Musings of a Gaijin MD

Life in Japan as a Foreign Doctor

Kamakura September 19, 2012

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu

I’m very sorry about the lack of updates recently, but I’m still alive and truckin’ along.  This past weekend, I went to Tokyo for a day trip to Kamakura, the former de facto capital of Japan.  At just an hour away from Tokyo, this little town boasts of numerous temples and shrines of which the most popular are the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine (the spiritual heart of the city), the Great Buddha (2nd largest in Japan), and the Hase Kannon Temple (the tallest wooden image in Japan of the goddess of mercy).

Despite the heat and humidity, an archery competition was also held that day at the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine.  Unfortunately, due to the amount of people, I could not get a good view, or any at all, of the event.

While the Great Buddha was “great” and big, I couldn’t help feeling slightly underwhelmed, especially in comparison to the Big Buddha in Hong Kong (although that Buddha may have appeared bigger in my memory, especially to a younger/smaller me).  Granted, the bronze Japanese Great Buddha was cast in 1252 (while the one in Hong Kong was erected in 1993) so taking the age of it into consideration, one should see it.  You could even walk inside the hollow Buddha, but given the weather, I did not want to brave the possible air stagnation in the oppressive heat.

All in all, while Kamakura is nice and convenient for a day trip from Tokyo, I still prefer Nikko.


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