A Weekday Visit to Temples in Kamakura

During our stay in Kyoto two weeks ago Mark and I visited seven different temples and shrines in three days. I loved the time to wander at my own pace, and I made myself a promise to visit similar sites closer to home.

So this morning my day began rather typically–after getting the kids out the door to school, I started laundry and took the dog to the vet for shots. With the basics covered, I hopped in the car and headed for Kamakura, a city 25 km to the south.

IMG_0529Like Kyoto, Kamakura served as Japan’s capital before Tokyo. And like Kyoto, Kamakura features dozens of religious sites, with sixty-five temples and nineteen shrines. Previously I have visited well known places like Hasedera, Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu and the giant Buddha at Kotoku-in. For today’s outing I decided to venture out to new temples.

IMG_0511Originally I intended to follow one of the excellent hiking courses recommended by the City of Kamakura website. I mentioned my planned outing to my friend Janet, and she immediately suggested a stop at the Bamboo Temple, Hokokuji. I decided to start my visit there, then see whatever else was nearby. That led to stops at Jomyoji Temple and Sugimotodera, the oldest temple in Kamakura.

While I considered asking a friend or two to join me, I ultimately decided to make it a solo outing for purely selfish reasons. I wanted the chance to wander as I wanted, or linger at different places, or spend ten minutes taking the same photo over and over with slightly different camera settings without worrying about inconveniencing someone else.

IMG_0480Ninety minutes and three temples later, I returned the car and headed home to the afternoon routine of more laundry, homework, instrument practice, and dinner prep.

I hope to visit more new-to-me Kamakura sites on a regular basis. And next time I may even bring a friend or two along.

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2 thoughts on “A Weekday Visit to Temples in Kamakura

  1. Pingback: Walking the 800-Year-Old Asaina Pass into Japan’s Ancient Capital, Kamakura – martayaki

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