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

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

Daibutsu-Kuzuharaoka Hiking Course

Kamakura isn't just temples, shrines and surfers–it's also home to a few hiking trails. They're not particularly challenging, but they are a nice change from pounding the pavement from one temple to the next. The easiest and shortest is the Kuzuharaoka to Jochi-ji stretch of the Daibutsu-Kuzuharaoka trail. It's not very long at all, and … Continue reading Daibutsu-Kuzuharaoka Hiking Course

Bamboo Love

I went on what was supposed to be a short hike to some temples and shrines in town the other day, but which became an epic seven-hour tour of places I haven't been in ages, and some I'd never visited before. Starting out on the Daibutsu hiking trail, I continued as it joined the Kuzuharaoka … Continue reading Bamboo Love

Photo of the Day: All Tied Up

Five-yen coins hang off scarlet string and drape over a boulder at Kuzuharaoka Shrine. Kuzuharaoka Shrine, with its deep reds, heart-shaped prayer tablets, and coins on string, is striking at first sight. Quite far off the road and along a hiking path, it's also tremendously peaceful.

Photo of the Day: Breakin’ Dishes

Sometimes, you've just gotta smash a plate, but where? And what will the neighbours think? We've all been there, right? Luckily, Kuzuharaoka Jinja has a small stack of clay dishes ready, and a big rock at which you can freely toss/whip/skip your plates. And all for the low, low price of ¥100 per plate. It … Continue reading Photo of the Day: Breakin’ Dishes