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We made plans for first weekend in July to go to Kanagawa to visit Kenji’s grandparents, and see a bit more of the prefecture while we were there. We had a bit of a round start though; or at least, I had a bit of a rough start!

We were packed and ready early Saturday morning, and I was heading to the car with last minute stuff. Unfortunately, our stairs are slippery when wet and I wasn’t being careful. I took a tumble down a flight of stairs and ended up with a split elbow at the bottom. Kenji drove me to a hospital that was almost open, and we sat and waited for the doctor. I ended up with 7 stitches and a whole lot of bruises! Needless to say, that set our trip back a few hours.

I still wanted to go, despite my arm being really uncomfortable. Kenji wanted to stay home and rest, but I told him it was going to hurt anyway, and I’d rather be hurting in Kanagawa than hurting sitting at home in my apartment! So we went, and Kenji was nice enough to refrain from any “I told you so”‘s when I complained throughout the trip!

So anyway, that taken care of, we headed on the long car ride to Kanagawa and arrived at Kenji’s Aunt’s house around 1pm. They live in the mountains in Hadano, Kanagawa, and it is really nice! The hydrangea were blooming, so there were splashes of blue and purple everywhere!


Kenji’s aunt’s house, where his grandparent’s also live.


Rural roads and fields


The view


Forest behind their house. The sign says “please don’t take the fireflies home!”


Ajisai!


More ajisai


My bandaged elbow!

We had an awesome early dinner at his aunt’s, and they sent us off with lots of fresh veggies! From Hadano we headed towards Enoshima, and looked for a hotel to spend the night. We were both exhausted, so we just wanted to turn in early! We drove for awhile, and finally found a decent place in Enoshima.

The next morning we woke up and explored Enoshima Island. Enoshima is a small island right off the coast that is a popular beach and tourist destination. It had no parking, since there was a music festival going on that day, so it took us awhile to find a place, but we finally did then walked over to the island!


Beaches


Enoshima Island


Narrow streets up to the shrine!


One of Enoshima’s shrines and the view looking toward mainland Japan.


The shrines were decorated for the Tanabata Festival!


Views and cats! Lots of cats posing for pictures on the island!


Lighthouse we didn’t bother going to, and down on the rocks


Dragon shrine, and something in the water?


Views on the rocks


Inside the cave


Candles to light the way, and more Tanabata decorations!


Back outside

On Enoshima we walked up and down the many steps, ate a quick lunch, explored the rocks and the caves, and saw the shrines on the island. They were interconnected, but I think there were two main sets. The caves were nice and cool, and the ocean looked inviting despite the cloudy day! I can definitely see the appeal of the island!

Next we took the sightseeing train to Kamakura, then from there another train to Kita-Kamakura. There were three main temples Kenji wanted to see, and despite getting there at around 2pm, we managed to see all three which is really impressive considering we walked to each, and the distance between them!


The Eno-den line train


Kenji and ajisai


The first of the temples was Meigetsuin, famous for ajisai (Hydrangea!)


Kita-Kamakura is so quiet and peaceful, a cooling green everywhere!


A temple full of blue ajisai! The first picture is my favorite 🙂


Awwww!


A well and a rock garden!


Blue Tanabata wishes match the flowers!

Meigetsuin was such a nice temple! We left it for the next temple on the route, which was a giant Zen Buddhist temple.


Imposing gates and Zen gardens


Giant cedar trees and a glimpse inside


Plus a dragon on the ceiling!

I had forgot my shuuin book for calligraphy stamps at each of the temples, and was getting tired, so when the weed eater started up in the zen garden, we headed to the next place on the map, a Shinto shrine. We were hitting 5pm, when many of the temples close, but luckily the shrine was still a busy place, and all decked out for Tanabata too!


Lots of steps and decorations!


The building at the bottom, and another favorite picture!


Tanabata wishes, decorations, and the little market going in celebration


Walking to the Kamakura station, and sights on the way

We ate, shopped a little, then headed back to Enoshima on the train, collected our car, then drove back to Gunma. We made good time thankfully and were still able to get a little done at home before going to bed. It ended up being a great weekend, stitches aside! I hope to go back and get my book stamped at the shrines we went to next!

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