Summer in Kamakura

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

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

Temple Garden

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

Big Bell

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