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Kamakura the first

Almost two weeks ago, @Maciamo and I ventured into the city of Kamakura, south of Tokyo. Kamakura has been the de facto capital of Japan from 1192 to 1333 and the seat of the first shogunate founded by Minamoto no Yoritomo during what has been coined - no surprise here - the Kamakura Period. Visitors, whether foreign tourists or residents, usually spend a day or just an afternoon there, shuttling between the city's most famous sites, the Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū, Hase-dera with its golden Kannon statue, and the Kōtoku-in with the famous Great Buddha of Kamakura, followed by sushi and ice-cream before heading back. That is quite a shame, as the city has a lot more to offer: hidden shrines and serene temples, many of which are off the beaten tourist tracks, as well as mysterious mountain passes and centuries of epic history.

That Saturday two weeks ago, we had the great pleasure to meet Francesco Baldessari, a Kamakura resident of almost thirty years who has explored every corner of town. Francesco's knowledge of Kamakura's historical and cultural intricacies is unparalleled and I cannot recommend his Historical Guide enough (don't worry clicking, it is not an affiliate link). Francesco is very active on Quora and acts as a Wikipedia editor, mainly on the topics of Kamakura and Buddhism. He was kind enough to show us around Asahina Pass (one of the "Seven Gates" of Kamakura) and Kumano Shrine.

Below a few photos taken on that day, we are planning to publish more detailed articles on Kamakura in the near future.

Cherry blossoms at Engaku-ji:


Myoho-ji (with its "mossy stairs):


Asahina Pass:

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enchanting in a small way, of showing emotions within your pictures


Thomas, thanks for sharing. Very beautiful and deep pictures of the spirit of this beautiful country. I could just meditate under the umbrella of its natural surroundings.

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