bench overlooking part of the forest of more than 2,000 large bamboo trees.

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Glorious.

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Before visiting the giant Buddha, we stopped at a convenience store for rice balls…triangles of rice in nori (seaweed) with fish in the middle. Delicious, convenient, and why the heck can’t someone sell these at home??

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This thoroughfare was beautiful too. We caught some schoolchildren in ridiculous hats and little sailor-looking uniforms waiting for the light to change.

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Behind us, we explored the entrance to this ostentatious campus. This is not the best photo but I liked the colors and the plants. This must have been a real sight to behold in bloom!

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Then another quick train ride and off to the giant buddha! We arrived just in time for closing so we couldn’t go inside the statue, but the guards let us take a few pictures before we left.

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We ate dinner at a very nice Japanese restaurant on the 14th floor of a high rise in Shibuya to celebrate Akane’s birthday!!!

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We had an amazing view of the city but the door to the little garden was locked.

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