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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The other Pacific

OK…so on the last post, I said that we were headed for Hakone...which is kinda’ accurate only that is where we ended the day. To get to Hakone, let’s first talk about the journey.

Departing Tokyo, we boarded the bus for Kamakura, the former capital of Japan over 1000 years ago, where we made our first stop, a Shinto shrine, Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu . Here, we saw white pigeons eating from people’s hands, turtles comingling with koi, beetles five inches long, and listened to countless cicada songs…all before we experienced the shrine itself. On the way up to the shrine, Coach John challenged a number of the kids in a race to the top and dominated the entire way. The shrine was cool too!

From there, we took a quick bus ride to The Great Buddha in Kamakura. The Buddha is made of bronze and is hollow out to allow patrons to enter the center. As if it could not be any hotter, the inside of the Buddha might be 20 degrees hotter. Aside from the heat, it was definitely a cool experience.

The last stop in the Hakone region included a stop at the Hasedera Temple. The top of the temple area gave us our first view of the other side of the Pacific; and an amazing coastal breeze!

Finally, as stated in the intro, after a longer, coastal, bus ride featuring some AMAZING conversations from the back of the bus, we ended in Hakone. Our accommodations for the night is a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn. At check-in, we were all given yukadas to wear while here, which gives us all an even greater experience!
It’s now 8:45 PM locale time and we’re all beat. Tomorrow we’ll start the journey to meet our host families in Toyonaka. Until then, Oyasuminasai!

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