Samstag, 28. April 2012

April 28 - Tokyo, Kamakura, Yokohama

That day we were lucky. It had stopped raining and it was a sunny day, sometimes cloudy, but only a little bit.
Anke and I got up at 8 a.m. and had breakfast in the kitchen of the hostel again. We were supposed to meet my Japanese friend Naomi at 10 a.m. but in the end we managed to meet at 11 a.m. in front of the Asakusa Gate (Naomi lives near that area and so she offered us to spend the day with her). I had chosen to visit Kamakura, because I really liked that place when I visited Japan in 2006 and I wanted to show Anke the Great Buddha Statue.

on the way to the meeting point:
view from the blue bridge to the Sky Tree (the newly build tower in Tokyo) and the Asahi Flame Building
After introducing Anke and Naomi to each other Naomi was guiding us to Kamakura and she told me the last time she had visited that place was together with me in 2006.

Kamakura is a city located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, about 50 kilometres south-south-west of Tokyo. Kamakura has a beach which, in combination with its temples and proximity to Tokyo, makes it a popular tourist destination.

We took the train from Tokyo to Kamakura and arrived at about 13:00. The first important thing we did was eating lunch (Soba noodles and Tempura for me:-) and then we were walking to the main Shrine, called "Tsurugaoka-Hachimangu Shrine". We were lucky because we could witness a traditional Japanese wedding ceremony when we arrived there.

entrance to the main Shrine

entrance to the main Shrine
wedding ceremony

main Shrine: Tsurugaoka-Hachimangu Shrine

Naomi on the way up to the main Shrine

view from main Shrine

Anke and I in front of a small Shrine close to the main Shrine

Anke and Naomi
From that place we walked to the Great Buddha Statue (= Kosoku Temple) and also went into the Buddha Statue

walking from the Shrine to the Great Buddha Statue
walking to the Great Buddha Statue
Great Buddha Statue

Great Buddha Statue
Great Buddha Statue from behind

inside the Statue

same information about the Statue
From that place we continued our way to the beach

some sweets in between the main meals:-)
kind of pancake filled with ice cream and red beans
on the beach

tsunami warning sign in front of the beach
While Anke was collecting empty shells on the beach, Naomi and I talked about our common travel plans from April 30 to May 2nd.

From the beach we took a train back to Kamakura Station and from there a train in direction of Tokyo. On the way back we got off at Yokohama (a city between Tokyo and Kamakura) to walk around a little bit and eat dinner over there.

At that time there was an "Oktoberfest" in Yokohama and you could see advertisment everywhere. But Anke didn't wanna go there, the one week she spent in Japan should be reserved for real Japanese stuff and not something imported from abroad:-)

highrisers and amusement back in Yokohama
We chose a restaurant and I experienced my first "Shabu-Shabu". It is called like this because you have to toss the thin-sliced pieces of meat in the boiling sauce in a pot on the table in front of you (and this tossing is called Shabu Shabu). Needless to say that it tasted very delicious:-)

Naomi and I
on the left side one can see vegetables and sliced meat that will all be cooked in a pot with boiling "water" standing in the middle of the table

Anke enjoying green tea ice
When we took the train home I already recognized that I was about to have a cold. I had been a sore throat for some time but occasionally I took a pill and it was better afterwards. But this time neither a pill nor my "throat spray" helped:-(
When we were back at the YH (= youth hostel) we first had to search the internet for an accomodation for the next night. Our hostel was already overbooked at that time and because I had mistakenly thought that Anke would leave Japan on April 29 I had only made a reservation in that hostel til April 29 and not til April 30.
So we were searching the internet and found another accomodation not that far from our current one. We booked and finally went to bed at 00:30.

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