Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day Trip to Kamakura, Japan

I visited the old capital city of Kamakura, Japan while visiting the country. Kamakura became the capital of Japan in the late 12th Century following the defeat of the Taira clan by leader, Minamoto Yoritomo. Minamoto, a Shogun Samurai, and his successors ruled until the mid-19th century.  The people of Kamakura were highly influenced by Chinese culture and incorporated many aspects of Zen religion and architecture as well as Buddhist sculpture. Consequently, Kamakura has a very zen-like demeanor. 

The Great Buddha first constructed in 1252
The Temple
At the temple many people can get their fortunes told and make wishes. If you get your fortune told and you do not like your fortune you can tie it to the fence so your fortune will stay at the temple rather than come true. If you like your fortune then you can keep it with you. To get your fortune told you shake a box full of sticks until one falls out. Then you hand the stick to a lady at the temple who hands you your fortune. Mine was good luck! It said I would soon be feeling better!

A wall of wishes hanging on the Temple

Unwanted fortunes tied to rope in front of the temple

Sweet Potato/Green tea Ice cream
Although this may not sound very appetizing, it was actually quite taste. It was not as sweet as normal ice cream flavors and the potato was very subtle. Yum!

Two more things I loved
1) Green tea Kitkats! So Good
2) Heated seats on the subway! It's no wonder so many people fall asleep on the subway here. The warmth would put anyone right to sleep.

Six days after leaving Japan, the earthquake and tsunami struck. I was very lucky to avoid the quake, but many were not. Kamakura and Tokyo were the most amazing places. Nowhere else in the world is like Japan and we must help however we can to help Japan and its' people rebuild and recover. 

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