Kamakura: the green escape!

We arrived in Kamakura that it was already night. Luckily the hostel was close to the station. It was actually behind the rail road.

Despite being so close to the railroad we didn’t hear any train noise during the night.

The hostel was small, well hidden, with a I-am-not-going-there entrance.

The inside was actually really nice. The room was small but quite clean and at the right temperature with a comfortable bed.

Our true fake dream bed!

The toilet was furnished with the latest technology toilet with a bidet embedded in it… Amazing Japan

After taking a shower, we left our stuff in the washing machine and we went out looking for a restaurant where to have dinner.

We found the SatoNoUdon open and, communicating with gestures, we ordered our food.

Going back home after dinner we walked in an empty park where we found a “fire” tree.

The entire city was completely empty and Sara decided that was the perfect time to take a picture seated in the middle of the walk.

Exhausted we went back home and slept.
Early in the morning we went hiking to the Zeriarai Benzaiten temple which entrance was through a cave.

As we exited the rocky tunnel we found a small area covered in statues and torii with a little shrine and another cave where to wash you money (some kind of ritual).

Immediately we realised that most of the statues and buildings had something in common: on all of them was impressed the triforce simbol.

Here we also bought a booklet to collect the stamps from each shrine we visited, and got our first stamp.

We followed a short hiking path and ended up on a asfalted road. We got lost. Fortunately we found a couple of bicentennial grannies which helped us find our way back to the shrines. Everything without understanding a single word of what the other was saying. Human being truly are amazing.
Back on track, we walked under dozens of small torii to reach a shrine surrounded by thousands of small fox statues. The name of the shrine was Sasuke (no sharingan here).

After getting our stamp, we continued on the hiking track. We walked for 2 km in the middle of nothing but bamboo, cherry and other trees.

We finally got on an asfalted road and aimed for the Kamakura Daibutsu.
After paying a entrance fee of 300¥ (less than 3 euro), we went in to admire the budda statue which is the second tallest bronze statue in Japan.

Behind the buddha is kept a Buddhist garden: no grass, no flowers, just rocks and pebbles. Preferably black or gray. Thanks.

Leaving the Seated budda we walked to Hasedera Temple.

The shrine complex was really old and the landscape were amazing. The site was populated by various statues which looked quite happy to see us. 

Happy statues in Hasedera

The complex also offered great views over the sea and a small bamboo forest.

Bamboo trees
More bamboo trees

The temple also hosted the Kyozo, an incredible bookshelf storing Buddhist script which can be rotated.

Rotating bookshelf 

We we should not forget to mention the main temple, an absolute astounding structure.

Also the little Buddhist garden next to the entrance was worth the visit.

Buddhist garden

So far so good, we had enough of temples and decided to take a break and go to see the ocean.
The ferocious wind kept our enthusiasm low and pushed us to the closest train station to catch the first train for Kamakura main station.

7 eleven provided a quick onigiri bite (our stomachs were scaring off people’s with their rumbles) and our JRPass came again handy to reach Kita-Kamakura without any other ticket. 

Kita-Kamakura is the Northern part of the city, and it is home to many temples. One afternoon wasn’t enough to visit them all, and we spent approximately one and a half hour in Engakuji.

Engakuji Sanmon gate

This temple was simply amazing. It hosted national treasures and the views of the meticulous maintenance of the inner Japanese gardens were a total blast.

It is ranked as one of the most important Zen Buddhist Temple complexes in Japan. Among the national treasures there is an ancient bell sites on the highest point of the temple. Trust me when I say i won’t go there anymore!

Just halfway up…

Sara found the time to take a picture with a pair of girls wearing a kimono.

As we left Engakuji we walked to the city center to have lunch. We found a small restaurant, nothing special, but not bad either.

With our bellies full, we went back to the hotel, collected our backpacks and went to catch our train to Tokyo.

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