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Posts tagged kenchoji

Thanksgiving in Kamakura

engakuji fall foliage autumn colors

The weather was good and the fall colors (紅葉) were supposed to be great, so I jumped on the train to Kamakura (鎌倉) for Thanksgiving. This was my first time on the train between 8 and 9 a.m., and it was not pleasant. We were pushed in like sardines. I could breath since I’m taller than 99% of the Japanese by a good margin, but I can’t imagine being a foot or two shorter in that condition. My feet got locked in, and I couldn’t move them. I had three layers of clothes on and was sweating like crazy. The lady next to me no longer had her feet on the floor after the train shifted a few times. She was grabbing my arm to keep from falling. Of course, none of us could fall, but leaning heavily on those around you as you move through Tokyo at rapid speeds on the train is not fun.

I was able to sit on the final train (of three), from Yokohama to Kamakura, but it, too, was fairly crowded for a non-holiday weekday in Japan. Everyone without a job was going to see the autumn foliage.

This was my third time in Kamakura. Each time has been very different. At the last second, without a plan in mind, I got off at Kitakamakura instead of the Kamakura station. I visited only three temples and shrines (Engakuji 円覚寺, Kenchoji 建長寺, and Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine 鶴岡八幡宮), but those three still took up a whole day.

The above photo is of the Engakuji Sanmon taken under a Japanese Maple, one of the first of countless seen on this Thanksgiving day.

kamakura japan kenchoji 建長寺 tengu

The above photo was taken from where I had my Thanksgiving feast (of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, an apple, and a PowerBar). The statue in the picture is of Tengu and I think the place was called Hansobo in the Kenchoji complex. I will tell you more about it in a future entry. On a clear day you can see the ocean from here. The sun was too bright and there was a bit of haze on the horizon so I didn’t see the ocean on Thanksgiving.