Moss-Covered Stairs

I can't help but wonder if the stairs leading up to the hon-do at Sugimoto Dera are the original stairs. If they are, it would make them 1282 years old, as Sugimoto Dera was built in 734 AD (though fires have meant it's seen some rebuilding). Maybe a bit of a stretch, but they do … Continue reading Moss-Covered Stairs

Through the Incense Burner

Sugimoto Dera doesn't have building after building after building like a lot of the other temples in Kamakura. It's pretty simple. The building that it does have at the top of the moss-covered stone stairs, though, is pretty nice. Too bad you can't take pictures inside! This was the best I could do without risking … Continue reading Through the Incense Burner

Sugimoto Dera Roku Jizo

Kamakura has an awful lot of Roku Jizo (six Jizo statues standing together). The best-known is likely the Yuigahama Dori Roku Jizo, but if you keep your eyes peeled, you'll find others sprinkled around town. The ones pictured stand on the grounds of Sugimoto Dera, the oldest temple in Kamakura.  

Happy New Year

Rather than Christmas cards, the paper greeting that overwhelms the Japanese postal system this time of year is nengajo (new year's postcards). Many families make their own, adding photos of the previous year to show friends, relatives and colleagues the year's most important (or at least, the most photogenic) events. Joining the photos are usually … Continue reading Happy New Year