Note: Apparently, this has been in my queue for almost two years and it was never published! I’m so sorry! Enjoy 🙂
☆ To see all of the parts in this series, click here ☆
O hisashiburi desu ne! (It’s been a while, hasn’t it!) I realized that it’s been a while since I’ve continued the story about my first crazy year in Japan. There’s still quite a bit to say!
It wasn’t long after I moved into my new apartment in Shinjuku before something else exciting happened to me. Do you remember how the father of one of the members of the NaB’s (Kenn’s band) approached my friends and I after a concert and started chatting with us? Well, it turns out that this was a friendship waiting to blossom.. or something like that. 🙂
The family (of member Karl, the guitarist) lived in Kamakura, which is a really famous sightseeing spot south of Tokyo, and one day, Mr. K invited my friends and I to come and see the area and spend the day with his family. A guided tour by a local family… and with one of the NaB’s?! How could we refuse?!
So, on July 24th, Eda, Aloni, Ale, and I boarded the train for Kamakura!
We had a great time joking around on the way down. Kamakura is about an hour from Tokyo by train, and there are special express trains that head down to the area.
Mr. K took us into the grounds of a famous shrine there. It was my first time in a Japanese temple.. I suppose the fact that it took almost a year says a lot about my priorities (It took me two days to find the anime and BL shops). ^o^;;
It was really hot and humid, but overcast, which is fairly typical of the Kanto area of Japan during the peak of summer. I never did get used to the humidity! Anyways, the grounds were really green and serene. If it wasn’t for us joking around so much, it might have been a really relaxing place to be.
Little K, Karl’s younger brother, was so adorable! This was back in 2005. I heard later that he became a child model, and it’s a bit scary to think that he’d be in his late teens now! I’m not sure what happened, as after a few years, we lost touch with the family. Maybe, maybe they’re reading my blog right now? Please get in touch with me and let’s reminisce! (Mr. K spoke English pretty well)
Here are supposedly Buddha’s feet. I wonder if he had trouble buying shoes.
The shrine was up on a hill, so the view out over Kamakura city was really beautiful.
Aloni at the scenic lookout. She’s always been so pretty!
Me, Karl, Mr. K, Aloni, Ale, and Eda. I look the most retarded.. I had to rush to squeeze in, but I suppose that my expression sums up my personality pretty much– silly and fun!
Next, we visited the giant buddha that Kamakura is famous for. I wouldn’t go back for more than 7 years, when I took my girlfriend at the time!
We also went inside of Buddha, and discovered (as Eda put it) that he was full of zen. In other words, completely empty of all thought! This shot is looking up into his head. 🙂
Call me crazy, but I think that he and I are almost the same size! I was yet to learn of the pain that is shopping for size 11 shoes in Japan. :/
Buddha is one sexy guy! That’s a lot of cleavage!
It was hot, hot, hot! But then, as we were walking on the pavillion, something happened….
A big earthquake!!! Having lived in California as a kid, I was used to earthquakes to a point, but it was the first time that I’d ever been in one that caused the sidewalk to sway and buckle beneath me!
But, it’s a testament to Japan that while everyone stopped for a moment and there was a general murmur of “whoa….,” everyone just went on about their business a few moments later.
Next, we went to a shrine where you can wash your money for good luck. (It didn’t work!)
You pass paper money through the incense, though.
In case washing your money didn’t work, this shrine also sold fortunes in vending machines. Japan sells everything in vending machines.. except candy! I said that this was weird at the time, but now I just think that it’s Japan. How the US does it isn’t “normal,” it’s just a different way of doing things!
That’s probably one of the biggest changes that came from living abroad. There is no “normal” anymore, just various ways.
This was taken by Mr. K, and it’s one of my favorite pictures of myself from back then, for some reason. I didn’t really like the way that I looked, but this is sorta cute!
We ended the day with some silliness….
…and Hawaiian burgers! I had no idea at the time that Hawaii would ever be a place that I’d want to be. In fact, I was starting to think that maybe, just maybe, Japan was going to be my forever home.
Ahhh, I barely remember this day, to be honest! What did we talk about? Where exactly were these shrines in Kamakura? I had no idea. It’s like looking back at photos and only vaguely having any recollections that you were there.
I wonder if the details are buried in my subconscious, or if they are forever gone… have any of you ever been to Kamakura?? Would you want to?