Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Winter Walking in Kamakura

EMU JR East E231 series arrives at Kita-Kamakura Station on the Yokosuka Line
 
I visited Kamakura for the first time in a year to enjoy a stroll with my family. As you may know, Kamakura is a historic city where the Shogunate government was located from 1185 to 1333. That means Kamakura was the substantial capital of Japan during those 148 years, although successive Emperors lived in Kyoto during that period.

Kamakura is located about 50 km southwest of Tokyo. It takes about one hour from downtown Tokyo by JR East's commuter train. If you come from Shinjuku, please take the Shonan-Shijuku Line train. About half of the Shonan-Shinjuku Line trains are directly operated into the Yokosuka Line to Kamakura Station. Your vehicles will be the EMU E231 or the E233-3000 series. I recommend you use a double-decked Green Car (the first class) equipped with comfortable reclining seat. You can feel like you are gorgeous traveling by only paying an extra cost of $6.50.

We got off at Kita-Kamakura, which is one stop before Kamakura Station. Kita-Kamakura is a small and quiet station in comparison with the large and lively Kamakura Station. There are several old temples in this area. We visited Kenchoji, which is one of the Zen temples in Kamakura City. It was opened by a Chinese Buddhist monk, Lanxi Daolong, in 1213.

Specifically, I was impressed with the large Zen garden behind the Hojo building incorporating with the scenery of mountains behind the temple. I couldn't believe that this quiet garden was located just next to the lively city of Kamakura.

 
Zen Garden in Kenchoji Temple near Kita-Kamakura Station