"Meditations, Shrines, Temples, Samurai" Kamakura by Favzoz
Kamakura Travel Guide: 138 reviews and 473 photos
I'm not sure how you define the word furosato but I think it's something akin to "coming home (to your native/original place)," "your origin place," "the place where you come from," "hometown"-maybe it's some or all of the above in various degrees, combinations and mixes. I think there is a bit of a nostalgic feeling attached to the word furosato, as well.
For me, visiting Kamakura always feels like I'm coming home. I have been there on a number of occasions over the many decades I've been around and, of course, I had to include a trip there on my most recent jaunt to Japan.
I have a sense of connection to 12th century Japan and the Kamakura period. Don't know why but it's a very visceral, very real feeling of deja vu...which first came to me when I was in my early teens...cue the weird music: strains of the Twilight Zone and X-files...Also, the Kamakura period was a turbulent era, the first military government was established by Minamoto Yoritomo during that time-it is often referred to as Japan's medieval period. Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shinto Shrine, which is also in Kamakura, is dedicated to the God of War (Hachimangu). So, I'm a pretty peaceful person and all of this is in direct opposition to my interests-which intrigues me. Maybe my connection stems from the emergence of Kamakura as a Buddhist center and that's what's really attracting my interest.
When I was young I visited Hase Kannon Temple (also in Kamakura) and I found it very, very sad and kind of eerie. One of the shrines there is dedicated to Jizo (a very benevolent deity) whose job it is to protect children. There are many, many clay statues of small children that represent ones who died from miscarriage or abortion. As a much older person today, it still evokes sadness, but I can see it as a way of dealing with tragedies (instead of ignoring) and hopefully it helps the grieving parent(s) and families. Kamakura is a fascinating place if you read a bit of the history. It was also during the Kamakura period that the samurai class arose and that is another interesting aspect.
Anyhow, I just really like Kamakura a lot! I love the arts/crafts, temples, shrines (even the ones that evoke a sad aura).
One of the things I love about Kamakura is all the great treats to be found at various small shops-the kind of food and snacks you buy on the street and take-away to eat on the spot.
While I was there I sampled ningyoyaki (cute, hot little sweet-bean filled cakes made in the shapes of birds, buildings, animals, flowers-the fillings can vary also, sometimes it can be sweet potato or chestnuts), o-dango (sweet rice balls on a skewer, glazed with a translucent coating of sweetened soy sauce or covered with a dusting of soybean flour or sesame seeds-various coatings), o-sembe (hot rice crackers, made on the spot-yummy!), and at one ittle tea house/coffee shop I had cream amitsu. This is a confection that I long for, mostly from nostalgia. It's composed of clear agar agar gelatin cubes on the bottom of a dish, topped with various fruits, soft rice mochi, beans, syrup and ice cream (I like green tea ice cream on mine), and whipped cream. Very sweet, not something I would eat often (which I don't). But once in a decade or so...good enough for me!
I share an interest with a lot of women: I love to shop! I found some of the best shopping fun I had was in Kamakura-especially in the tiny, crowded clothing places. Everything is displayed to attract your attention, of course, and to get you to come in to the shop so there are usually interesting things to see on the streets in front of the shops. It was one of the best places for me to find clothes, despite my having gone to the Ginza, Mitsukoshi, Matsuya and various other places with stores large and small. It was fun browsing for unique, interesting stuff. I bought some very useful, practical and stylish clothes in Kamakura! I think, though, you have to be willing to really shop...meaning, take your time and really look around. However, I will say that perhaps my idea of stylish may be quite different from others' ideas...so that's a disclaimer, there.
- Pros:Historical sites, temples, shrines, shopping, eating, arts/crafts
- Cons:Can get crowded with tourists, but what else is news?
- In a nutshell:History, Temples, Shrines and It's Close to the Ocean
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