This weekend was a nice three days off since Monday was some sort of holiday. We were planning to go to Nikko, but my sensei said it would be super crowded and we didn’t have reservations. Next plan was to head to the beach, but Ken wanted to go and could only do a day trip. So we decided to hit up Kamakura and see a few temples on Saturday.
Unfortunately, it didn’t quite turn out that way. First off, the arguments about whether we should drive or ride the train bordered on the ridiculous, and since it took half the morning to drive, we really only had the afternoon to explore.
And get lost, which sucked up even more time. So, moral of the story? Take the train, start out earlier, and get a map first thing!
We did manage to make it to two temples, however. The first was the Daibutsu Buddha, a giant statue of a buddha sitting.
Arrival in Kamakura (finally) around 1pm (we started at 9:30). A McDonald’s next to torii gates. Nice.
After that, we made it to another temple right in time, about 30 minutes before they closed. I wish we’d have had more time for this one, it had what looked to be a pretty cool walking trail up the side of the mountain, as well as lots of nifty architecture.
Ken & Shauna posing
We then left Kamakura, since there wasn’t much point in staying with all the temples closed. So we hit two out of about seventy. Hmmm. Definitely going back, earlier this time! Anyway, before we left, we saw some of the preparations for the Kamakura festival the next day, including the moving of some of the shrines by the carriers. Stopped traffic and everything, it was impressive!
We went back through Yokohama to go to China Town for dinner. We picked a place with a giant line out the front and what we figured were decent prices (Chinese food is expensive!), and waited. I’m already used to Japanese restaurants, which usually have a button to push to request service, especially when you’re in a private room or booth. But the Chinese restaurant had the Western version of catching the waiter’s attention with a special Chinese restaurant flare; that is, they don’t really feel like coming over, so they’ll pretend to not notice you, or lose your order on occasion. Good food, but after Japanese-style service, it was a bit hard to deal with!
After that we just sorta wandered the streets. I found rather terrible bubble tea, but bought it anyway (take what I can get!), and some other yummy deserts. Then we walked around the train station a bit looking for something to do before we had to meet Ken’s friends at Machida.
The opulent sign proclaiming you’ve entered China Town…as if you couldn’t tell!
We didn’t end up doing much with Ken’s friends. I wasn’t in the mood, and the drive back was long, so we didn’t stay.