Japan: Kamakura Day Trip from Tokyo

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Daibutsu, The Great Buddha of Kamakura

Kamakura is a coastal city about an hour away from Tokyo – perfect for a day trip! Lonely Planet introduces Kamakura:

The glory days of Japan’s first feudal capital (from 1185 to 1333) coincided with the spread of populist Buddhism in Japan. This legacy is reflected in the area’s proliferation of stunning temples. Kamakura also has a laid-back, earthy vibe complete with organic restaurants, summer beach shacks and surfers – which can be added to sunrise meditation and hillside hikes as reasons to visit.

We started our visit by walking 20 minutes to Kōtoku-in, a Buddhist temple renowned for its Daibutsu, or The Great Buddha of Kamakura dating from 1252. Along the way we encountered many Japanese children on school trips, all yelling “Hello!” at us and stopping to take our photos, ask questions, and have us sign things. Conversations were limited due to their English expertise, but very amusing!

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Walking to Kotoku-in

 

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Washing my hands before entering the holy site

 

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Koen washing his hands

 

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Daibutsu

 

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Closeup shot

 

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Inside the Daibutsu

 

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With some of my fans

 

After visiting Kōtoku-in, we walked to the city center for lunch. We did a bit of research beforehand and knew that Kamakua is famous for shirasu, or baby sardines. It was no problem finding restaurants that serve shirasu – it was everywhere! After lunch I enjoyed some sweet potato ice cream!

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One of many shirasu menus in town

 

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Our cafe

 

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Kamakura Beer

 

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Tuna sashimi bowl with boiled shirasu for me

 

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Grilled mackerel for Koen

 

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So many delicious flavors

 

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Good enough for Obama, good enough for me!

 

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After lunch, we headed to Hōkoku-ji, also known as the Bamboo Temple. Koen and I both were excited to see our first bamboo garden – plus there is a teahouse in the garden!

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Kamakura as a cartoon

 

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Taking the train to our next temple

 

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Colorful Kamakura train

 

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Hokoku-ji

 

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Tea House in the middle of the bamboo garden

 

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Matcha

 

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Origami gift from a Japanese couple

 

After Hōkoku-ji we wanted to walk to take a walk along the beach. We had perfect timing and arrived at sunset. Such beautiful colors and scenery!

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