On Thursday May 31 our class embarked on a journey to Kamakura. The day included independent walking tours around some of Japan's most peaceful and most prominent ancient temples. Originally, we were supposed to have a full day in Kamakura, but the day was cut, our group needed to recuperate from the many straight days of walking from dawn to dusk along with little sleep. Because of this, our professor, Jonathan Martin, decided to give us a half day; the first stop on our list was Tsurugoaka Hachiman-gu, the most important shinto shrine in all of Japan. From here we had some lunch and shopping in Kamakura followed by a visit to Daibutsu, erected in 1252. The statue being over 40 feet in height, this Buddha shrine is a powerful site. We were left to stay at this location as long as we liked, walking around, viewing the sculpture and walking around in the extremely beautiful woods that surrounded the statue. Both of these powerful symbols were unbelievable, but unfortunately it seemed to be field trip day, hundreds of elementary school children were running around asking to take pictures with us almost at every minute. This made it a bit hard to concentrate on the powerful symbols that lay before me, fortunately the spaces in which these symbols occupied had peaceful areas (those being the woods, or a creek) that made it easier for me to find my "zen'. I did eventually find my inner calmness at both of these locations, although I did not find it while looking at the statues, as I would have hoped. That brings up the question to me of, did I find my inner peace because I was in the woods by myself or did these symbols somehow have a role in my finding of my "peace" although I may have not been directly looking at them. I do not know the answer to this question, but here are the pictures to prove it.
Shinkuju station, one of the largest subway stations in the world, here is my take on how I feel in this station
Girl shopping in a store by Tsurugoaka Hachiman-gu, Kamakura
Lady praying inside Tsurugoaka Hachiman-gu
The distractions from me finding my "inner peace"
Shop owner, Kamakura