Saturday, June 14, 2008

Free Day - June 14, 2008

Wow! It has been a long and fun day! We got going about 8 AM on our adventure to Kamakura. We took a detour to visit the Taya Caverns in Ofuna. They were used as a seminary for the Buddhist priesthood, and by many disciples of the Shingon Sect in search of enlightenment. The caverns had been enlarged for about 500 years until 1720.
There are 1500 meters of honeycombed tunnels, but only about 400 meters are opened today. Then we headed to Kamakura which was an ancient capital of Japan. Now, it is Saturday, so everyone was out. It was packed. We went to see some gardens and a Shrine (I have to find my book to list which shrine) then walked to the Great Buddha of Kamakura. It is a bronze statue that was cast in 1252 AD. There was originally a temple covering the Buddha, but in 1498 a tidal wave destroyed everything in the area except the Buddha. It weighs 121 tons and is 13.3 meters tall. OK that was the sightseeing. Half of the adventure was getting there. We had to change trains a couple of times, but the real fun was on the way home. I said the baseball game train was full. There were literally people smashed against the glass. My arms were pinned at my sides, and yet people kept trying to smash in. It was wild. We had to go three stops like that, and at each stop people got on! I had to itch my nose so badly, but I couldn’t get my arms up! Now I have to pack my bags to get ready to change hotels tomorrow. I finally got my host family information. The family consists of a self employed father, a mother, and two adult children. Well, I’d better get moving! Sayonara
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1 comment:

Jill said...

You're really getting the Japanese experience, aren't you? Seeing all of the temples and the sights is great, but I think things like taking a packed train, using a traditional Japanese toilet, and doing things that they do everyday is what really gives you a taste of what life is like there. I'm sure you're all having a much more well rounded experience than the average tourist. What a wonderful opportunity!