On February 14th we decided to go for a Valentine’s Day / birthday wander around Kamakura, a small city located around 50km southwest of Tokyo. Kamakura is famous for its big Buddha statue and zillions of temples and shrines. We were all templed out by the end of the day:
A quaint little tree-lined pass leading to sacred space. The cherry blossom was starting to make an appearance. It’ll be in full bloom in a few weeks. And it was mainly tourist free. In fact one local old dude started waving at Maz and I. He was literally only about 10 feet away too. I was happy to oblige with a queen-style wave response.
The God of Happiness. When I initially saw the sign for “God of Happiness this way”, I assumed it was welcoming me rather than directing me. Maz thought it unusual too, knowing what a miserable bastard I am normally. Then we discovered this jolly little fella and all was revealed.
This gateway to the shrine was more impressive than the shrine itself truth be told. And tourist free. It was nice to get away from the crowded streets for a few hours.
And we saw loads of squirrels too. They were similar to British ones but slightly different facially. Had we known, we would have saved some of our picnic for them. Maybe.
“Hmmm….where’s this bloody gert big Buddha?” Yes, by this point we’d wandered for a good while in search of the elusive Buddha, but with no luck. I was getting slightly concerned. And we’d already demolished our nicpic before reaching the designated nicpic spot. Gutted.
So we carried on wandering, high in the hills above Kamakura below. The view was pretty spectacular.
Never in doubt! We finally found it. At over 40 foot fall, it was pretty hard to miss really. And it was the first time all day that we encountered the crowds again. Selfie sticks were the order of the day. Selfie sticks are HUGE in Japan.
Big Buddha nesting zone.
This poor chap had been posing for his photo for a LONG time before his wife realised the camera wasn’t even switched on. You can feel the enthusiasm oozing in his expression. I particularly liked the fact that he was standing right by this 40ft statue. I bet the picture (mainly of him and the wall base of the statue) must be spectacular! No doubt he’ll be requesting a selfie stick for his next birthday….