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
A Guide to Kamakura’s Hydrangeas
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
Firefly Festival at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu
The best part about June? Fireflies.
Hydrangea Train, Kamakura
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.
くis for Kuzuharaoka Jinja
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
Bon Odori Summer Festivals
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
Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Sakura
Today, we finally made it down to Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu, the main shrine in Kamakura. It was actually a good thing it took us so long to make it down, though, as the cherry blossoms weren't quite at 100%. Maybe later this week... They were still pretty spectacular, though. Kamakura isn't really known for sakura—the city's … Continue reading Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Sakura
Drivin’ the Train
We dropped by Goryojinja the other day to get a Fukurokuju stamp for our Shichifukujin (Seven Gods of Luck) stamp collection, and took a minute to enjoy the charm of the Enoden train skirting the shrine grounds.
The shrine on Enoshima just keeps going and going and going. Up the hill, around a corner, up again, another corner... It covers quite a bit of territory, mostly going up.
This is a close-up of a photo I posted a few weeks ago. The other photo focused on Oinari-san, the fox. I hope what catches your eye in this photo is the small, round mirror in the back. That little mirror is the kami-sama, or god(dess).