So, yesterday, Kamakura. I feel mean that I said I wasn't that keen on going there. It's really very pretty. Kind of like Kyoto means Byron Bay (well I'm assuming that, having never been to Byron Bay).
I met up with one of my online Japanese friends at Kamakura station because she lives in the area and offered to play tour guide. Our first stop was Daibutsu (giant Buddha).
I didn't realise you can actually go inside the Buddha - that was pretty good, walking around in Buddha's belly. Luckily, he hadn't been eating curry!
We went back into Kamakura town and looked around the shops. OMG you do not want to get in the way of people in a food tasting frenzy. I got some sembei from a famous sembei shop - but one of the types is so hot I can't eat them (and that's really saying something).
We then went to another temple closeby with loads of cherry blossom trees.
I stopped to look at this pretty coloured candy and the girl running the stall asked me to explain what "eachother" meant (she actually had it written in English as one word). That's a really hard thing to explain. Luckily my friend could tell her in Japanese.
We then had lunch at a really fantastic cafe - more Western style than Japanese style. Very good coffee, but our food was so hot. Why is food served so hot here?
After lunch, a long hike to another temple. At this temple, you can do mediation (zazen) where a monk walks around watching you and whacks you with a big stick if you aren't focusing. I'd be beaten to a pulp if I did that kind of meditation. The whole time I'd just be thinking "hope I don't get whacked with the stick, hope I don't get whacked with the stick..."
There is a room with a special dragon painted on the ceiling. We went in the back door - then these women came running over to tell us to get out because they were preparing for the flower matsuri. But too bad, I'd already seen the dragon painting! Couldn't take any photos though.
After that we went to another nearby temple. It was 300 yen to get in and, after already seeing a heap of temples, I just wasn't prepared to pay another 300 yen to see this one.
We went back to the station and I got some very famous Kamakura pigeon shaped biscuits. The one thing I did forget to do though was to buy a soft cream. I really wanted to try the sweet potato one.
Today I had plans to do things but I'm feeling sick so I might just take to my bed and watch Japanese dramas. I'd be much happier if there wasn't bloody workmen working outside my window.