Hanging out in Kanagawa-ken

Will I ever actually start writing what I intended to write about two hours ago when I first sat down at my computer to add to my blog? I hope. Things just kept popping in to my head, so they became their own entries.

You need to read June 6 entries from bottom to top.

So indeed, I had a great weekend. Recapping, in case you don’t want to read from bottom to top,

My friend David (or Dave) from Los Angeles / San Francisco was visiting Japan with his from David (or Dave) from San Francisco. Apparently, Nagoya isn’t interesting enough to warrant a visit (sigh) so I made the trek up to Tokyo. That’s a huge sacrifice of course, having to go to Tokyo.

Dave (my old friend and not his friend) and I planned to meet for dinner on Friday night at 8:00 pm in Shinjuku. Dave had met my friend Jin during his visits to LA so I invited Jin to join us as well.

Jin invited a friend of his along as well, and we went to a nice café in Shinjuku Ni-chome and checked out the scene. It isn’t West Hollywood or the Castro, but it had its own vibe. Jin’s friend remains unidentified per his request. Sigh.

Dave, Dave, Dave’s friend Kenji and I met Saturday morning to do a day trip to Kamakura. I had not been to Kamakura in years. Some of my favorite black and white photos from Japan are from Kamakura.

 

 

 

I was curious what it would be like to go back to Kamakura with a digital camera instead of my film camera. Can I say I miss shooting on film?

We had a great time hanging out together, and I enjoyed Dave’s friend Dave and Dave’s friend Dave’s friend Kenji. I think from now on I’ll refer to Dave’s friend Dave as Dave II. I wish Tomo could have joined us, and that was the plan, but unfortunately last minute work plans messed up his schedule.

Kamakura is known for it’s 大仏 (daibutsu) or huge statue of Buddha. When we got off the train I saw the picture below and thought, “What’s the big deal?”

 

Ha ha. We walked to some different areas than I had not seen before and visited lots of temples. We stumbled across a Shinto wedding, complete with the traditional videographer.

 

It was cool to catch just the bride, groom, and the attendants.

 

There were a number of beautiful things to see at the various temples.

Honestly though, we saw so many, I’ve forgotten what we actually saw, so just enjoy the pictures below with no sense of place. Sorry about that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At one temple, there was a woman selling cookies. It was clear that it was a fundraiser and she had samples. The cookies were very good. She was trying to communicate what the fundraising was about. I totally misunderstood her, and Dave II will claim that it was my doing. Anyway, I thought she was telling me that the cookies will make you smart because she was pointing to her head. Then she pointed to the picture which clearly indicated that the cookies were hand made by children with Down’s Syndrome. Needless to say, we bought some and referred to them as “the guilt cookies” as we munched them throughout the day. Miscommunication – you’ve got to hate it sometimes.

We had a terrific lunch and Dave II took some amazing food porn pictures. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not so good with food porn, so you’ll just have to believe me.

We wandered back to downtown Kamakura by train and then went to the daibutsu. It was as great as I remember.

Giving a sense of scale

A very large buddha

 

A color version of my previous black and white

The daibutsu in color

 

It gets pretty hot being the daibutsu ..

Back vents

 

Here are Dave II, Dave, and Kenji at the shrine

Fellow travelers

 

We also went to check at the 地蔵 (jizou) at Hasedera. Jizou are the guardian deity of children, or the patron deity of pregnant women. Many times, a statue is placed at this temple for lost children, often times aborted children. In the past when I was there, many of the jizou were highly decorated with toys, beads, and clothes. This time it seems there is an effort to tone things down.

Jizo

 

jizo

 

We walked to the beach at Kamakura as well and decided it was pretty ugly and dirty. For dinner, we thought we’d go to Chinatown in Yokohama. On the way there we saw something I’ve never seen before – a parent falling asleep instead of a child. It must have been a long day.

Tired on the train

 

We walked around Chinatown and finally made it to dinner.

Yokohama Chinatown

 

Yokohama Chinatown

 

Yokohama Chinatown

 

Of course, on our travels, we saw a few things that just didn’t make sense to us.

I’ve never seen a name this long in Japan

I've never seen a name this long

 

Huh?

 

A pork ice cream shop?

 

I have no idea how Amish cooking is related to Kamakura.

Japanese Amish

 

Japanese Amish

 

 

On Sunday, Tomo and I got to hang out together. We saw Star Trek. He had not seen any of the Star Trek movies and enjoyed it. I liked it too, although I think J. J. Abrams needs to stay away from time travel in everything he does. It is too convenient.

There, that’s a major blog entry.

One Reply to “Hanging out in Kanagawa-ken”

  1. I love these pictures. I was planning to say that my favorite was the father, asleep, holding his child … but then as I scrolled back through them, I decided I can’t pick a favorite. I also love the color photo of a small bridge connecting two grassy areas.

    It looks like you all had a great time.

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