Day 9 - Meeting Yoshi
Kamakura Travel Blog› entry 9 of 12 › view all entries
September 10th, 2009 – by: tommylennie
Having only spoken to Yoshi via email, for over 4 years, it was great to finally meet her. We hit it off right away and spoke about our families, work and future plans as we took the train to the coast, as she had planned a great day ahead for us.
After quite a few changes of train, we finally arrived in Enoshima and headed for Enoshima Island. On the way, Yoshi showed me a flower, that when peeled open reveals a white powdery substance, that once was used as foundation by Geisha's many many year's ago. She was so full of little stories that I felt lucky to have a such an insight into Japan. Once we arrived at Enoshima Island, we took a route that would take us right to the other side, passing by many temples and shrines on the way.
We made our way back to the other side of the island, passing through a tight street lined with little shacks selling food and gifts, before stopping for some Ramen. I chose the Hiroshima style Ramen, and it was delicious. I had kinda got the hang of chopsticks and the whole slurping when eating noodles. When in Rome! Yoshi kindly paid for lunch and then we were soon on the train again, heading to Kamakura.
Firstly we stopped off at the Hasedera temple, and the Great Buddha, both of which we spectacular, and very busy. I had seen so many photos of the Great Buddha, so it was great to finally stand before it myself. The Hasedera temple was beautiful as well, as were the gardens within.
Hopping back on the train briefly, we made our way to Kita Kamakura, our entry point for the Kenchoji Temple and the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu. After a long walk we arrived at the Kenchoji, which is the main temple within the Rikai sect of Zen Buddhism and the most important of Kamakura's five great Zen temples. However, we arrived a little late and it was closed off to the public. This didn't deter Yoshi though, as she unlatched the gate and suggested we just sneak in! Luckily for us there were still visitors lingering around so we blended in! The temple was epic, both huge and old and it opitimized everything I thought about ancient Japan.
We had just enough time for one last stop, the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, before we had to get back to Tokyo. This temple was equally spectacular as the Kenchoji temple, and it was here that we bought our fortunes (from a vending machine!), and tied them to ropes along with hundreds of others. Yoshi explained the history behind the temple as we wandered about, and as the sun began to sink, we thought it was time to get back to Tokyo.
Time really was getting on, so Yoshi kindly upgraded our tickets for use on one of the faster trains, getting us back to Tokyo in time for her train to Moroiso. We both slept on the way back, in traditional Japanese fashion. Today had been another awesome day in Japan, as I had learned so much, including some more of the language as Yoshi encouraged me to show off my Japanese. I'm so lucky to have spent the day with someone who is just the definition of Japanese hospitality and friendliness. Cheers Yoshi, if you're reading this, I will have to repay the favour in Scotland one day.
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