Monday, August 17, 2009

a little trip to see a big buddha

Kamakura, Japan.

Today we got out of the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, opting for something a little more rustic.
We strolled down some narrow streets, occasionally stopping in small shops and nodding at the shopkeepers. The whole nodding/bowing thing is quite interesting and really could perpetuate itself into a forever long time, not to mention some really tired necks. You bow, they bow, you bow, they bow, you bow, they bow. And so it goes until finally one of you sort of backs up, still bowing, and makes a hasty exit, grateful for the chance to once again keep one's head still.

Although this particular restaurant's advertisement made the food look very tasty,
we, ah, passed.

As soon as we saw this little guy sitting on the chair behind the counter, manning his shop, it became clear why we were told to bring cash to Kamakura.
I am pretty sure pigeons haven't mastered how to run credit card machines.

Once we got to the Great Buddha of Kamakura, there was some water that everybody was ladling out; some were drinking it while others were washing their hands.
I jumped right in, hoping I didn't offend anyone in the process.

And here's what all the buzz is about in this town.
At 755 years old, he's looking quite good for his age, don't you think? Must be all that meditation. And really, 755 years old? That means he was built in the year 1255, before the start of the Hundred Years War between England and France, before King Louis the 14th established a national ballet company, and way before 13 colonies decided to band together and start their own thing, throwing off England's reach from across the pond once and for all.

Which is why I tried to walk softly, to show some deference, because my mom sure taught me to respect my elders.

Especially when they are from the 13th century.

And especially when they are on the grand scale of huge.


Jenna Latshaw said...

love the pics! don't forget to take some of hello kitty for me since you are in her home town : )

kathiek said...

I am glad you are able to get out and about and see some sights, Jess. I can imagine it must be pretty amazing to see things that are hundreds of years older than our own country!

James Ricardo The Actor said...

I knew you would blog about Kamakura, so I decided not too...No Blog Wars tonight!!!! LOL! That Buddha was amazing, and the shrines, temples, gardens all over that town were beautiful!!!!

Jessica Latshaw said...

Jenna--she's all over the place! And I keep thinking of you whenever I see her! It's actually funny, when we went to the gift shop at the Big Buddha yesterday, Hello Kitty was everywhere, of course, but one of the things that surprised me is there was a Hello Kitty dressed and sitting exactly like the big buddha...I guess they don't find that sacrilegious but wouldn't that be kind of like finding a Hello Kitty on the cross in America?!?! That would be very offensive to me! And guess who else is around a lot over here?!?! STITCH!!!! I don't know why, but I just love him:)

KK--yes, it's funny our idea of old in America is a musket from the Civil War or Valley Forge huts and that is so much younger than the stuff over here.

JR--ha! I am actually kind of sad about the no blog wars because I would have loved to have read what you wrote about Kamakura too:) p.s. still looking for those life-size dolls that Japanese men carry around and talk to--if you see one and I'm nearby PLEASE point it out!

Jenna Latshaw said...

haha that is hilarious! yeah, it would be pretty offensive to find a cross with hello kitty being crucified on it. and stitch! that's awesome, i mean how could you not love him?!

Christian said...

So cool Jess. I love that feeling you get when you are standing in front of something really old. On a trip to Europe a long time ago I visited stonehenge, Bath, and some really old cathedrals and castles. Very cool. It makes you feel small, and opens your eyes to the grand scale of history and life. Great post!

Jessica Latshaw said...

Christian--yes, I love Stonehenge! And didn't druids build it like forever ago? I always picture druids as looking like Sand People from Star Wars. That probably would be offensive to them. Good thing that there aren't many druids reading this blog!

Jenna--Remember when Stitch first spoke in front of the Board of Aliens and it was so absolutely horrifying that the robot threw up nuts and bolts?

One of my favorite scenes.