Japan – Day 3

I went with J and Mu, the dog, for their morning walk so that I could see more of J’s town.
Breakfast was yummy pastries, again! This time sitting in the restaurant and eating them. I really like the red bean paste ones.
Kamakura by train wa the day’s main activity. It was nice for J to get out of the city, and the train trip took only a little more than an hour. Outside of Tokyo the land is towns, villages, and plots of farms for vegetables, rice, and ornamental trees. Little shrines can be seen tucked into hillsides and forests, and buddhist temples were easy to recognize by now as they went by. It was one of the trains on the JR train system, so our pass worked for it, hooray! Kamakura is a small town near the water. We got off the main train and switched to a small local one to get to the actual part of town near the Giant Buddha, a main reason for tourists to visit the town. Walking there from the train was fun, lots of little shops and things to see. The temple was one you had to pay for, because of the Buddha I guess. And we rounded a corner of shrubbery along the stone path and there he was. So huge. Breathtaking. Japanese students took pictures of each other standing at his feet waving the peace sign with their fingers. An offering of oranges and flowers was in a large bowl nearby. To the side there was a giant pair of sandals hanging on a wall that belonged to the Budda. For an extra 50 yen, we could go inside the giant bronze statue itself, which we did! Inside the other tourists milled around and shoved yen into the walls and seams of the statue.
Behind the statue was a lovely little garden where we took a short break before heading back out down towards the train station. We passed a small craft shop on the way that had lampworking stations set up! They looked very different from mine, but it was neat to see, and they had many of their beads for sale in the small store. The owners were making pottery when I passed by. We stopped for some sweet potato and green tea soft serve (purple and green!) ice cream and saw what looked like the end of the road, so we passed the station and kept going. From there to the left we could see the water, so we walked there, standing on the dark brown sand next to old sinks and fishing boats. Windsurfers were out on the water, and racing boats further out to sea.
We milled around and J picked up some shells for his nephews, then we turned back and returned to the small station, and back to our main stop.
The last tourist stop of the day was a shrine where J and I picked our fortunes. The view was astounding at the top, you could see all the way down a street back to the train station, with Torii gates inbetween at intervals. To get a fortune we paid 100 yen, then shook a box until a stick with a character came out. The woman behind the table then selected a fortune based on the character, telling her which pile to pull from. It turns out mine was the worst! To fix it, I had to tie it off at the shrine on a board specifically for
that purpose, but at that time we didn’t know it was so bad. I still have it, and at this point J has cheekily suggested throwing it away as an equal solution, or buying another one to replace the bad news. ;)
We took our tired feet home after that, relaxing back in Oizumi before heading out for the night’s dinner adventure. Yakiniku! Korean bbq, Japanese style. J ordered several types of meat and they brought us a charcoal brazier that set into the table. J cooked everything for us, different cuts of beef and even round slices of cow tongue! We had rice to fill the space not quite filled by the meat and the boys had beer. Soon it was back home to laze around, drink brown tea and call it a night. J and M have been AMAZING in the food department, showing us all these differnet things we never would have found on our own. I will definitely be missing the food back home, but we do have a HUGE Japanese market near us that we keep meaning to go to. Now, we finally will.


DLJ and J picking out breakfast at the local neighborhood bakery in Oizumi.


The giant Buddha


Inside the giant Buddha


Ramen, once the plate of veggies and meat has been added to the noodles and pork broth. This might have been my favorite meal. This or the sushi meal to be discussed soon!


From the top of the large shrine we visited in Kamakura.

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