Day 51 - Kamakura & Ginza
Trip Start Sep 30, 2012
105Trip End Jan 09, 2013
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Grabbing a bite to eat at a quick shop then navigating the railways, we headed off.
Kamakura is a seaside town set in a hilly area, chosen for its natural defensive terrain by the samurai. The Samurai brought Buddhism to the area, while still practicing their traditional Shinto spirituality. The area has many old Buddhist temples, Shinto sites and other culturally treasured sites
The town has a lovely boutique main street heading toward some important temples we wanted to visit. We walked down checking out the interesting restaurants and stores. It was a great opportunity to take in people and the environment.
The temple we visited was set on the side of a forested hill. It was interesting to see how different the approach to Buddhism was to the other countries we have been to. Japan have their own flavour. We saw a few younger girls in kimonos visiting the temple. Ankit explained that it is traditional that special birthdays include a trip to the temple. The front of the temple people through coins into a trough, bowed and clapped. A drum was hit every now and again. Very interesting to watch.
The temple had a small museum on the side with some cultural relics.
Continuing to wander the temple area we found a samurai museum. It was interesting to see the Buddhas they had on display. They were a little different from what we have seen before.
The other statues, paintings and brief history of the area were interesting too.
We went back to the main road to get lunch, finding a little side street which sold takoyaki - balls of some type of starch with octopus inside and fish shavings on top. They were very hot (heat). Nice to try, but would not be a regular menu item for us.
After another walk of the streets we had our last stop at a small modern art gallery which had prints of Chagall on exhibition. Fun.
We caught the train back to Tokyo, to Ginza, a trendy shopping area of the city
As we walked in the restaurant all the chefs cheered:)
We ordered a plate of various sushi each, 8 California rolls, and a speciality eel dish.
The sushi was much bigger than we expected, the quality of the meat was exceptional and sushi delicious! Anton finished off with a saki.
A great way to take in Tokyo and the Japanese culture.
Returning home we chatted with Ankit for a while before turning in - he has been a great host and our first coach surfing experience a success.