Ameyoko Gallery

Ameyoko Gallery

I’ve been away, playing tour guide at various tourist spots in Japan.  What I have realised is that Japan is not really part of Asia.  It’s just too westernised.  It’s the West with Japanese people and heated toilet seats.  That’s why it suits me.  Here’s the Ameyoko in Ueno.  It’s streets of stall food and … Continue reading

Kencho-ji

Kencho-ji

My favourite temple in our Kamakura tour was Kencho-ji, the Zen temple.  It was about 20 minutes’ walk out of town up a hill and therefore there were very few people there.  The buildings were not flashy, the air was crisp and clear and the whole atmosphere was very calming.  It has a Zen garden … Continue reading

Hasedera Temple

Hasedera Temple is constructed up the side of a hill so it has a good view of Kamakura bay. It also has a lot of jizo.  Jizo protect travellers which is why they can often be found near roads and pathways, but they are also the protectors of children.  People who have had an abortion … Continue reading

Hatsumode Part 2

Hatsumode Part 2

Hatsumode means the first visit of the year to a shrine.  I had already been to my local but at the weekend a group of chums and I hired a guide and visited some of the major shrines and temples at Kamakura, one hour south of Tokyo.  Obviously we visited the Daibutsu, the Great Buddha.  … Continue reading

Ake Ome!

Akemashite Omedetou – Happy New Year – or Ake Ome, as my students say. I did not go out to the shrine at midnight on New Year’s Eve mainly because I was correcting graduation theses but also because I live across the road from it and could hear the temple bell well enough. Then at … Continue reading