Japanese summers are pretty spectacular. They buzz (cicadas) and DON DON DON (taiko drums). They whistle and gong and chant (festivals). They're burning hot and impossibly humid. But if you let the music drifting from the festival grounds carry you along, not only will you make it to fall without melting into a puddle … Continue reading Bon Odori Summer Festivals
Hase Dera has a truly astounding number of Jizo-sama figurines.
Incense for sale at Hase Dera. Light the incense, stick it in the ashes, and wash the incense smoke over your body to heal wherever ails you.
At this spring's Hase Ichi (Hase Market), there was a big blackboard for kids to colour all over while their parents browsed booths selling knickknacks, art, and food. I've been struggling to draw the Daibutsu, but after seeing these two chalk drawings, I think I can do it.
Hase Dera has a little spot reserved for praying for lost babies and children. It's a beautiful area, with a stream, candles, a spot to pray, and hundreds and hundreds of statues of Jizo-san. Jizo-san protects all sorts of people, most notably children, babies and mizuko (water children). Mizuko are babies that never got a chance … Continue reading Jizo-San, All Lined Up
Samurai like to take in the sights and sounds of Kamakura, too. These two are part of a tour guide/PR group called Iza. They take groups of tourists around town, all dressed up in old-school gear, and give them a rundown of the history of Kamakura. We've bumped into a group of them in the … Continue reading Samurai Walking
Indigo-coloured fabric, traditional tie-dyeing, embroidery, weaving—Japanese textiles rock my socks. Both of these photos are from a little souvenir shop by Hase Dera. It's a fantastic little store full of used kimono, dishes, geta sandals, and all sorts of other knickknacks that are so tempting to buy. And the shopkeeper is just lovely.
Last Sunday, I took three of Kamakura's hikes and crammed them all together into an epic around-the-city hiking adventure. The Daibutsu-Kuzuharaoka hike took me from Hase to Kita-Kamakura, where I took the road that runs up to the left past Meigetsu-in to join the Ten-en course. Rather than cutting out at the Zuisen-ji path, I … Continue reading Hiking Foxes
Every year, someone flies a great long kite of koi nobori at Yuigahama Beach. It looks amazing. The other photos are just random koi nobori from around town. I wish they flew all year long.