Wabi-Sabi Sole

Finding Beauty with Imperfection

Category: Owl

Kamakura Highlights

We gave ourselves time to relax and recharge after our trip home from Hiroshima Wednesday night. Thursday was dedicated to exploring Kamakura. Dave and I really enjoy walking around and shopping in Kamakura. We were excited to share our favorite spots with our friends. The first stop was at the Great Buddha of Kamakura. We were again lucky to see Sakura still blooming.

By the time we left the Great Buddha, we were ready for some ice cream. Not a problem. In fact, we enjoyed ice cream and croquettes.

We took the train back to Kamakura from Hase and stopped for lunch. We went to the conveyor sushi restaurant Dave and I visited a few weeks ago. We made quite the stack of plates. Strong work for a party of six!

Next up on the itinerary was a stop at the Owl Forest.

During our visit, we found Jennifer’s Patronus (Reference: Harry Potter – aka spirit animal).

Speaking of Harry Potter… We found Hedwig!

We walked up Komachi Dori, the main shopping street, and made our way to The Hachiman-gu Shrine.

We had fun posing by the sake barrels.

Our visit at the Shrine was cut a little short because we had reservations at 5:00pm at the newly opened Shiba inu cafe. Yes, a puppy cafe. In Kamakura. We were beyond excited and it was even more amazing than we imagined. I might need to make a stop here on Friday afternoons after my English class. Because puppies.

After the puppy cafe, we worked our way back home. We stopped for one last picture of Chase and a huge teddy bear at Tully’s Coffee. So, cute!

Fuji Flower Carpet

I took an ITT tour on Monday. The tour had four points of interest. Because we were heading to Mt. Fuji, we left at 5:00am. Given the beautiful weather, it was totally worth it! Honestly, the weather today could not have been more perfect. Mt. Fuji was visible all day. Here was the route to get to the first stop.


1. Open Air Museum

Our first stop was to the Saiko Iyashi no Sato Nenba. It was actually the same replicated village we visited when the Cummings were in town. The sky was even more clear today and the later blooming Sakura were lovely.


The carp flags were still flying from Children’s Day this past Friday. They made for a beautiful photo.


Both of my normal liberty buddies were busy today. I went on this trip solo. However, I was able to make friends with a mutual friend who was also traveling solo. She and I took off for a little bit of a hike. Besides a beautiful trail, we saw this guy! Japanese rat snake. Gross!


My new friend, Katie, took this picture of me – what a view!


2. Shiba-Sakura Festival

The main attraction of the tour was the Shiba-Sakura Festival also known as the Fuji Flower Carpet. The Flower Carpet is a carpet of moss phlox planted in beds all around the garden. It was stunning. And of course, crowded!


The phlox is pretty. With Mt. Fuji in the background it was amazing.


Maybe a few more pictures. It was just so beautiful. Today, I opted for grape ice cream.


I took a quick video of th Flower Park from the overlook. To help you embrace the beauty.


3. Fuji Kachōen

Our third stop was at Fuji Kachōen – “A different world of flowers and birds.” Here we were able to walk through a beautiful greenhouse and view different species of birds. The greenhouse was my favorite part.


Look at these giant begonias!


The best part of the birds was having the opportunity to “hold” an owl. “Hoo you looking at?”


4. Otodome Waterfall and Shiraito Waterfall

Our fourth and final stop was to visit the Otodome Waterfall and the Shirato Waterfall. The water from the falls is snow melt from Mt. Fuji. It takes 20 years for the melted snow to make its way to the waterfall! Here is Otodome Waterfall.


To reach Shiraito Waterfall, we walked down a short path of 100 steps.


After viewing the falls from the bottom, I walked up to the overlook. The views were worth the stairs.


It was an amazing trip. I honestly can’t believe how lucky I was with the weather today. When you visit, I hope we have luck with the weather when we visit Mt. Fuji. It was such a glorious day!

Owls

Anticipating the jet lag and culture shock our friends would experience, I planned a very low key and local day. We had an early start, walked a lot, rode several trains and tried to blend in like locals. 


One of our goals for the day included finding a temple book and acquiring stamps. We were able to get five stamps in The Cummings’ family temple book. Pretty impressive for our first day! We went to visit:

Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū


Kōtoku-in (Great Buddha) 


My favorite picture from the Great Buddha. Dave is worried about the guy walking up the steps into our picture. Little did he know about Sara’s photo bomb!! Haha


Jōchi-ji Temple (Happiness Temple – my favorite) 


Shokozantokeiji 

Time became a factor at this point and I didn’t take a picture of the family before we left. I did however take a picture of the small Buddha and daffodils. 


Engaku-ji (The fifth temple of the day)


It was a fun day sharing my favorite places in Kamakura. Plus, we went to a new place. The Owl Forest! It has been on list and I was so excited to have saved the experience to be able to share it with friends! It did not disappoint! You were permitted to pet the owls with the back of your hand on the back of their head and take pictures. Keep in mind, their heads move… quickly! 


Hoot Hoot! Our first full day was a success! 

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