Monday, September 13, 2010

In Kamakura

On Saturday we went to Kamakura, a very historic city about 30 minutes from us.  It was the seat of government when the first shogun ruled Japan...or something to that effect.  Obviously history is much much more complex than that.  At any rate, we went there to see two things; the Shinto shrine Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū, and the second largest Buddha in Japan.
When we stepped off out of the train station we were greeted by three very enthusiastic Japanese college students.  They belong to an English club at their university in Yokohama and on the weekends come down to Kamakura and offer free tours to English speakers to practice their English.  We accepted their offer and had lots of fun chatting with them and getting to know them, as well as learning a lot from their tour.  They even came to lunch with us.  They were great (two girls and boy, one of the girls was "in training"). 

Here we are at the shrine. It was built in 1063 AD, nearly 1000 years old!  While we were there a traditional Japanese wedding was taking place.  It was really neat to watch the procession with the bride and groom in traditional kimonos following priests playing traditional Japanese instruments.  Being a religious shrine, there is obviously lots of symbolism in the architecture and whatnot.  I won't go into the details, but suffice it to say that the more I learn about world religions the more obvious it is to me that Heavenly Father is watching over everyone and has been since the beginning of time.

That being said, here's the Big Buddha!

He really is quite huge, about 43 feet tall.  Though the most memorable part of our trip to daibutsu (Great Buddha in Japanese), was Ellie getting a pretty good goose-egg when she fell while trying to walk down a ramp. 
Ellie was a trooper, skipping her afternoon nap while we went tromping about Kamakura. Granted, she has the good life...

See what I mean?

1 comment:

  1. I loved the culture of Japan. Glad you guys are getting out and experiencing it!