Saturday, September 5, 2009

Kamakura

I made a post about my birthday in Kamakura awhile ago. I was just going through some photos of the place and thought since all I ever write about is like, Bob Dylan, toxic persimmons and coming home drunk at 6am, I thought I'd try and be a proper JAPAN BLOGGER for once. Kamakura is my favorite tourist destination in Japan. It's only an hour and a half from Tokyo and super cheap and easy to get to. If you're visiting Tokyo and want to get out of the city you should definitely go to Kamakura.

Once you get there you can ride a famous old train called the Enoden to get to all the interesting spots.

The Kamakura Daibutsu is the second-biggest Buddha statue in Japan. It used to be inside of a temple but a tsunami washed the temple away in the late 1400s and now he kicks it outside. I really love his face.

You get a little bored of temples and shrines after awhile. I like them and all but after you've seen a few you kind of like, get the idea. So I was surprised to find Kamakura's religious sites really awesome and unusual. If you wash your money at Zeniarai Benten Shrine, it'll double. Tokeiji Temple was once a refuge for abused wives. The Hase Temple (Hasedera) has an intense statue of Kannon, and a shrine to unborn children.

Each of these little jizo statues represents an unborn soul.

My favorite shrine in Japan is Bentenkutsu. It's this dark cave with statues carved into the walls of Benten, an ancient goddess of the sea and fine arts, and other minor gods of art and industry.

I lost all my atheist cred stumbling over myself to write my name on a candle and light it in front of Benten and praying my ass off but what else would you expect? I'd go there every morning and night if I could.

Deeper in the cave is this small cavern where you can buy a small statue of Benten to dedicate to a medium statue of Benten.

It cheers me up that so many other people want to be on her good side.

Kamakura is unreasonably beautiful in the springtime when the wildflowers and cherry blossoms are in bloom, but it's probably beautiful all the time. There are also beaches and an island and hiking trails and stuff. If you go to the Odakyu counter at Shinjuku Station you can get the Enoshima Kamakura Free Pass for 1,430 yen, which gets you round-trip from Shinjuku plus unlimited rides on the Enoden and Odakyu trains in the Kamakura area all day. That's a good deal. You can have the best day trip ever for like, nothin.

Look at all these super Japan-related photos and tips! To think I was actually about to make a post about Augustine of Hippo / how much I like popsicles.

6 comments:

Beth said...

dude now i know why i don't blog like this, it BORES me. don't you think st. augustine and popsicles are WAYYYYY more interesting than tourist tips? google that shit on your own time, man!

selena said...

I like popsicles too. Lime.

Beth said...

i like the orange ones here with CHUNKS OF REAL ORANGE! and i like the simple 60yen ones that have cool simple packages and come in chocolate, chocolate chocolate chip, and vanilla. aaaaand the big fudge bars. AAAAAAAND the azuki creamsicle-y ones. man i loooove popsicles.

selena said...

You should totally do a popsicle post. You're running out of hot weather.

Beth said...

YOU'RE RIGHT. thank you for the excuse to go get a bunch of popsicles.

Whitney Turner said...

dude, i wish we would have gone here! i don't care, i don't mind reading your tourist-tip posts!!! but that's probably because you don't do like a million of them every week. anyway, when you visit here it'll be hot and we'll eat melona bars and you will want to die of pleasure.