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
Kamakura is riddled with small caves carved into the soft rock. These caves are tombs, built in medieval times. According to Wikipedia, Kamakura has anywhere from 1500 to 5000 yagura cut into its hills. It is assumed that many have yet to be found. The yagura pictured is Kamakura's largest, located at Meigetsu-in in Kita-Kamakura.
Jizo statues are all over the place in Japan. He's the "protector of children, expectant mothers, firemen, and travelers. Most of all, he is the protector of deceased children, including miscarried, aborted or stillborn infants." ("Jizo Bosatsu: Bodhisattva of Deceased Children," Barbara O'Brien, About.com) This ever-so-cute Jizo was crouched along the path at Meigeitsu-in.
Dressing in traditional Japanese clothing to visit temples and shrines has become a popular activity of late. Kimono enthusiasts are usually female, but men sometimes get in on the fun, too. I saw the two women pictured wandering around Meigetsu-in in Kita-Kamakura.
Meigeitsu-in's famous view: the circle in the wall. Sadly, I couldn't get any closer, but the basic idea is there. And a few more from the temple grounds:
These colourful fall decorations were sprinkled around the Meigetsu-in grounds.
Meigetsu-in again. I just love these stairs.
Meigetsu-in, a temple famous for its hydrangeas, is tucked away in the hills of Kita-Kamakura. I visited the other day—not during hydrangea season—to reacquaint myself with the temple, and cam across a lot of well-dressed statues.