First real day in Kamakura, huzzah! We kicked off the day by hitting up Hasedera, famous for its springtime hydrangeas, 9.18 meter wooden Kannon statue, There were lovely little gardens scattered throughout the temple grounds, as well as plenty of structures to engage with. There was also a hall where you can turn a wheel of thousands of sutras, allowing you to earn the fortune equivalent to having read of the sutras, on the 18th of every month. Today being the 6th meant that cool experience was a no-go. However, you could walk around in a counter-clockwise fashion and spin these upward-standing wheels, so-to-speak, that also provided good fortune. We had already gone through once, with only one pair of friends in front of us who hadn’t touched those. So of course we looped it again to actually spin the wheels.
After that we walked up to get some scenic views of this adorable ocean town, which was so charming and makes me want to live here/somewhere like it. A pretty good pause here, we really did get to just take in the view before continuing down the path to more temples. Two temples we entered had large, beautiful Buddha statues that were extremely humbling and gorgeous. One of these buildings had a lovely array of painted flower tiles alternating across the ceiling, which was the hall containing my favorite large Buddha. There they sold many interesting omamori such as strawberries (for ambition), ladybugs (for prosperity), owls (for health) and a whole slew of other rather unique charms. I didn’t get any, but there were definitely worth looking at. Just past those guys was this cool pond/statue mashup of Buddha’s feet, which some people were rubbing (presumably for good luck). I really liked them! After those guys there was also a lovely oyster shrine with the little guys on the feature photo to its side and a magical birdbath in it.
We made the final descent back towards the entrance, where there was still more exploring to be done. A few gardens, a few more god statues and beyond. One goddess in particular was really cool, and I believe she also has a shrine on Enoshima. She’s known as Benzaiten, a goddess of all that flows (water, music and more) and one of the seven Japanese gods of fortune; she’s thought to correspond to Hindu goddess Saraswati. Very grand in that she appeals to both my and Lizzie’s interests, plus she’s a female, which has been uncommon from my temple and shrine wanderings. After that we hunch-walked through a cave with a fair number of Buddha figures. It wasn’t anything grand in particular, just a very nice little cave.
The trek ended there after a nice long morning in the temple, so we picked up our goshuincho and marched along to a breakfast cafe. It was so cute, pretty yummy and I got to try a monburan, or a Mont Blanc. Nicely made, cafe.
Afterwards led to more wandering around, so we looked at a nice rock shop, watched a sweet-making store and stumbled upon a crafts fair. There they had the cheesiest ever flip flips, which were literally fish and ridiculous. So of course I freaking bought them. I mean hey, I’ll really be a special snowflake right? Ugh, they’re so bad. Lizzie calls them my ‘fish flops’.
Last stop of the day was a return to Komachi-dori, which was a beautiful and dangerous trip. Our take-aways? Lizzie got a lovely, cozy new hat, I got 2 wooden utensil sets that are pretty portable for about $10, and we both blew some more money on those accursed furoshiki and handles for bags. A dangerous but fun time indeed. Dinner ended up being at this retro, Cali-vibe Mexican place. I don’t eat it that often in America, and I rarely get cravings for it, but hot dang am I a liar if I said I don’t love the heck outta Mexican food. Lizzie got a burrito while I got a salad burrito bowl, and they were both gifts from beyond man. Super tasty, cute presentation and the atmosphere of the place was just vibin’. They even had 2 cars inside the restaurant, ’cause why not? I guess? You can only see 1 below but I promise they’re both there.
We ended by buying a 1L drink each plus roll cake from a conbini, which was a damn good choice if not lacking another dessert. A round of bananagrams, some fun youtube guy vids from one of Lizzie’s beloved channels and full stomachs later, we hung out in my room til about 2:30. Late, I know, but it’s vacation. I’ll be my own judge, thank you. Anyways, since it’s past midnight I’m now officially into my birthday and so very excited to spend the day on Enoshima tomorrow. ‘Til then, oyasuminasai!