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
At the end of the Daibutsu-Kuzuharaoka hiking trail, in Kita-Kamakura, sits Jochi-ji, temple number 31 of the Kamakura Thirty-Three Kannon Pilgrimage. Not far down the road is Tokei-ji, temple number 32. In Japan, Thirty-Three Kannon pilgrimages are fairly common. According to Kamakura City's webpage on its Kannon-sama pilgrimage, the first Thirty-Three Kannon pilgrimage — the … Continue reading Kannon-sama Pilgrimage: Jochi-ji and Tokei-ji
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
The biggest temple in Kamakura
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
Taking a bit of a break from Kamakura in Kana to post some photos of the snowstorm from Monday, January 22. It only snows a few times a year here — sometimes only once or twice, so to get this much snow was pretty exciting, especially for this Canuck. While I didn't manage to make … Continue reading Hase in the Snow
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.