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Visiting Kamakura

I feel that everything in Tokyo looks and feels pretty much the same. Looking for a place to visit, for the last long weekend, I decided to go to Kamakura.

Kamakura is a city a bit south of Kanagawa. It is also known as Kanto’s “Little Kyoto” because of the number of temples and shrines in the area.

It takes about an hour from Shibuya if you take the Shonan-Shinjuku Line and there is no need for a transfer if you are coming from there. In my case, I used the Yokosuka Line from Musashi-Kosugi at 10:00AM and it took about 40 minutes to arrive at Kamakura Station.

Kamakura is a famous tourist area, so even if I didn’t know exactly how to go to its most famous tourist spot, the Big Buddha or Daibutsu, it was very easy to ask questions from the Tourist Information Center. They gave us English instructions and an English map.

You have to take a bus from Kamakura Station to the Big Buddha, and it takes about 10-15 minutes to the terminal station. There is an entrance fee of \200 (about 100 pesos) and upon entering this is how the Big Buddha looks like.

It was really huge! And there were many Japanese, not only foreign tourists sightseeing. Apparently the statue was housed by temples years ago but typhoons and tsunamis around the 15th century destroyed the buildings. Thus, the Daibutsu was left in the open.

We didn’t have a plan, but since the Hase-Dera was just 5-10minute walk away, we decided to head there next. There were plenty of places to go which makes the \400 entrance fee worth it.

Another thing Kamakura is famous for is their Shirasu-don. Shirasu are like baby sardines and you can have a rice bowl with raw shirasu or boiled ones on top. I had the raw shirasu in mine which had a bit of ginger. It’s popular for it’s soft and chewy texture. I honestly wasn’t a big fan of it but you should give it a try if you’re around Kamakura.

Lastly, we went to Zeni Arai Benten, about a 20 minute walk from Hase-Dera. They say that when you wash your money in this temple, it will multiply! So we went and washed our money. You can wash only coins but other young Japanese were washing \10,000 so we felt pressured to wash \1000 ourselves!

There are a lot more places to visit in Kamakura. If you head to the other side of the Kamakura Station (opposite of Daibutsu), you can go to Enoshima, which is the beach side.

So if you have some free time, try going there!

By Starr Gimotea/ Staff Writer