Exploring Kamakura (Part 7 of 8)

After just one night in Tokyo, we were ready to move on to beautiful Kamakura.  I’d read all about the relaxed, earthy town by the beach and couldn’t wait! Vegan restaurants, hipster art, running rivers: it all sounded amazing, and very different from the Japan we’d seen so far.

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Starbucks in Kamakura

Daibutsu

Naturally, we headed right for Daibutsu (the Great Buddha), one of the largest buddhas in Japan, and arguably the most famous.  We were suspiciously waved in without paying the entrance fee, and soon found out why–the famous Buddha was hidden while under construction!  According to brochures, previous earthquakes had left the Great Buddha unstable, and the huge statue needed strengthening.  We were still able to enjoy the beautiful gardens, and the drizzling rain made for perfect photos.

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Kamakura Hiking Trail

I’d worn my most comfortable shoes in anticipation of the Kamakura Hiking Trails, which we stumbled upon after leaving Daibutsu.  We loved the relative solitude and the gorgeous ocean views that occasionally peeked at us from around corners.  After a few hours of exploring, we found our way to Itsuki Garden Cafe (conveniently located on the hiking path) and stopped for ginger ales.  What a way to hike!

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DSC00484DSC00482Owl Cafe

I’m a huge fan of Japan’s famous cat cafes, but had wanted to visit an owl cafe since I heard about them from a friend.  It ended up just being an owl petting zoo, a wide room with fake trees where the owls were perched.  We walked around and looked at each owl, petting each in turn, even the Great Horned Owl! Very cool.

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After some shopping stops and a coffee jello we didn’t mean to order, we called it a successful day.  Kamakura had lived up to its reputation, and we loved it.

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