Moss-Covered Stairs

I can't help but wonder if the stairs leading up to the hon-do at Sugimoto Dera are the original stairs. If they are, it would make them 1282 years old, as Sugimoto Dera was built in 734 AD (though fires have meant it's seen some rebuilding). Maybe a bit of a stretch, but they do … Continue reading Moss-Covered Stairs

Through the Incense Burner

Sugimoto Dera doesn't have building after building after building like a lot of the other temples in Kamakura. It's pretty simple. The building that it does have at the top of the moss-covered stone stairs, though, is pretty nice. Too bad you can't take pictures inside! This was the best I could do without risking … Continue reading Through the Incense Burner

Sugimoto Dera Roku Jizo

Kamakura has an awful lot of Roku Jizo (six Jizo statues standing together). The best-known is likely the Yuigahama Dori Roku Jizo, but if you keep your eyes peeled, you'll find others sprinkled around town. The ones pictured stand on the grounds of Sugimoto Dera, the oldest temple in Kamakura.  

Medieval Tombs

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.

Kencho-ji Tengu

At the back of Kencho-ji's vast grounds, a hill rises up, topped by Kencho-ji's shrine, the Hansobo. Sprinkled over the hill is a collection of karasu-tengu (crow tengu), a kami (god)/yokai (supernatural being) combination creature. Most tengu in Japan, nowadays at least, are depicted as having exceptionally long noses, though the older style have more … Continue reading Kencho-ji Tengu