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
In her book, Kamakura: Fact and Legend, Iso Mutsu calls Kakuon-ji a "venerable temple of unimposing exterior." It is indeed quite simple on the outside (though wonderfully peaceful), but inside it houses a number of statues and other items, including two national treasures (the Yakushi Sanzon and the Black Jizo). While the outer grounds are … Continue reading か is for Kakuon-ji
We're finally leaving え, though I'm guessing we'll be back again eventually. So many え... But onto お we go. Ofuna is a funny city, half of it being in Yokohama-shi and half being in Kamakura-shi. Luckily for us and our kana series, the Ofuna Kannon is on the Kamakura side. Kannon-sama is the goddess … Continue reading お is for Ofuna Kannon
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
Eisho-ji, a nunnery, is one of the newer temples in Kamakura, having been founded during the Edo period. It has ties to both the Tokugawa Shogunate, and to Edo Castle, as the founding nun, Eisho-In-Ni, was a descendent of the founder of Edo Castle, as well as a concubine of Tokugawa Ieyasu, first shogun of … Continue reading え is also for Eisho-ji
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.
Incense for sale at Hase Dera. Light the incense, stick it in the ashes, and wash the incense smoke over your body to heal wherever ails you.
At this spring's Hase Ichi (Hase Market), there was a big blackboard for kids to colour all over while their parents browsed booths selling knickknacks, art, and food. I've been struggling to draw the Daibutsu, but after seeing these two chalk drawings, I think I can do it.
Hase Dera has a little spot reserved for praying for lost babies and children. It's a beautiful area, with a stream, candles, a spot to pray, and hundreds and hundreds of statues of Jizo-san. Jizo-san protects all sorts of people, most notably children, babies and mizuko (water children). Mizuko are babies that never got a chance … Continue reading Jizo-San, All Lined Up