Kamakura part 1 – Big Buddha Temple! Scenic small town with good food!

Kamakura Big Buddha temple 

Take JR train to Kamakura station from Tokyo station and then change to the Enoden line to Hase station.

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When people mention about the town Kamakura in Tokyo, we would usually associate it with the Big Buddha who stands at 13m tall. It’s my 5th time to Tokyo but my first to the zen Kamakura town. This is how big Tokyo is as you can take so many interesting day trips out from this mega huge metropolis (You know this already from the number of overlapping lines it has). The unique thing about Kamakura is the high density of temples it has and together with the scenic tranquil surrounding, it just feels zen.

Knowing the history behind the statue will make it even more awe-inspiring. Previously housed in a temple in the 1300s, the temple was decidedly removed after it was repeatedly ravaged by typhoons twice and the reverend Buddha statue was left standing in open since then for the past 700 years. No major damage sustained throughout these years and that is the etherealness of this statue I believe.

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DSC_1202As you follow the sign to the Big Buddha temple, you could easily come across simple, elegant scenery like this. 

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Not forgetting that we’re still in Tokyo and this is after all still a slightly touristy place, the streets are littered with many restaurants and there’re still quite a lot of snacks you can munch on, some of which are only exclusive to Kamakura. Soft serve seems to be a must get over there as there are so many ice cream shops along the streets and indeed the sweet potato matcha combi was really delicious and creamy!

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DSC_1209The next snack that I would recommend will be this Octopus Crisp. The tako fragrance emanating from the shop caught the nose of many that resulted in a long line forming outside the small shop. I would say it’s the only shop that actually has a line. This was interestingly made as the 3D octopuses were mixed with some batter and then flattened into a 2D sheet under super high pressure by the metal plates that got hot steam and batter spewing out from it. The end result is a huge flattened piece of octopus crisp that is bigger than my face! Very fragrant and delicious, it was finished in a couple of seconds. This couldn’t be found elsewhere in Tokyo I believe, at least during the 5 times when I was there.

While most people usually go to Kamakura to visit the Big Buddha statue, that wasn’t my actual aim (though it is one of the intentions). No, it’s not the food definitely (I’m still quite a zen person in some sense) but I was mesmerised by the other scenic temple that is less trodden! So, stay tuned to the next part of this post…

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