I’m so so sorry that it took me so long (a few weeks) to write Day 4 for you guys! I was dealing with some work-related stuff, and also experiencing some of that post-travel depression I think I’ve mentioned before. I should have known that it would come back. Guys, I really really miss Japan and Korea, and have no idea when I’ll be able to go back. And if I do go again, I might not come back! Dangerous, haha. But anyway, Day 4 we spent mostly wandering through different parts of Kamakura, which is a coastal town close to Tokyo. Read on if this sounds like something that interests you!
After staying up late on Day 3, watching Yuri On Ice (which I talk about in my Day 3 post here), it was kind of tough getting up at 5 am the next day, I won’t lie. But knowing that we were going to Kamakura motivated us to do it. We grabbed onigiri (rice balls) from a convenience store and some Starbucks coffee, then we were on the train. From Minato (the part of Tokyo we were staying in) to Kamakura Station, we took the Oedo Line from Azabujuban Station to Shiodome Station, where we took a JR train (which was handy due to our JR passes) the Yokosuka Line the rest of the way. It took us about an hour and a half, so we were able to sit for quite a bit, and wake up some more.
And good thing too, because once we arrived in Kamakura, it was go go go for the rest of the day! We first made our way over to the Hokokuji Temple so that we could experience the bamboo forest there first. The last time I’d been in Japan, the bamboo forest had closed when we’d decided to go there, so in order to avoid that happening again, we went there first this time around. We had to take a bus from Kamakura Station in order to make it to the temple, and then walked for a bit. Once we made it to the temple, we were able to take in the very tall bamboo! It was a really cool experience, and I definitely recommend it if you’re visiting any part of Asia that grows bamboo like this!
Once we made it through the bamboo forest, which wasn’t all that large (probably a good thing, since we’d likely have gotten lost), there was a little hut at the back of the area, near a cliff’s edge, where they were offering macha tea. You will have been given the option when entering the area that you could pay extra for this. We thought it’d be a neat experience, so we’d paid the extra 2 or 3 dollars and were able to relax while drinking some amazing macha tea, facing the bamboo stalks.
Once we were done there, we took the bus back to Kamakura Station, and from there made our way toward the Hachimangu Shrine on foot. When we arrived near the first toori (large Japanese gate) of the area, we were stopped by a group of students.
They were in an English language learning club, and one of their assignments was to practice English with tourists while showing them some of the sights. It was a win-win, so we agreed to have them walk with us toward the shrine, and explain things to us. It was all very educational, and it was really cool speaking with them because they were friendly, and we were able to get their perspective on everything. They even taught us how to wash our hands and mouth at the fountain which is located at every Japanese shrine!
We made it into the shrine, we were unable to take photos once inside (something which I already knew about Japanese shrines and was obviously fine with. I’m just sorry that I was unable to share that part with all of you). We then said our goodbyes to the group and made our way toward the large Buddha statue which Kamakura is most famous for. It’s a bit of a walk though, and we got hungry on the way, so we stopped at a hole in the wall kind of restaurant on the main road where we had the best katsu curry ever! I’m sorry that I was too hungry at the time to take photos, and I guess you’ll just have to believe me when I say that it was glorious! When we were done eating, we continued on down the street toward the big Buddha. The last time I was in Japan, I was able to see the famous statue, although only in the pouring rain, so it was nice to be able to look at it without my clothes being soaking wet, haha. We spent some time there, taking pictures, and absorbing the calm atmosphere before moving on to Hase Temple. I’d been able to see this temple and its surrounding gardens the last time as well, but again, in the pouring rain. It was beautiful in its own way when it was raining, but it was definitely more comfortable for me to experience while I was dry.
Needless to say, by the time we finished walking up the hill on which the shrine is located, and walked down, we were ready to head home and sleep, haha. Knowing that we had quite a long walk back to the station and a long train ride home, we made the decision to start heading back. Once we were back in Azabujuban, we parted ways with my friend, and went to the grocery store where we splurged, before heading home to munch on everything, and then went to sleep.
THANK YOU FOR READING THIS POST ABOUT MY JAPAN AND KOREA 2017 ADVENTURES! ALSO, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS AND/OR SOME OF YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!