My Friday English class is at a Community Center in Kamakura. Dave and I visit Kamakura frequently on weekends. Plus, Kamakura is a highlight on every Julia Tour. Until today, I thought I “knew” Kamakura. Turns out, I’ve been missing a beautiful Temple and scenic passageway to get to my Friday English class. Hidden in plain sight.

Let me backup and start from the beginning. In case you haven’t heard, the 2020 Olympics will be held in Tokyo. There is already concern that many foreigners while want to visit Kamakura and the Great Buddha while attending the Olympics. The local government is encouraging residents to become familiar with giving directions. One of my students requested that I assist them in learning how to give directions. So, at class today, Sensei asked me to give step by step directions from when I get off the train at Kamakura Station to arriving at our classroom. My directions went something like this:

1. Exit the train and walk down the stairs.

2. At the bottom of the stairs, turn right.

3. Continue straight, walk up a few stairs and then exit the station.

4. Walk straight across the street using the crosswalk.

5. Walk one block and then turn right.

For reference, this is the turn right intersection. My students became very confused. I assumed they wanted me to cross the street and then walk right. But, I explained it’s hot so I walk in the shade, one block, and turn left, crossing the street at the next signal (by the KFC).

There was a lot of chatter and laughter in Japanese after my explanation. They asked why don’t I walk through the Temple. Temple? I don’t know? Which Temple? We will take you after class. Ok!

I continued with my directions.

6. After crossing the street, walk down the street, following the green path.

7. The Community Center is at the end of the road.

8. To your left is the entrance.

9. Walk through the courtyard.

10. Take the second door on your right.

11. Walk up the stairs and the classroom is he first door on your right.

Interestingly, phrases like “walk down the street” and “on your left” or “on your right” are very confusing when learning the language. But, we eventually made it through. At the end of class, as promised, three of my students walked with me to show me the passageway through the Temple. It was beautiful and shaded! Just when I thought I knew my way around Kamakura, I learned something new!! This is the view from the street.

After entering, you walk along a lovely little path.

Check out the Lotus starting to sprout. They should be blooming in the next couple of weeks.

Here is the entrance from the other end.

I have been teaching this Friday English class for over 18 Months now. I can’t believe I’ve missed this picturesque Temple and garden! Now I’m really excited for fall!! Imagine how beautiful the leaves will be when they start to change colors!