Kamakura – a lovely day! My friends (visiting from England) and I travel to Kamakura on the train from Tokyo Station – to be met by my friend Nagako-san. She is showing us her home-town of which she is (rightly) proud. We take a bus for a short journey and then we walk along the streets, gazing at the lovely old building, and browsing in shops until we come to gaze in awe at The Big Buddha. Later we visit the Hasedera Tempe and 11-faced Kannon but not before eating sweet potato and green tea ice cream.
After having a wander and browsing some antique shops we eat a Japanese lunch of pancake batter mixed with minced pork, prawns and beef, plus beansprouts and cabbage. We cook it ourselves on a hot plate set into our table. We kneel on the tatami and add Worcester sauce, mayonnaise and shredded seaweed to our pancake before eating with chopsticks and drinking oolong tea.
After lunch it’s back to Kamakura on the Streetcar. We are on a single track line, so close to houses on both sides, you can see straight in! Then we walk up to Hachiman Shrine and the Giant Gingko Tree. The bad news is that the one-thousand-year-old tree was blown down in s storm in March 2010 but the good news is that not only in the remaining roots growing new shoots but that the attempts to replant the remains of the old trunk is beginning to ‘bear fruit’. In another thousand years there may be two fine Giant Gingko trees where previously there was only one!
With some time left before we need to catch the train back to Tokyo, we browse some lovely shops – my favourite mix of traditional handmade crafts and antique shops.
Thank you Nagako-san for being the perfect tour guide and most generous host!