We returned to Japan on April the 7th. It was good to be back. The weather was nice; the beds arrived ( 1 for us and 1 for the guests); unpacked the suitcases and still arranged and fixed little things in the house like towel racks or side tables.
We just returned in time for the Kamukura festival, held 1x a year, for 2 weekends.
On Saturday there was a parade in the city in the mainstreet.
And of course we went to the beach.
We also still could enjoy the walkway, the Dankatsura.This straight road was built in 1182 and leads from the Tsurugaoka Hachimagu Shrine to the ocean. It is a slightly raised road, built down the center and lined with cherry trees approaching the big Tsurugoaka Hachimangu shrine.
The first shogun, Minamoto Yoritomo, made Tsurugoaka Hachimangu shrine, his palace, the center of Kamakura’s valley and became the focal point for town development. The shrine, which is a place of worship and dwelling of the “kami”, the Shinto gods, is dedicated to Hachiman, the patron of the Minamoto family and of the samurai in general. Even after the downfall, it received protection from Toyotomi Hideyoshi and the Tokugawa family and has continues to be a source for strong religious devotion.
The cherry, as Japanese see it, is a felicitous symbol but also a reminder of the evanescent beauty of this floating world. Few nations have extracted so much refined pleasure and sadnes from the contemplation of a flower.
I also visted the Kencho-ji Temple with a beautiful dragon painted on the ceiling of the Hatto (Dharma) hall. This is the first monastery in Japan specifically dedicated to the Zen sect of Buddhism. The founding prelate, Rankei Doryu, a high priest of the Chinese SOng dynasty, established the Zen sect in Kamakura, teaching a pure form of CHinese-style Zen.
Yesterday, I went to the Nippon Tougei club in Harajuku, Tokyo and can start there this Friday. I will start with the making of tea bowls with all the surrounding ceremonies. (Of course!)
Today, I went to the small Kamakura museum and the Kamakurabori museum about the famous, mainly red, lacquer ware. Beautiful and real craftmanship.
A beautiful Japanese entrance of a house