Tokyo Sidetrip: Hiking in Kamakura
Wanting to get away of the city, I decided to venture to a place one hour south of Tokyo called Kamakura. It took me a while to figure out which train to board at the Shibuya station. I also went the opposite way when I first tried to locate the local Enoden train station. This is one reason why I like traveling solo, I only inconvenience myself. I gobbled up my Hattendo and went to a nearby tourist center where a kind lady gave me the correct directions and a pamphlet that had all the information I needed.
My only two goals that day was to see the giant Buddha and wash money in a temple, that I was told was hard to find, for prosperity. I get off the Hase Station, religiously followed the signs to Kotokuin Temple and missed it. Yes, I missed the giant Buddha but I trudged on and found an obscure signage to a trail leading to the Zeniari-benten Shrine which is my second goal. I said to myself this must be the lovely hike that my friend was talking about. It wasn’t. The Kuzuharaoka-Daibutsu Hiking course, as its name suggests is for hard core hiking. Nevertheless, I was not going to give up and I was wearing my trusty Adidas anyway. All sweaty and tired after about forty five minutes, including the catching my breath stops, I finally found my way to the shrine. If by any chance that hike was a metaphor that clued me in on the way to prosperity then I totally get it and I take it as a good sign that I survived
Not only did I make it out alive, I was also soon rewarded the real lovely hike through a village giving me a sneak peak of the idyllic lifestyle of the people living in this town leading to (drum roll please) the second biggest outdoor Buddha in Japan. So you see, it all worked out in the end. I get my dose of zen that I kept with me through the picturesque view from the train of the Pacific coast, all the way back to Tokyo.