My friends and I went to Kamakura to visit the infamous giant Buddha and the infamous blogger, half-breed, Texan hottie (our friend) Lisa. We couldn't have chosen a better day ;)
We left cozy little Heiwadai around 9am and got to Kamakura at about 10:30ish. It was a long haul on the Shonan-Shinjuku line... we were standing for a while before some seats finally freed up around Yokohama (more than half way to Kamakura).
But oh, when we got there... I'm going to tell you all right now that if you're cool enough to get some omiyage from me-- it's likely going to be purchased in Kamakura! The shopping street next to the train station is STACKED. There are touristy, kitschy, buddha-y and foodie things by the TRUCKLOAD so I'm definitely making a second pilgrimage before coming home.
Buddha pillows! Haha!
I FINALLY FOUND RAIN BOOTS. Just in time for the rainy season (which starts next week... ugh). They're exactly what I wanted: short, sweet, and leopard print! AND THEY FIT-- AMAZINGLY. Japanese people have tinier feet than Chinese people-- guaranteed. They don't even have to wrap them. You have no idea how desperately I searched in vain for shoes that fit my ogreish feet, and rain boots are especially difficult because not only do Japanese people have tiny feet-- they have tiny calves. Calves so small, I can't get my wrist into most boots. These boots were not only a find-- they were a flippin' STEAL. 1500円 baby! SCOOOOOOORRRRREEEEEE! Oh wait-- it's the world cup right now.
Here's some ice cream on the way up to the Buddha. Maccha means green tea... but this flavor is called Obamaccha flavor because Obama apparently enjoyed it when he was last here. It was delicious, so the President definitely has some good taste. He must also be able to eat fast because that ice cream melted faster than the polar ice caps when I ate it. (Hah!)
Washin' up before sayin' what up to the Buddha.
Look at the size of it! It's MASSIVE!
It really is a sight to see. For 200円 it's not bad.
Contrary to my photos, there were TONS of people standing in front of this thing taking pictures with it and of it. I must have been in about 20 peoples' pictures because of the insane photo crossfire that hits this thing from EVERY angle.
My friend Mehron commented that he didn't really feel spiritual standing in front of the Buddha. It was the same feeling I got while visiting Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) in Kyoto. Both these places were once spiritual grounds, but these days it only matters that you have a picture of them for your Christmas card. Think about that next time one of your Sansei friends sends one of those things over come November. "Look at how Japanese we are! Merry Christmas 2010!"
Then we went to get lunch at this cold udon place. MANNNN it was GOOD!
Mmm cold udon and dashi with green onions, ginger and sesame.
My friend Mehron ordered this unintentionally phallic lunch. This is called Daibutsudon, literally Buddha udon. Although in my opinion, it looks a little like something else... heh heh...
After that, we headed towards Fujisawa to look at the gorgeous place where Lisa lives. It was so breathtaking that I couldn't even bring myself to take a shoddy picture of it because it wouldn't do it justice. I was so happy to see the ocean though. Growing up in LA really makes you appreciate the healing power of the ocean. It was so refreshing to smell the sea salt in the air, to feel the sun warming my shoulders, and to be surrounded by good friends. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect day to be living in Japan.