There's no denying it: Rainy season is over (something like 22 days earlier than average!), which means summer is here and it is hot. And humid. And it's going to last at least two months. Of course, we wouldn't have it any other way in a beach town — who wants cool, drizzly summers when … Continue reading Summer in Kamakura
This is an unofficial history, recounted to my husband by his kobudo teacher, who assures us that his memory is correct: ***** Once upon a time, some 40 or 50 years ago, the city of Kamakura had a problem: June — the rainy season in the area — saw tourist numbers plummet, and the much-needed … Continue reading A Guide to Kamakura’s Hydrangeas
The best part about June? Fireflies.
Roses are red... and pink, yellow, orange and white at the Kamakura Bungakukan's Rose Festival
In Kamakura, June means hydrangeas. Thousands of them. And the tourists just eat it up. One of the most popular spots to take photos is Goryo Jinja, because the always-photogenic Enoden Line train rattles by as it exits the tunnel between Gokuraku-ji and Saka-no-shita.
A great way to get to know Kamakura is to undertake the Kamakura 33 Kannon pilgrimage.
At its peak, Jomyo-ji must have been incredible. That's not to say that it's not a beautiful spot now — it is, and very peaceful, too. But in 1386, it was comprised of seven buildings and 23 pagoda. Iso Mutsu writes that "in bygone days Jomyo-ji was one of the five most prominent temples of … Continue reading じ is for Jomyo-ji
Dating to 734 CE, Sugimoto Dera is considered Kamakura's oldest temple — and it looks the part. The stairway going from the niomon to the hondo is uneven and moss-covered, and the grounds have an earthy, ancient feel to them. The primary object of worship at Sugimoto Dera is Kannon-sama. The temple is home to … Continue reading す is for Sugimoto Dera
Kuzuharaoka Jinja (sometimes referred to as Kuzuharagaoka Shrine) owes its existence to the execution of Hino Toshimoto, a scholar famed for his poetry. Hino, a court official loyal to Emperor Go-Daigo, was twice caught plotting to overthrow the Kamakura Shogunate. Though released the first time, he was found guilty and sentenced to death the second … Continue reading くis for Kuzuharaoka Jinja
Just six hundred metres from Eisho-ji is a temple that blooms year round. Kaizo-ji, founded in 1394, is most famous for its bush clover, which blooms in September. The temple, of the Kenchoji school of Rinzai Zen Buddhism, is also a great spot for plum-blossom viewing and koyo (fall foliage). Behind the main temple building is a … Continue reading か is for Kaizo-ji