Saturday, April 22, 2017

Kamakura Day Trip / 鎌倉日帰り旅行

I still have loads of untold stories from my life in Tokyo that it may take me a while to talk about them all. Before making our move to Aomori, I wanted to go to the largest shrine in Kamakura - Tsuruoka Hachimangu. The last time we went there, my wife and I were not yet collecting shrine or temple seals. We only had two more months left before our impending move, we decided to make another day trip to Kamakura. I had plans to go to one other temple as well.


This is the torii which will lead us to Tsuruoka Hachimagu Shrine.


On the way to Tsuruoka Hachimangu Shrine, we would walk along Komachi Dori, another popular tourist spot in Kamakura. But first, we would stop for lunch somewhere.


We saw this menu for a restaurant called [Misui] which looked pretty promising.


With a long line at its entrance, we thought it must be pretty good so chose to stand in line.


The tempura and soba set was perfect.


I think my wife ordered the Fukurokuju gozen.


We had dessert here at Sugi Yohoen.


Ice cream with fresh honey.


Also snacked on some freshly made senbei (rice crackers).


I just love the design of the old style buildings.


I couldn't help but notice the tour group with their members all wearing yellow hats like kindergarten kids. I didn't see a tour conductor with a little flag though which is also a common site.


We are nearing the Tsuruoka Hachimangu Shrine.


The Taiko Bashi Bridge / 太鼓橋

Genpei Pond / 源平池

Hand purifying basin / 手水舎

Shimohaiden - Maiden (Lower Worship Hall) / 下拝殿・舞殿

Sake barrels / 酒樽

The Great Ginkgo Tree (located on the right side of the picture). According to the Tsuruoka Hachimangu Site, the ginkgo tree was over 1,000 years old but was blown down on March 10, 2010. The great ginkgo was where the 3rd Minamoto shogun, Sanetomo, was assassinated by his nephew, Kugyo, who had hidden himself behind the tree. Thus, it is also called Hiding Ginkgo. Presently, many sprouts are visible emerging from the remaining roots; and they are growing vigorously.


The large stone steps and the Great Gate / 大石段と楼門

Looking down at the Shimohaiden.


I'm not sure which is which but the two statues on either side of the gate represent two kami. Toyoiwamado-no-kami and Kushiiwado-no-kami, and protect the gate from evil spirits.


Portable shrines / 神輿

Prayer boards / 絵馬

Oh my goodness, you may find this hard to believe, but I forgot to take a picture of the main shrine!!


We also walked up the stairs to the Maruyama Inari Shrine.


Maruyama Inari Shrine / 丸山稲荷社

Mustn't forget our touristy picture!


We spotted a furry resident of the shrine grounds.


Okay, so I got a little carried away taking pictures of the squirrel.


Yui Wakamiya Youhaijo / 由比若宮遥拝所

Tsurukame Stone / 鶴亀石

Shirahata Jinja / 白旗神社

Sazare ishi (boulder formed from gravel and sediment) / さざれ石

I spotted some doves!


Hata-age Benzaiten Shrine / 旗上弁財天社

Tsuruoka Hachimangu Shrine Seal / 鶴岡八幡宮の御朱印

Dessert time as I settled down with a Kamakura Moon Kamakura Beer.


My wife had a nice large shaved ice at the tea shop [Kaze no Mori].


I couldn't help myself.


We were on our way to Tokeiji Temple in Kita-Kamakura, one of the temples I wanted to see after watching a movie that was set there titled "Kakekomi" in English. It was known as the Divorce Temple in feudal Japan. But we also came across the Kaizoji Temple on our way. Unfornately, I seemed to have deleted all the pictures I took at Kaizoji Temple by mistake and I seem to have deleted quite a few pictures I took at Tokeiji Temple as well.


I can't believe I accidentally deleted all the pictures I took at Kaizoji Temple and more than half I took at Tokeiji Temple. I suppose it gives me an excuse to go there again but who knows when that might happen.


This was the temple seal for Kaizouji.


Tokeiji Temple Seal / 東慶寺の御朱印

Little did I know I would be making another trip to Kamakura the following week as a long-time friend was coming to Japan and I promised I would be their guide and one of their plans was to see the Great Buddha.