To get to Kamarkura, we took the Shonan-Shinjuku Line from Shinjuku Station, the ride was a little less than an hour. Since it’s still Golden Week holiday, the train was completely packed. It didn’t take long for us to figure out that the entire train of people had the same idea of visiting Kamakura like we did.
The ride was still pleasant, the moment when we left the sight of the concrete jungle, the beauty of nature and smaller towns jumped right through.
The Kamakura Station was so crowded, but still well organized as ever. From the Station, tourists could take public bus to the famous temple or big Buddha. We decided to walk there, to explore the place a bit more.
The place is very cute. The streets are narrower, full of local clothes shops and arts & crafts places. Cafe and restaurants dotted along with the walk ways giving passer-bys plenty choice for proper meal or just a cup of coffee and break. On the way, we found this very old looking bank, with ‘Bank’ signed written in English, I was wondering if that was one of the first banks opened up when nearby Yokohoma opened up to foreigners early last century. There are quite a few ice cream shops around the temple area which were really popular, the hot weather definitely helped.
Kamakura Temple is situated on the hill, overlooking the bay area. The temple area is huge by Japanese standard, containing a main hall where the Goddess of Mercy is seated, and some other smaller halls. It is beautifully laid out, the garden, although manicured finely, it is smartly blended into the surrounding nature, it is just so right. From top of the hill, we could see the beach area. The shallow area were decorated by sail boats and surfers. Seeing ocean after six months made me feel a bit ‘home-sick’. The weather was just so gorgeous, the blue sky and deep blue ocean, life is good.
After the temple, we went on to see the ‘Big Buddha’. But was a bit disappointed. The Buddha was not a happy-looking one…
One the way back, we took the back streets to avoid the crowds, and surprisingly discovered the true beauty of this little town – the local residence area. Just one block behind the busy main street, that is where locals live. Those streets are wide enough for only one car to pass. All houses here are in superb shape, with manicured-to-details gardens. You can see the true Japanese houses here, with old-looking gate, peddled path ways, garden decorated with bonsai trees……it is so Japanese. The whole area is peaceful, beautiful, and in harmony. It’d be nice to live in this area, we could help wishing.
Kamakura is a nice place, it is definitely worth a second trip. Next time we are gonna check out the beach area in summer!