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Experiences in Asia


JAPAN | Monday, 20 February 2006 | Views [779] | Comments [5]



There is now a Vietnam pictures folder, as well as new pictures in the Tokyo folder. There is also a folder for Kamikura.  

On Sunday I was invited by Eriko to visit Kamakura. Eriko is Japanese, and although she was born on an island near Okinawa, she has lived in Tokyo for quite a bit, and so was the perfect person to fill me in on all things Kama. We met at 11am on Sunday and took the long train ride down to Kama. The journey took 2 hours all told, with a delay in between due to some problem with the track, but this was good for me because I had an opportunity to practise some Japanese.

Kamakura is a really nice place, just like the folk village in Suwon, Korea, and the Khmer settlements in Vietnam. There are bronze buddhas and what not, but because of this I had a feeling like I had seen it before, and it took me a while to get into it. However, on closer inspection, there were many things unique to Japan which were well worth seeing.

Kamakura was the capital of Japan from 1185 to 1333, and it is packed with culture, from temples to traditional shops. We spent the day wandering the shrines and climbing "into" the giant bronze buddha, which was a gift from the King of Thailand back in the day. The buddha, or Daibutsu is the most famous of sights in Kama. It was originally housed in a giant hall, but the hall was washed away by a Tsunami (a Japanese word I have since discovered) leaving it in the open. It weighs close to 850 tonnes, and the statue is 12 metres tall.

On our way back from the Daibutsu, I paid Y100 to get my fortune told. Basically, I handed over the cash and was given a short bamboo pole with which to shake until a straw came out. The straw had a number on it, and the number represents a card. My number was 59, so I got the english sheet with this number on. The fortune told me that I would have to be careful with studies, but that I would be successful in a recent business venture (job interview perhaps)? After reading the sheet, I carefully folded it and tied it together with the other papers.

After stopping for some Sushi, and a quick look at a volleyball game near the beach, we had a quick drink and then took the long train ride back to Tokyo.

In other news, the exam that I had on Friday went well (I think!) The writing was fairly easy, but I think I was a little too nervous for the speaking part of the test. This is a bit of a shame because, looking back, it was so easy! The questions were straight forward, and if I would have known that it was going to be that easy, I would have been relaxed enough to answer the questions with confidence. This is not to say that I totally messed it up (hopefully, far from it), but I hope that the next test that we have in a few weeks will be the same format because I will have more confidence to takle it more comprehesively.

Tags: Culture



The photos are excellent - Did you say a prayer for me? I DID SAY A PRAYER FOR THE FAMILY!

  marg Feb 21, 2006 6:15 AM


Dan, Very interesting and great photos again. Hope your Exams went well, I'm sure you worked hard for them. Everton contuinue steady progress out of danger and to who knows where, fingers crossed. Take care and keep up the blogging MM

  martin Feb 21, 2006 9:46 PM


Thanks for the messages, I think the credit for the photos must go to Eriko, who was constantly pointing out what would be a good picture, and what would not! Failing that, the new Canon camera I have makes it virtually impossible to take a bad picture. And who knows, with a few games left in the season, Everton for Europe perhaps?

  dan_in_japan Feb 22, 2006 10:34 AM


No I still haven't forgotten about you :) Your pictures of Vietnam make me look back with very fond memories. I'm in the real world again, just two weeks ago I returned to the Netherlands and I am living off my parents untill I find a job and a roof over my head. I am enjoying myself, catching up with friends and family, getting my driver's license, sorting out the thousands of pictures I shot, although in comparison to all of your exciting activities I'm doing nothing! Hope the exam results are good and you are well!

  eveline Feb 24, 2006 9:50 AM


Hello Evie, I'm glad to hear that you got back to the Orange country safe and well after your epic journey! Whats next? any job leads....?

  dan_in_japan Feb 28, 2006 10:33 AM

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