Kamakura

One of our (Carey and I) resolutions as friends is to travel more of Japan and, if life permits, abroad. We started this promise by visiting Kamakura, which is not that really far from Tokyo (so you can say that this doesn’t count but for us, it does). It’s been ages since the last time I visited this place, maybe when I was still 10. So the place gave me a little piece of nostalgia of my childhood.

Kamakura became the seat of the Japanese military government for a hundred years during the Kamakura period and lost the position when Kyoto’s Muromachi government overthrew the Kamakura shogunate in 1333. Though this was the case, the city remained to be the center of politics and power in Eastern Japan until it lost to other cities. Kamakura, though a small coastal town, boasts in richness in history and tradition. There are a lot of temples, shrines and old Japanese establishments in the area, even rickshaws which are pulled by men themselves. Thus, everyone referred to it as the Kyoto of Eastern Japan (click HERE for related article). Though different in religion, I said a little prayer in the Hachimangu Shrine.

But what really amazed me, aside from seeing the famous Amida Buddha, was witnessing a traditional Japanese wedding for the first time at the Hachimangu Shrine. The groom and the bride were wearing traditional wedding kimonos, the presence of a shinto priest and temple people and a small orchestra of three people playing traditional Japanese music for the wedding’s musical score. I haven’t attended anything as Japanese as that before so it was a pleasure seeing it for the first time even if I was only a spectator.

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