The Five Star Vagabond

Super travel tips, all road tested by David Herd. I'm an Australian guy who moved to Thailand in 2011 & still travel the world as often as possible.

Kamakura seaside city

October 22, 2015 by David Herd

Kamakura

Kamakura seaside city

 Kamakura seaside city is a little over an hours train ride south of Tokyo. My friends & I had a marvellous day out exploring the wonderful temples and shrines. The header for this post shows my friend Kayo from Tokyo who was our guide for the day, also featured taking a selfie is Hamish Elton my friend from Thailand who was visiting Japan for the first time.

Engaku-ji Temple Kamakura

Kamakura seaside city

Our first stop was Engakuji Temple which is the head of a branch school of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism. It is very close to Kita-Kamakura station and houses the largest bell in Kamakura. Sadly we never got to see the big bell as that area was closed off, we had to settle for this smaller one. Check out my Engaku-ji photo blog here.

Cross the tracks to Kencho-ji Temple

Kamakura seaside city

This was the start of a huge day of walking, Hamish measured our steps and distance walked during the day with an app on his phone. We covered about 17 kilometres which was around 22,000 steps.

Kencho-ji Temple

Kamakura seaside city

 Kenchoji Temple built in 1253 and is the oldest Zen training monastery in Japan. It is a lot smaller than during its heyday, Kencho-ji still has a large number of temple buildings, and stretches from the entrance gate at the bottom of the valley far into the forested hills behind. Check out my photo blog here on this fascinating Temple.

By now I’m getting hungry

Kamakura seaside city

it’s 2’30 pm and I’m dying of hunger so we start looking for a suitable restaurant. Spanish? No after all we are in Japan.

Amish

Kamakura seaside city

An Amish restaurant, I didn’t even know they had there own style of food. I’m surprised Hamish didn’t want to try it merely because of the rhyme. ūüôā

Finally Japanese cuisine

Kamakura seaside city

And it turned out to be excellent, perhaps not quite Tokyo standard but very good indeed.

I love Japanese food

Kamakura seaside city

After lunch I had the strength to carry on with our marathon walk.

Through the tunnel to the Great Buddha

Kamakura seaside city

Little did I realise we had only covered about 1/2 of the 17 kilometres.

Kayo and Hamish take selfies with the Great Buddha

Kamakura seaside city

My friends taking selfies with the Great Buddha. 

Here comes the priest

Kamakura seaside city

We watched this guy come down the stairs and wondered what he was up to. When he got to the bottom he spoke to a family who were illegally parked in the temples private car park and asked them to move on.

Hard to refuse this guy

Kamakura seaside city

 

He obviously has Buddha on his side. ūüôā

Coffee time before heading for Enoshima

Kamakura seaside city

After spending several hours in Kamakura exploring the wonderful temples we decided to take a 30 minute train ride to Enoshima to see where Japan will hold the sailing venue for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Map of Kamakura seaside city

Kamakura seaside city

 

At the bottom left hand corner south of Tokyo is Kamakura.

The Villa Sacra gets very good reviews on Agoda, use this link for an excellent rate.

Lotus at the Kara-mon at Engaku-ji Temple

Kamakura seaside city

Thanks for visiting my Kamakura seaside city post, I’ll finish with this photo which is one of my favourites among many on this great day out in Kamakura.

    Checkout some more of my terrific blogs on the links below.           

   Istanbul                                 Budapest                        London

Fascinating Istanbul Asia Meets Europe     Hungarian Parliament Building (2)       The Walkie Talkie (5)    

          Mostar                           Dubrobnik                            Split

43638e36-5da5-4162-98e3-635e2c149837        IMG_7425    Split Ancient Croatian Coastal city                     

                 Saigon                            Zagreb                          Vung tau

Ho Chi Minh City South Vietnam       Main Square (3)     Vung Tau statue (6)

Pattaya live webcam
 
9a1fec74-4461-46cd-8663-97f5893c8f6e (1)

That’s all folks

1g Duck

 

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Great Buddha Kamakura

October 21, 2015 by David Herd

The Great Buddha Kamakura

 photo IMG_9856.jpg¬†Great Buddha Kamakura¬†(Kamakura Daibutsu) is a bronze statue of Amida Buddha, which stands on the grounds of Kotokuin Temple. With a height of 13.35 meters, it is the second tallest bronze Buddha statue in Japan, surpassed only by the statue in Nara’s Todai-ji Temple. The weight is approximately 93 tonnes.

Kayo and Hamish 

Great Buddha Kamakura My friends taking selfies with the Great Buddha Kamakura.

Kotokuin Temple entrance

Great Buddha Kamakura This was the third temple & shrine we visited today after getting the train from Tokyo to Kamakura, a journey that took a little over and hour.

I almost needed this guy

Great Buddha Kamakura After all the walking¬†I almost needed this guy. ūüôā

Old bridge at the Great Buddha Kamakura

Great Buddha Kamakura The old bridge surrounded by beautiful Japanese trees. This stone arched bridge in the old days used to be reserved
only for the Shogun’s use (others used the flat bridges). This sort of bridge is usually called a Taiko Bashi (drum bridge), since the reflection in the water makes it look like a drum.

 Japanese tradition

Washing hands The Chozuya (purification pavilion). Visitors wash their hands and rinse their mouths before entering the shrine.

Washing hands and mouth

Great Buddha Kamakura We did wonder whether or not this may be a way to pass on germs to each other.

Buddhism

Buddhism¬†Buddhism originated in India in the 6th century BC. It consists of the teachings of the Buddha, Gautama Siddhartha. Of the main branches of Buddhism, it is the Mahayana or “Greater Vehicle” Buddhism which found its way to Japan.

Donations from Japanese business.

 photo IMG_9832.jpg I have seen these displays at other temples and parks, they acknowledge support from various businesses.

Oh no, more stairs ūüôā

Great Buddha Kamakura After all the walking today I was not thrilled climbing the stairs to the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine.

This shrine was originally founded in 1063 and Burnt down in 1191, it was reconstructed as the shrine which we see today.

1000-year-old Assassin Gingko

Assassin Gingko tree In March 2010, after standing next to the steps since just after the Shrine was established, the 1000-year-old Assassin Gingko was uprooted and fell in a storm. Part of the trunk and the stump itself were replanted, and are now growing new leaves, so it looks the fine old tree has survived.

Shrine at the top of the stairs

Great Buddha Kamakura I was happily taking photos around the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine until a guard told me it was forbidden, luckily by then I had enough for this post.

Not sure of the significance

 photo IMG_9836.jpg I never did find out the significance of all these labels. I can only guess they indicate support from various businesses and individuals.

Kotokuin Temple

Great Buddha Kamakura In the peaceful grounds behind the Great Buddha Kamakura.

Down we go

Great Buddha Kamakura We took the back stairs down to ground level.

Happy shopkeepers

 photo IMG_9849.jpg

As soon as you raise your camera you are sure to get a smile.

Walking to Hase station

Great Buddha Kamakura The Great Buddha is located a 5-10 minute walk from Hase Station, the third station from Kamakura along the Enoden railway line. The Enoden is a streetcar-like train that connects Kamakura with Enoshima and Fujisawa. It is well worth taking the trip to Enoshima, the venue for the 2020 Olympics yachting.

 Hase station

Hase station About a 30 minute train ride to Fujisawa.

 Two Buddhas at Kamakura

David Herd Thailand

Thanks for visiting my Great Buddha Kamakura post, in case you missed it take a look at Engaku-ji and also Kencho-ji.

A week before the above photo was taken I broke a front tooth eating a ham sandwich in Seoul Korea, I had to wait until I returned to Thailand to have it replaced.  Most of the photos showing it I photo shopped but in this case I thought I would leave it as it was.

The Villa Sacra gets very good reviews on Agoda, use this link for an excellent rate.

                         Here are some more posts to check out
              Sydney                               Paris                                   Bangkok
Sydney Opera house        Paris hotel        Grand Palace Bangkok
               Tokyo                        Rio De Janeiro                        Budapest
Tokyo        Carla, what a girl. photo CopacabanabeachNov2003-128.jpg        Buda Castle
           London                            Beijing                            Capetown
Kings road Chelsea        David & the General photo DHandthegeneral.jpg        David Herd Thailand

That’s all folks

Eastern European Odyssey

Pattaya webcam

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Kenchoji Temple built 1253 Japan

October 20, 2015 by David Herd

Sanmon, the main gate

Kenchoji Temple built 1253 Japan

 Kenchoji Temple built 1253 Japan is the oldest Zen training monastery in Japan. It is considerably smaller than during its heyday, Kenchoji still consists of a large number of temple buildings and subtemples, and stretches from the entrance gate at the bottom of the valley far into the forested hills behind.

Temple bell, a national treasure

Kenchoji Temple built 1253 Japan

 This bell has been designated a national treasure and dates back to the founding of the temple.

Jizo Bodhisattva in the Buddha Hall

Kenchoji Temple built 1253 Japan

 The main image in the Buddha Hall of Kencho-ji is Jizo Bodhisattva (quite unusual for a Zen temple), and within the hall are several other famous Jizo images. Because of its violent history, the area has many images of Jizo ŚúįŤóŹ, the bodhisattva whose mission it is to save those who are lost or in danger, or who have fallen into the the realms of hell.

The Kara-mon (Chinese-style gate) of Kencho-ji

Kenchoji Temple built 1253 Japan

 This Kara-mon (Chinese-style gate) was recently restored as it was when built in the 17th century to re-establish the ancient glory of this old temple.

Lotus at the Kara-mon

Kenchoji Temple built 1253 Japan

One of my favourite photos from this fascinating temple.

Hatto (Dharma Hall)

Kenchoji Temple built 1253 Japan

This building is behind the temple.

Hatto (Dharma Hall)

Kenchoji Temple built 1253 Japan

 Hatto (Dharma Hall) at Kencho-ji Temple. Belongs to the Rinzai (Zen) Buddhism sect, the hall was built in 1814 and it is the largest Buddhist wooden structure in Eastern Japan.

Dharma Hall

Kenchoji Temple built 1253 Japan

The starving Buddha at Dharma Hall. It was rather amazing taking photos here without a flash, yet the shots came out much brighter than what we were seeing with our own eyes.

Kenchoji Temple built 1253

Kenchoji Temple built 1253 Japan

The ceiling was quite amazing.

Hatto (Dharma Hall), Kencho-ji Temple

Kenchoji Temple built 1253 Japan

 

I’m guessing the bottle of water was left to help out the starving Buddha.


Here is a 750 year old Juniper tree.

Kenchoji Temple built 1253 Japan

This magnificent tree is also considered a national treasure.

Kannon (Avalokitesvara) at Kencho-ji Temple

Kenchoji Temple built 1253 Japan

 

Everywhere you turn there is a photo opportunity.

Kenchoji Temple built 1253 Japan

Kenchoji Temple built 1253 Japan

 Beautiful grounds and flowers all around the temple.

The temple backs onto the forest

Kenchoji Temple built 1253 Japan

 Kenchoji Temple built 1253 was an absolute delight to visit.

My friends at Kencho-ji

Kenchoji Temple built 1253 Japan

Hamish and Kayo really enjoyed as did I, this wonderful temple and it’s beautiful gardens.

Thanks for visiting my Kenchoji Temple built 1253 Japan photo blog.

The Villa Sacra gets very good reviews on Agoda, use this link for an excellent rate.

                         What a great year for travel in 2015              

               

   Istanbul                                 Budapest                        London

Fascinating Istanbul Asia Meets Europe     Hungarian Parliament Building (2)       The Walkie Talkie (5)    

          Mostar                           Dubrobnik                            Split

43638e36-5da5-4162-98e3-635e2c149837        IMG_7425    Split Ancient Croatian Coastal city                     

                 Saigon                            Zagreb                          Vung tau

Ho Chi Minh City South Vietnam       Main Square (3)     Vung Tau statue (6)

Pattaya live webcam
 
9a1fec74-4461-46cd-8663-97f5893c8f6e (1)

That’s all folks

1g Duck

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Engaku-ji Temple Kamakura Japan

October 13, 2015 by David Herd

Kamakura Station

Engaku-ji Temple Kamakura Japan Engaku-ji Temple Kamakura Japan was about 1 hour 20 minutes by train from Tokyo travelling south through Yokohama. Followed by a short walk to the temple.

Engakuji Temple is a short walk from Kita-Kamakura Station on the JR Yokosuka Line coming from Tokyo Station and Shinagawa Station.

Up the stairs

Engaku-ji Temple Kamakura Japan The ancient temple was founded in 1282 by a Chinese Zen monk through it’s patron Japan’s ruler Hojo Tokimune of the Kamakura Shogunate.

Hamish & I at Engaku-ji Temple Kamakura Japan

Engaku-ji Temple Kamakura Japan

We had to buy some umbrellas as there were some showers around.

 Here we are at the entrance of Engaku-ji Temple Kamakura Japan.

Engaku-ji Temple Kamakura Japan The address is 409, Yamanouchi, Kamakura, Kanagawa , phone247-0062.

The Sanmon Gate

Engaku-ji Temple Kamakura Japan Apparently the Sanmon Gate is unusual as its supporting posts are totally exposed. The Gate dates from 1783.

Sanmon gate

Engaku-ji Temple Kamakura Japan Engaku-ji Temple at Kamakura is one of Japan’s most important Zen Buddhist temples.

 Engakuji Temple

Engaku-ji Temple Kamakura Japan

 Engakuji Temple was founded in the Kamakura Period of Japanese history on the instructions of regent Hojo Tokimune, who had successfully fought off the two Mongolian invasions of Japan in the late 13th century with the help of fortuitous typhoons known as kamikaze, which had destroyed the invading ships in harbour.

 The small bell

Engaku-ji Temple Kamakura Japan Not to be confused the the Great Bell which is a national treasure. Sadly we could not see the Great one because the area was closed. ‘

Cemetery within the grounds

Engaku-ji Temple Kamakura Japan A well kept cemetery, in fact all the surrounding grounds were immaculate.

The cemetery

Engaku-ji Temple Kamakura Japan

Some very old graves here at Engaku-ji Temple Kamakura Japan.

Beautiful grounds

Engaku-ji Temple Kamakura Japan Such a beautiful peaceful settings in the grounds of Engaku-ji Temple Kamakura Japan.

Pagoda statue

Engaku-ji Temple Kamakura Japan I really love these Japanese pagoda statues, in fact I had several in the garden at my home in Australia.

Ancient gate

Engaku-ji Temple Kamakura Japan Ancient gate at Engaku-ji Temple Kamakura, I believe this temple is one of the most important Zen Buddhist temples in Japan, and it ranks second among Kamakura’s Five Mountains.

 The old and the new

Engaku-ji Temple Kamakura Japan A new construction beside the ancient cemetery highlights the old and the new at Engaku-ji.

Thanks for visiting my Engaku-ji Temple Kamakura Japan post

David Herd Thailand These are my friends, Hamish is an Australian living in Thailand and Kayo lives in Tokyo. After Engaku-ji we explored two more temples before catching the train to Enoshima.

Thanks for visiting my Engaku-ji Temple Kamakura Japan photo blog.

The Villa Sacra gets very good reviews on Agoda, use this link for an excellent rate.

          Checkout some more of my terrific blogs on the links below.

             Lisbon                                 New York                       Airole Italy     

Lisbon restaurant            Wall St New York            Airole                         

             Menton                          Pattaya Storms                   Shibuya Tokyo

French Riviera            Pattaya Thailand            Shibuya Tokyo                 

        Hong Kong                        Florianopolos                         Dubrovnik

Kowloon Hong Kong           Joaquina Beach Florianopolis            Dubrovnik

          Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                                                through these links below.  Book now & pay later.
                                                                 Plus free cancellation .?
                                                       Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
                                                  Amazing Bangkok busses               Amazing Bangkok busses
Pattaya webcam

 

That’s all folks

David Herd Thailand

 

This gallery contains 3 photos

Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan

October 7, 2015 by David Herd

Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan

Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan is 4 km in circumference, at the mouth of the Katase River south of Tokyo and Yokohama. What took me there you may well ask, well after spending several hours in Kamakura exploring the wonderful temples we decided to take a 30 minute train ride to see where Japan will hold the sailing venue for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

600-metre-long (2,000 ft) bridge

Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan You have to walk or drive across this long bridge to get to the island. The area is home to some of the closest sandy beaches to Tokyo and Yokohama.

Fujisawa

Enoshima island Japan


They tell me this is a very popular holiday destination. 

Fujisawa bottom left hand corner of map

  Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan  

My friends Kayo and Hamish

Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan Kayo is my friend who lives in Tokyo, she was our tour guide showing us the wonderful temples in Kamakura then on to Enoshima. I can’t believe the distance we walked today, 22,047 steps which was 16.79 kilometres. ūüôā

The village

Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan There is quite a steep hill with shops on both sides, people come to this island to walk the pathways that lead to several ancient temples, botanical garden, museums, parks, scenic overlooks, and a modern lighthouse at the top of Enoshima island Japan.

Friendly shopkeepers

Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan

A big smile from the shop keeper.

I met some locals

Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan

Happy guys on Enoshima island Japan.

They were very happy guys

Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan In summer the mainland and beach areas of Enoshima city is all about sea sports, in particular surfing, sailing and jet boating. The surf  isn’t great by most standards, but during Summer it is the place to be seen for the trendy younger crowd as it is so conveniently close to Tokyo, providing an excuse for tens of thousands of funky Japanese to strut around with bleached hair and chocolate-bronze skin.  

Top of the hill

Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan

You can climb even further but I was too lazy. ūüôā

View from the top

David Herd Thailand Looking down to the bridge at Enoshima.

BBQ corn

  Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan There are lots of street stalls where you can sample the delights of low price Japanese food.  

Not to mention great Asahi beer.

  Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan  

My lovely friend Kayo

Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan Kayo is the perfect guide, we met in Australia in 2005 &last year when I was in Tokyo she showed me all around Yokohama, and this year it was the wonderful temples in Kamakura.

Enoshima island Japan

Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan

Time to catch the train back to Kamakura station & change for Tokyo.

Many thanks for visiting my Enoshima island Japan photo blog.

The Villa Sacra gets very good reviews on Agoda, use this link for an excellent rate.

My favourite Japanese song

                               Here are some more posts to check out
 
              Sydney                               Paris                                   Bangkok
Sydney Opera house        Paris hotel        Grand Palace Bangkok
               Tokyo                        Rio De Janeiro                        Budapest
Tokyo        Carla, what a girl. photo CopacabanabeachNov2003-128.jpg        Buda Castle
           London                            Beijing                            Capetown
Kings road Chelsea        David & the General photo DHandthegeneral.jpg        David Herd Thailand
 
                                       Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                                                through these links below.  Book now & pay later.
                                                                 Plus free cancellation .?
                                                       Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
                                                  Amazing Bangkok busses               Amazing Bangkok busses

That’s all folks

Eastern European Odyssey

Pattaya webcam

This gallery contains 1 photo.