A&E on the World Heritage Train East 2009 travel blog

Statue at Engaku-ji Temple

Engaku-ji (the women's temple)

Engaku-ji Temple

Engaku-ji Temple

Kamakura Temple

Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu

Shinto wedding at Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu

Wedding flautist

Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu

Wedding panflautist and drumbanger

Tea seemed to be an important part of the proceedings

Entrance to Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu

Happy couple in rickshaw

Daibutsu and apples


I am actually in Tokyo again as I write, although when I wasn't on one of the several trains I've been on today I was in Kamakura. It has been a funny old day for travel. One of my trains stopped for a while, then went back to where I'd got on it in the first place. When I was booking my train tickets for tomorrow I thought I realised that I had booked my hotel in the wrong area of Tokyo and thus burdened myself with extra travelling today and tomorrow, but when I looked at the map I had drawn of how to get to my hotel, I realised I hadn't booked a hotel in the wrong area (Asakusa in this case), that it was in the right area (Ueno) after all. What I also hadn't done though was write down the actual name of the hotel. Luckily enough I found it in the second place I looked, its fortunate I already know the Ueno area.

Today I was up early and off on the Shinkansen to Tokyo, on route to Chuzenji Lake for the trees tomorrow. On the way I thought I would visit Kamakura, another old capital of Japan, mainly as it sounded like lots of nice temples in forests, my favourite thing. I had been planning to go via Tokyo to gget to Kamakura, but on the way I realised I was passing quite close to there anyway, so I got off the train, stuck my rucksack in a locker and then took probably as long as it would have taken from Tokyo anyway to get the rest of the way.

To be frank, I was slightly disappointed with the temples, I have clearly been spoilt in Kyoto and other areas. However, I did see some very cool zen archery, though this didn't involve actually firing any arrows, rather it was a lot of extremely slow moving around with these very long bows and two arrows in one hand. It certainly looked good though.

I was beginning to regret going to Kamakura when I got to the Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu, a Shinto shrine to some local shogun or other. It looked great, and there seemed to be a number of weddings going on, at least I think they were weddings! Then I wondered further through the seaside town - as tacky and crowded as seaside towns everywhere - to see this giant Buddha - the Daibutsu (isn't that a jeep?) It did look big and impressive. Then back to Tokyo again!



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