Tuesday 5 May 2015
Highlights: Traditional Japanese Lunch experience, Great Buddha, Hasedera Temple, Old Japanese Houses
Another day tour with Sunset Tours meant I had little trouble finding the departure point and at 9.15 am we were off for a big day of discovery. Luckily the weather today was perfect, 21 and a little overcast, just right for walking around in big crowds. The 90 minute drive to Kamakura gave me a real chance to see something other than the urban sights I’d seen so far.
Kamakura is a small town famous for the Great Buddha at Kotoku-in Temple and the gold stature at Hasedera Temple. Both temples felt very laid back despite the crowds. The Great Buddha is impressive especially given it’s age but I really liked the gardens at Hasedera in particular the bell that they ring 800 times.
Lunch was at a traditional Japanese restaurant, no shoes, but you could sit on a modern seat even if it was a bit low to the ground. I really enjoyed the meal that include crab, rice, noddles, vegetables and other items I’m not even sure of 🙂
We then moved onto Yokohama starting with Sankeien Garden which I found impressive for the old Japanese houses. Some were over 500 years old. I hiked up to the Observation Centre and had a close look at the Three Tiered House. Most of the 36 plus group stayed around the lake area.
Our last stop was in Yokohama proper to visit the China Town. This area has a sizeable Chinese population as it was the spot Japan opened itself up to the world over 100 years ago and the Chinese, who had more experience with Westerners, come here to help translate for the Japanese. An extremely large area overflowing with people on the public holiday (the last of the week long public holidays is tomorrow). The Chinese Temple was interesting for its colour and use of dragons.
Tomorrow it’s a bullet train to Osaka, looking forward to it 🚄 😎