Our friend Rumiko lives near Kamakura, where her sister, Junko, lives. So she's very familiar with the city.
We got up very early and left to go to Kamakura, which is probably about 21/2 hours away from Central Toyko. We left Chiba and went to Harue to pick up Kotoe. When we got to her house, her mother had fixed us breakfast. It was yummy.
The highlight of the drive was the Yokohama Bay Bridge, which is an absolutely gorgeous span.
We got to Hachimonkenshoji Shrine about an hour before we were supposed to meet Rumiko. Our cousins Noriko and Hiromi took the train to Kamakura and Rumiko was supposed to pick them up.
Since we had an hour to kill, we walked around the shrine. Even though it was a little after 9 a.m., busloads of tourists arrived with us.
Then it was time to meet up with the others and with Kotoe on her cell phone, we found each other and went to see the Great Buddha.
They all thought it was our first time there. I knew it wasn't because I've seen some old black-and-white photos taken by my father. I was 4-years-old and Nancy was a baby carried by my mother.
It's amazing to see the Great Buddha. You can even climb inside for 20 yen.
After that site, we went to Hasadera Shrine. That took a lot of climbing, so my mother stayed at the bottom level, while we explored. There were all sorts of gods, goddesses and representations of the Buddha.
By that time, we were hungry. So we went to Eno Shima (Eno Island). It was the day after Typhoon 18, and there was some storm damage and the fresh fish we went to eat for lunch wasn't available. It was still a fabulous lunch.
After lunch we went back to Kamakura to shop on Komachi Dori (Komachi Road). Unfortunately, all the shops and restaurants closed by 5 p.m.!
We dropped by to meet Rumiko's sister at her house, and then we headed back to Tokyo.
On the way home, we stopped a a rest area in Yokohama for dinner.
We were very tired by the time we got back to Kashiwa.
This is the Yokohama Bay Bridge.
The shrine at Hachimonkenshoji.
We did not climb these steps to the top of the Hachimonkenshoji Shrine. See the group of students on a field trip? This was just one of many such groups.
The Great Buddha at Kamakura.
With my fancy new camera, I was able to get a close-up of the Great Buddha's face. Isn't he handsome?
A sign inside the Great Buddha is in English and Japanese because of the huge number of visitors.
These would be the folds of the Great Buddha's stomach.
I interrupted my mother and sister, Nancy, reading the sign.
This was the cutest little Buddha at the Hasadera Shrine.
This section of the Hasadera Shrine is dedicated to children.
Another god, this one protected by four bodyguards in the Hasadera Shrine.
This little Buddha at the Hasadera shrine is reminiscent of the ones often seen at Chinese restaurants.
Kotoe, Hiromi, Rumiko, Nancy, me, Ken-chan and my mother, at the Hasadera Shrine.
My first look at Eno Shima from the highway. The island is connected by a bridge. And, yes, those specks in the ocean are surfers, taking advantage of the small waves that were the remnants of Typhoon 18. Apparently in Japan, they don't name the typhoons like we name hurricanes.
The entrance to Komachi Dori (Komachi Road), which is the shopping district of Kamakura. It was around 3:30 p.m. and by 5 p.m., it was closed!
It was probably around 8 p.m. when we stopped at a Yokohama rest stop for dinner. This is a bowl of ramen, and to order, you put money in a machine and the chefs put it together in the kitchen. When they call your number, you go to the counter and pick up your meal. The ramen was good.