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
Home of the biggest bell in Kamakura.
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
Japanese gardens don't tend themselves. A temple gardener works on the grass of the garden at Engaku-ji.
Engaku-ji's main gate with the sun beating down on it. Engaku-ji is number two of Kamakura's five great Zen temples. It's located right beside Kita-Kamakura Station, which makes it the number one temple for convenience.
The day I visited Engaku-ji, there was–not surprisingly–a huge group of school children. They were spread over the entire temple grounds having lunch, running around, and being scolded for various offenses.
Engaku-ji starts where Kita-Kamakura Station ends. In fact, it used to own the land upon which the station sits, but had to sell it when the railroad went through. The pond beside the station—cut off from the temple grounds by a narrow road—is still part of Engaku-ji, though. This raked-pebble garden is lovely to look … Continue reading Temple Garden
This impressive bell was made in 1301, and sits on a hill at the top of a rather long set of stone steps at Engaku-ji. Engaku-ji is the second of the five great Zen temples in Kamakura. Its entrance is right at Kita-Kamakura Station (apparently, it lost some of its land in order for the … Continue reading Big Bell