#3636

Going to Kamakura, Japan? My experience for you!:)

Noticing the Small Things

Today I visited Kamakura, a city rich in history, which was once the capital of Japan from 1185 to 1333. There are several well-known historical locations in Kamakura, such as the statue of Amida Buddha and the Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū shrine. However, rather than exploring these popular areas, I decided to drift aimlessly through the unfamiliar streets and take my time walking through Komachi Dōri. As I walked passed the Torii (the red Shintō gate), which marked the beginning of the street, I found myself dazzled by the number of stores that filled it. This was the first time I was able to explore Komachi Dōri as well as the rest of Kamakura on my own schedule. While investigating the stores, I realized that they were a combination of modern and traditional. The significant contrast between seeing an elegant kimono store followed by a modern comic shop was shockingly amusing!

As I slowly walked and kept my senses alert, I felt as if I was in a Miyazaki Hayao movie. Since I was visiting Kamakura around dusk at 5pm, the sky was beginning to embrace an orange-pink shade of the setting sun by the time I was halfway across the street. The wind was blowing gently, carrying frequent whiffs of sweet senbei and an occasional note of jazz music, which leaked from the various establishments. People were walking passed me towards the station and several stores were beginning to tidy-up. The tranquility in the atmosphere was almost palpable.

Before reaching the end of Komachi Dōri, I turned into a small neighborhood behind an ice cream shop. Small trees bent down as if in welcome and so I stood still, allowing a moment to absorb the peace. I left the small neighborhood with a few precious photos for proof of the moment and continued the last few steps to exit the street. Entering the bustling main road was a slap back to reality when I smelt the fumes and heard the engine noise.

Instead of walking towards the shrine I walked back along the street parallel to Komachi Dōri towards the station. On the way, I bought an Ajisai Ice cream, which was a combination of two tastes; maccha and murasaki imo (Taro root). I was very excited because it looked delicious, but unfortunately it tasted like edible soap. I am not sure whether the soap taste was from the macha or the murasaki imo but in any case, I do not recommend this treat…
I turned right to reenter Komachi Dōri to see what it looked like at night. Now, the store lights illuminated the street and shutters were being pulled down. I heard several workers from the shops say ‘otsukare!’ meaning 'good work!' with an enthusiastic voice and everybody was getting ready to head home, including me.

hanavictoria image

hanavictoria

Japan

You might also like

Onsen and Mount Fuji - Enoshima Island images

Onsen and Mount Fuji - Enoshima Island

Enoshima island is one of my favourite places for a day trip from Tokyo. I love the ocean air, the view of Kamakura and Mt Fuji, and the shrines and small shops around the island. This Sunday I took …

David image

David

Enoden Train from Kamakura to Enoshima Island images

Enoden Train from Kamakura to Enoshima Island

Enoden is short for Enoshima Electric Railway. It is an old line that runs between Kamakura and Fujisawa along the coast passing Enoshima Island. Locals and visitors just love it. The line even has a…

David image

David

Discovering Yokohama by Bike images

Discovering Yokohama by Bike

I make no secret about my love and pride for Yokohama. It is beautiful and unique on numerous levels; the city and its people are in a category unto themselves. With a plethora of things to do for ev…

Former Deep Japan Writer image

Former Deep Japan Writer

Life's a Beach! images

Life's a Beach!

In the summer, many Japanese beaches enjoy a "kaisuiyoku," literally meaning an ocean bathtub. It is the only time of year that there are lifeguards at most Japanese beaches. During the brief seaso…

mikekato image

mikekato

Go to Kamakura Using the Yokosuka Line in Japan images

Go to Kamakura Using the Yokosuka Line in Japan

Living in Hodogaya, a stop on the Yokosuka Line, the Yokosuka Line is one of the trains I ride most frequently. The line itself runs between Yokosuka station in Kanagawa prefecture and Tokyo station.…

GenS image

GenS

Best Tourist Souvenir-- Samurai Umbrella! images

Best Tourist Souvenir-- Samurai Umbrella!

Purchasing a real samurai sword in Japan is very difficult, especially after they enforced the laws against the possession of knives a couple years ago. I also assume that taking a samurai sword out …

GenS image

GenS