The next day in our pre-trip was an optional trip to Kamakura Japan. Of the six people in our little group, only 4 of us opted to take this trip. Warning this post will be photo heavy! Remember to click on the arrows to see more photos sometimes the arrows are hard to see.

We left the hotel at 8:00 in the morning and headed for the subway station, from there we transferred to a train to Kamakura and arrived at around 10:00 am. Kamakura is an ancient city, which is surrounded by mountains on three sides and the sea on the other. There are many historical shrines and temples here and we were visiting three.

Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shinto Shrine

The first place we visited was Kamakura’s most important shrine and was dedicated to Hachiman, the God of War, it was constructed by Minamoto Yoritomo in 1191. There was a long dedicated walkway through the centre of town, not far from the train station. This walkway had many Torri gates and had been redone right through the centre of the street. See picture gallery below.

Click on the arrows above to show all of the images. 


After visiting the shrine it was time to head for lunch. Lunch was at Miyokawa restaurant and was a traditional Japanese Bento box style lunch. The presentation was exquisite and there was a surprise birthday cake for me. The cake was incredible!

Daibutsu Temple (Big Buddha)

Next, on the day’s activities was a walk back to the train station to catch a local train that would take us to two Buddist temples. The first was Daibutsu which is a very large sitting Buddha. This is Kamakura’s most iconic sight, the statue sits at 11.4 metres high and is made of bronze and completed in 1252.

Click on the arrows above to show all of the images. 

Hase-dera Buddhist Temple

The last stop of the day was the Hase Buddhist temple. This temple is carved on the top of a mountain and there is a viewpoint there where you can look out over the city with a view of other mountains and the sea.

The temple has beautiful gardens and there is a large image of Kannon or Goddess of Mercy there as well. It is said that the Kannon image was carved out of a gigantic camphor tree in Nara prefecture near Kyoto in 721. It is covered in gold leaf.

Click on the arrows above to show all of the images. 

Back to Tokyo

After touring the temple we hiked back down the mountain to the train station, where we boarded the local train with hoards of other tourists and then transferred to the train back to Tokyo.

It was 6:00 pm when we got back and Karen and I were really hungry so the two of us waved goodbye to the rest of the group and found a little restaurant where we had the best shrimp tempura meal for under 10.00. They didn’t speak English and didn’t have an English menu however they had pictures of the food outside in the window so I was able to go and point to the set meals that Karen and I both wanted. The food was awesome!

Next up is the last day of our pretrip!


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