Friday, May 31, 2019

The Best Day In Kamakura

This was the day we had been waiting for! By this time I had fallen so in love with the country of Japan, its people and culture, I couldn't wait to see and learn more. We narrowed down the list of my mom's favorite shrines and temples and set the agenda for the day!

Each Temple and Shrine ranged from $3 to $5 to enter. Once inside you can spend as much time as you like inside. We had only one day in Kamakura and a LOT on our list, so the first couple stops felt rushed, but once we realized this was an important day and we didn't want to rush home for dinner, we slowed down and took our time. This is an all day adventure so be prepared!

1. Ofunakannonji - Seen from the Ofuna train station, and a STEAP walk up to the top. Ofuna was one of the most breathtaking sites I have ever seen with my eyes. Majestic, magical and awe inspiring. Ofuna was probably one of my favorite displays in Japan. We were lucky to be one of only a handful of people at the time of our arrival that morning around 9AM.
2. Meigetsuin - Famous for its hydrangeas and the circle opening. Off the beaten path and in a lush gardens, the hydrangeas were only beginning to bloom and I cannot imagine the site when they are in full bloom. So amazing! My mom said that the line for a photo in front of the famous circle is usually hours....we walked around the corner and ON ONE was there! So I basically did a photo shoot for a bit! LOL You can go inside where the circle is and have tea for $3. There was also a pretty mini bamboo forest as well and a very old cement bridge to walk over (I was waiting for one of those!).
3. Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Shrine - Built in 1828, we were lucky enough to see this shrine, while a traditional Japanese wedding was happening! Then we went to the very top, saw some Torii Gates which I was excited for and got our fortunes! In town, John Lennon use to frequent one of the cafes often, of course we had to stop by there as well!

4. The Great Buddah of Kamakura - Can I say WOW again?! The Great Buddha was all we wanted it to be & more. Finding out its story (read the second photo) made it even more aw inspiring. This place was extra special because Spencer's Dad-Daddy (grandpa) LOVED Buddha & had collected a room full of them in his lifetime. When he passed, we were lucky enough to inherit a big one & after this visit can’t wait to have it find it’s new home at our NEW home. It definitely felt like Dad-Daddy was there with us!

5. Hasedera Temple - Temple from the 8th century! Up at the top, had the most amazing view of the ocean and Kamakura. I loved this temple the most, it was black and white with lots of gold. Bamboo and lots of different foliage surrounded it. Cute little Buddha statues and even another Torri gate! I could have stayed in this temple forever. 

5. Dinner at Pacific Drive-Inn - One of the ladies I follow on Instagram was in Japan the same time as me. A few days before we were to head to Kamakura, she posted the Pacific Drive Inn so I marked it on our maps. We were right near it after our last stop and ate our dinner here. It was a Hawaiian restaurant, right on the water! My mom and I got the most spectacular fluffy pancakes and Spencer had a fresh sprout and chicken wrap. It was the perfect way to fill us up after a long day of site seeing.
If it wasn't for my mom, this trip wouldn't have been what it was. Spencer and I were able to relax the entire time (minus all the walking! LOL) and enjoy Japan. My mom was a complete Japan pro with the trains, sites, trivia and even taking great photos for us! I am so proud and thankful for her 3 years in Japan. She is the best and we wouldn't have had the time we did without her! And I wouldn't have all these tips for you! Any questions on Kamakura, leave them in the comments below. AND questions you have in general about Japan. I'm working on my top tips for Japan coming at you for next week! Thank you for following along on this amazing journey! xx Meg


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