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Published: September 26th 2016
Three meals in one day plus snacks in Kamakura. It's like a holiday!
When somewhere we're staying includes breakfast I get a tad excited. Knowing I may not be able to eat again until tea time exacerbates the excitement so imagine how much I was looking forward to my first free breakfast in Japan.
So when there were dry bread rolls and a few pastries that I don't particularly like and give me heartburn anyway....
There was hot coffee and some strange tasting juice but with no butter or jam etc everything was very dry and quite unappealing despite the lovely smell. There were no westerners there other than us but people of other descent were wolfing it down like there was no tomorrow. I suspect some were foreign workers who may not be able to afford food later in the day which makes it understandable but they deserve better.
They also deserve to be told where the showers are....there were definitely none on our floor and we suspect the onsen was the only option. Which was miles away. So we washed at the sink-just don't tell anyone we
haven't showered properly eh....
The shuttle bus didn't start for a while so we walked down to the bus stop thankful we hadn't packed as much as we usually do. The bus to Odawara station wended its way down bendy roads and eventually dropped us at our destination. The buses here are quite expensive so do look out for the inclusive pass they sell. We didn't think it would be worth it for us but maybe it would have been so, if you're coming here, take note that just that last bus journey cost us 830¥ each which is about £6.50.
Looking confused at a railway station is something we excel at. We are getting really good at it now. When the train route has stations all written in kanji I can't see any alternative. I know some hiragana and can sometimes work out the rest but kanji is a whole different ball game. When you go off the beaten track things get difficult but our looking confused finally got us the help we required and we are now sat upstairs on a double decker train heading, hopefully, to the right place. My Dad
will be so jealous of my train journeys let alone anything else on this holiday!
Pretty soon we will be looking confused at a railway station.
Or not! Straight on the next train no messing and we made it to Kamakura station no problem.
We popped into tourist info to see what bus to catch and showed them where we were staying. We are staying at somewhere we booked on Airbnb so it's actually someone's home. Finding addresses in Japan isn't as easy as anywhere else so we confused the hell out of the staff. They were very good though and photocopied maps of the district for us as well as pointing us in the direction of the right bus.
The right bus took us to the right place and then Claire followed pictures taken on Google maps when we had internet to get us to our destination. And she did an excellent job meaning we were soon at Kamakura vegetarian house. Where three cats are supposed to live. Maybe you can see why I booked it....especially as there is no alcohol allowed so two things for Claire
and one for me.
One cat was seen as we dropped off our bags and then headed for a shrine with a bamboo grove. Two for the price of one! It took a while but we eventually found Hokoku-ji and took some time taking pictures in the bamboo. The shrine was pretty much the same as other shrines we've seen but it was bamboo we were after. Claire got so excited she put the go-pro on her head which all the locals thought was the best thing they'd ever seen and must be the height of fashion. Or maybe they didn't...
In a bizarre occurrence Claire said I was allowed lunch at lunchtime so I rushed us into a restaurant not realising it was Spanish food...sort of. The meatballs were nice but, funnily enough, it was Japanese food I'd been after. Ah well, after breakfast anything would have been an improvement.
And at least I was allowed to eat.
It was while we were eating that we realised we hadn't booked enough nights accommodation. We've spent months planning this but only booked the room in Tokyo up until
Thursday night when we don't fly back until Saturday afternoon. Pretty sure this was my fault as I sorted the accommodation but I have now booked an extra night at the place in Tokyo. And we have more time in Tokyo than we thought!
Next stop today, the big buddha. Well back to town first as all buses eminate from the train station. And then on the right bus. But go too far so get off and go back on another bus but don't go far enough and walk one stop further to big buddha. Easy peasy.
The big buddha is pretty big and you could pay an extra 20¥ to go inside which was interesting but very hot. It is very hot around here and we have no aircon for the first time so that fan will not be oscillating after Claire goes to sleep....shhh.....
We spent some time taking pictures as is our wont. There are many other shrines around here but most have been very similar so we fancied a walk along the beach which is what we did. On the way I was allowed a snack which
was a local sardine fishball delicacy and was delicious. THEN I was allowed some gelato but I think I was being spoilt as Claire was making up for spending more money on cat souvenirs.
The beach wasn't very scenic but there were people surfing and some huge birds of prey so we spent a while taking pictures. Claire paddled in the sea and we walked across the sand for a bit and it was all most convivial.
We then headed inland and found a sushi restaurant where we were happy to be the only westerners. Is it only me who gets a bits dismayed when they realise other westerners are there? Oh...just me then.....oops....apologies whole of western civilization.... Mind you then I have nothing to whinge about here. Not one Japanese person has wound me up in the slightest so my usual rants have been somewhat absent!
We managed to fill ouselves up and have a drink each, plus tea of course, for just £16 which is far cheaper than Yo Sushi! Claire had a little bit of choice too which was nice. Not as much as that place in Kyoto
but still a bonus after the last few days.
It was dark now and time to head home, well to the bus station anyway. We wandered along what we thought was the right road before noticing a bus coming the other way that was heading for....the station. Yep, we'd missed the station. An entire bus and train station. We walked on to the next bus stop and realised we may as well carry on walking so we soldiered on to the end of the line before Claire redeemed herself by directing us back to where we are staying.
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