Wednesday, April 7, 2010


The Saturday weather forecast was for clear skies. The Saturday Sakura Zensen (cherry blossom front) was excellent. It was a perfect day to grab the camera, bribe my two sons with the promise of "the best waffles you'll have in Japan" and head to Kamakura.

We arrived early hoping to beat the crowds but it appears others had the same idea. We took a walk down Wakamiya-oji Street that leads to the Hachimangu Shrine. I do not know how "Wakamiya" translates but in my mind it should be "Cherry Blossom Avenue." The walking path in the middle of the street is lined with cherry trees - they were all out in their full glory.

The photos from that day are from the Hachimangu Shrine, the hiking course that leads from the Genjiyama Park to the Kotokuin Temple (Great Buddha) and of the Great Buddha temple grounds. Along the hiking course there is a great place to stop and take pictures of Kamakura which lies below, looking out towards Yuigahama Beach and Sagami Bay.

I recently purchased a great little book called "An English Guide to Kamakura's Temples and Shrines." It now stays in my camera bag and travels with me whenever I head to Kamakura. While sitting at the Kotokuin Temple and enjoying the cherry blossoms, I pulled the guide book out to see what I could learn about the Big Buddha. From the book "... built in 1252, it is a Japanese National Treasure. The stud-like cured hair consists of 656 pieces. The spot in the middle of his forehead is called a Byakugo and is where the light which shines on the entire world emanates."

It was a great day, loved being out in Kamakura, loved even more having the rare chance to spend time with just Mitchell and Walker. With the teenager parenting phase upon me, I realize these moments will be few and far between. I treasure each moment I can get.

Till next time, sayonara.

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