Kamakura

I don't remember the names but I'll put them into the blog later.  Spent the day with an old friend, Azby Brown.  We took the train down to Kamakura from Yokohama and spent the day walking from temple to temple. The walks were almost as beautiful as the temples themselves.  We ended the day in Hayama at his publisher's house where we took a dip in the ocean just as the sun set over Mt. Fuji.

Our first stop was in Kita-Kamakura...

I'm not sure of the pronunciation in Japanese, but here is the name in kanji 建長寺

This was actually a strange garden because if features a manicured lawn, which is rare in Japan. Typically one would expect to see stones, moss, or other ground cover; not open green space.

Our next temple was, literally, the "money laundering temple" where you wash your money for good luck. It was located in a grotto accessible only by tunnel, at the top of a somewhat arduous climb...

From here we walked along the "Daibutsu hiking course" through jungled hills, with cicadas screaming and screeching at us. Listen to this video clip:

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rh5KF4rrzPo

Towards the top of the ridge, we were getting very hot and suddenly this beautiful coffee house sprung up out of the jungle-side. Turns out it was a private house that opened up a cafe in response to the large numbers of hikers who would stop in to ask to use their restroom.  It was surrealistic.  Or perhaps I was just exhausted.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jp43f9fjyTs

And here it is, the Daibutsu...

But I found it more interesting to take photos of other people taking photos, or posing for them...

After about 6 miles of hiking up and down hills in 95 degree heat, we took the cute little "Enoden" train across town then caught a taxi to the Bamboo temple and got in just as it was closing for the day...

At Azby's publisher's house, we met his two 'gay' cats, George and John. Maybe not gay, but at least male and single. George is an Abyssinian.

More photos in the Kamakura Gallery...

A walk through Shibuya

Tokyo Faces, and...