Day 2 of my trip to japan started off with a relaxing train ride down to Kamakura. The weather that day was overcast with some rain on and off. We were traveling to Kamakura to visit the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine to learn a little bit about the history but also to spend some time outside of Tokyo too. The shrine had lots of people visiting and taking pictures of all of the lanterns that were on posts next to the sidewalk up to the stairs of the shrine.
Along the way to the shrine, we discovered a lantern that the creator of Neon Genesis Evangelion had made (picture below). There were so many lanterns to look at, some designed by kids and others by famous artists. While we walked around the temple grounds, we saw a group of artists that had settled in to draw and paint various vantage points of the shrine.
For lunch we stopped at a place that gave out big paper bibs to people that ordered curry or ramen. A few of the travelers ate lunch with the bibs and it allowed us to take some funny before and after pictures. It also allowed us to get out of the rain for a little while as well. After lunch we had a little bit of time to roam Kamakura a bit so my friend and I wandered away from the area we were at. In our small area we went to we discovered the shrine of one of Japan’s famous swordsmiths, Masamune.
After meeting up with the rest of the group, we headed to one of the giant Buddha statues in Japan. You could spend 20 Yen (which is probably in the neighborhood of a quarter) to go inside the Buddha and lean about some of the construction techniques. I found a few gifts to bring home for friends and family here as well.
We weren’t too far away from the beach so we decided to stop and check it out for a while before we headed back to Tokyo. We kept our stuff in a beach shack that was run by a group of party kids that had a DJ playing, they were cool with us keeping our stuff their for free. Since it was my first time to the ocean, I waded into the water a bit and looked for some interesting seashells.
To end the day we headed back to Tokyo and ate at an Izakaya. It was one of our fellow travelers 21st birthdays so we celebrated and ate a lot of delicious food. We had a private room that we ordered food from a touchscreen and someone would bring it in when it was done.
(The first picture is of Hideaki Anno’s Evangelion lantern, the second image is the giant buddha, the third is the ocean, and finally the aftermath of our party meal.)