Front Avenue Yukinoshita 1F, 1-12-3 Yukinoshita, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa
“Kamakura Girls Trip
Going around the city in Ebisuya rickshaw
Change into Kimonos and off we go! The first destination was Chokozan Myohon-ji Temple.
After getting off at Kamakura station, they took the east exit and headed for Komachi-dori. This street leading to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is full of people on holidays. They put on kimonos at a kimono rental shop and went to Ebisuya Rickshaw, where they got on their rickshaw with the help of the rickshaw-puller. When the rickshaw was raised, Moe was surprised and thought, “It felt like an amusement park attraction.” It was her first experience on a rickshaw. They both got a little nervous, as it moved faster than they expected. The puller who guided them had been pulling rickshaws for over 10 years.
Departing Ebisuya, they first visited Myohon-ji Temple, the oldest temple of the Nichiren sect. As they proceeded from the temple gate to the approach and got up the stone steps, they saw the magnificent Nitenmon. On the left side of the gate is Jikokuten with its mouth wide open saying “A”, and on the right side is Tamonten with its mouth closed saying “UN”.
The puller explained, “Have you ever heard of A-UN breathing (which means having a perfect chemistry)? When a person is born, one would have the mouth open saying ‘A’. When they die, they close the mouth with ‘UN.’ Like so, Jikokuten on the left represents birth and beginning, while Tamonten on the right represents death and ending. Since the gate is located between birth and death, it is told that only living people can pass through this gate.” After you pass through Nitenmon Gate, you will see a statue of Nichiren on the left, and on the right is Chozuya with water running from the mouth of a dragon. After cleaning your hands and mouth with the water, you pray before the Soshido. Throw money into the offering, put your palms together, bow, and pray “Nan-myohorenge-kyo”. It will make you feel refreshed.
A picture taken by the puller with the temple in the background. The puller is also great at taking pictures.
Saves workers from getting fired! Botamochi Temple (Joeiji Temple).
The puller’s amusing guidance continues, “Nichiren was sentenced to death for criticizing politics. On the way to the execution ground near Enoshima, a woman offered Botamochi (rice dumpling) to Nichiren. He went to the execution ground after eating the Botamochi. When the executioner wielded his sword, a lightning flashed, and the executioner was killed instead, calling off the execution. Botamochi kept Nichiren alive! Now here we are! This is the Botamochi Temple.” They arrived at Botamochi Temple (Official name: Joeiji Temple) as the puller finished telling the story.
“Believe it or not…people who are on the verge of getting fired come to Botamochi Temple to be saved. (Laughter).” The girls knew there were many shrines and temples in Kamakura, but riding in a rickshaw, they saw so many of them. According to the puller, there were as many as 160 shrines and temples in the Kamakura period. Kamakura has the highest density of temples and shrines in Japan. That’s why it’s perfect for a rickshaw tour. The puller introduces different sites with interesting episodes, so it’s easy to understand.
Vacation House Kohaku –AMBER-, located 2 minute walk from Zaimokuza Beach
The rickshaw then headed to Vacation House Kohaku –AMBER-, where the two will be staying. It’s nice to feel the warmth of the neighborhood, as the rickshaw puller greets the locals and cars give the rickshaw a way. Soon they saw the Zaimokuza coast up front. The weather was good and the sea was glittering, so they asked the puller to run along the coast. It is such a luxurious experience to watch the sea while riding a rickshaw. Among several Ebisuya locations in Japan, Kamakura is the only place that offers courses that run along the beach.
Just 2 minute walk from Zaimokuza Beach, you will find AMBER. As this is a 100-year-old private house, you can feel the history from the exterior. Slide the door to enter and go through the traditional doma, and you will be greeted by a large panda statue placed inside. The ceiling is high, the room is spacious, and the interior is stylish and Japanese modern.
“The Japanese ambiance is elegant and calming,” said Mari. The bath, jacuzzi, bathroom, kitchen and shower room are all equipped with the latest facilities. Moe said, “This would be a great place to stay with your family or for a girls’ night out.” They both seemed to be happy with the facility.
Watched the sunset of Shichirigahama and had dinner at Italian Bar Siciliana,
After changing into their clothes, they took a tea break at a cafe. This night they had a dinner reservation at the Italian Bar Siciliana in Shichirigahama, so they headed to Shichirigahama by Enoden. When they arrived at Shichirigahama Beach, they saw the orange sun setting over the sea. “Wow, so beautiful!” said the two who watched the sun go down. They took a walk until they got hungry, and went to Siciliana by the beach. Going up the stairs from the entrance, the white wall welcomed them, making them feel like they came to a restaurant in Italy. The restaurant offers an ocean view from the window and terrace seats. They thought a lot and finally ordered steamed Kamakura vegetables, fresh fish carpaccio of the day, kamaage shirasu (whitebait) and fresh tomato pizza, mussels steamed in white wine, and Bolognese spaghetti with minced octopus. They were very satisfied with the dishes and happy to try the delicious Kamakura vegetables and shirasu. They enjoyed the atmosphere while sipping on their wine.
“Next time, we should come in summer so we can play at the beach,” said Moe and Mari. For next summer, they are planning another girls’ trip in Kamakura.