Chiba Days #18 - My Field Trip to Kamakura

Hello everyone and welcome back to another chapter of Chiba Days. More than a year ago, I had the chance to visit Kamakura, one of the most popular day-trip attractions in Tokyo. The main attractions of Kamakura encompasses the Hachimangu Shrine, Kamakura Daibutsu (large Buddha) and the beach all of which have a different allure depending on the season. Recently, I found myself having the opportunity to visit this popular tourist attraction once more. Only this time, it will be in the cooler autumn season. 

Upon arriving at Kamakura early in the morning, a significant crowd had already begun to gather. But unlike the summer crowd, many of the visitors this time appeared to come from schools be it, middle schools, primary schools or university students. It was a good mix of visitors and the numbers were certainly more manageable than it was in summer. 

The Hachimangu shrine looked grand as ever with its intricate ornamentation and detailing. Unfortunately, the weather was slightly overcast which may it more difficult for the bright reds and yellows of the main shrine to pop. 

One of the unique aspects of the Hachimangu shrine is the ceremonial procession veranda that is present near the staircase leading to the main shrine. This concourse is reserved for official events and sanctioned visitors. Otherwise, the area surrounding it is cordoned off. 

Winter may be fast approaching but, the leaves on the trees were still as green as it was in summer. The weather on the other hand, was significantly cooler in autumn which made walking around the shrine grounds a much simpler affair. 

With less of a crowd this time around, it made it much easier for me to take this shot of the entire main gate. Outside of Tokyo, this is one of the largest red gates present on temple grounds which allows visitors to spot it from miles away or use it as a landmark reference if ever they got lost. 

Viewed from afar, the elevation difference the aforementioned ceremonial veranda and main shrine. It makes for quite a shot. 

As it happened, there was an actual ceremony preceding. The general public were allowed to observe but, had to mind their distance so as to not disturb the procession. 

The next part was to make my way to the nearby ocean and beach. Just like the Hachimangu Shrine, this was not the first time I have visited this popular beach.

The surrounding of the beach is a far cry from the atmosphere in summer where there are various temporary stalls set up along the perimeter of the beach. In autumn, the beach is rather barren with only the occasional visitor and driftwood and seaweed which has washed up ashore. 

Despite the chilly weather, there were still several surfers catching the waves on that day. One certainly has to respect that degree of commitment and dedication to surfing.

As the day passed and approached closer towards mid-day, the weather started becoming better too. The skies cleared up making way for the bright blue sky. 

With the afternoon sun rays in full force, the ambient temperature had started to rise a little. Such are the variations of autumn weather whereby it would be very cold in the morning before becoming warm in the afternoon. 

With both the beach and the Hachimangu shrine done, it was time to head to the final destination. 

The Kamakura Dai Butsu, or giant Buddha, as it is known is probably the most popular attraction in the whole of Kamakura. 

Besides the statue's considerable age and size, another unique factor of this statue is that visitors are able to actually enter the interior of the statue. 

For the low price of 20 Yen, visitors are allowed to enter the cramped interior of the statue. The lighting is rather dim even in the afternoon but, with the help of exposure compensation, these shots clearly show the interior seams and fixes applied to the statue over the years.

Regardless of the season and temperature, Kamakura's Daibutsu is always a sight to behold. If you ever find yourself with an extra day in Tokyo and would like to spend some time out of town, I would highly recommend paying this locale a visit.

Especially when the weather is good, the statue and its surroundings make for very good photo spots. 

For the more spiritual ones, the large Buddha statue is also a holy place of worship and a worthy place to visit. 

Despite having visited Kamakura once before in the summer of the previous year, it is always refreshing to return to the same locations once more for a revisit in a different season. Regardless of the season though, Kamakura remains to be a definite recommendation from yours truly. Until the next time, that is all of this quick tour update and I hope you have a nice day ahead!


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