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May 21, 2005

Update and More Pictures

Not much to report this week, except the purchase of a new (to us) car. It's a '95 Toyota Caldina station wagon that we bought from a friend on Melody's boat. At 2$K, it was a pretty good deal. It's only got about 40K km on it, too. Most of the driving around here is local. For instance, it is about 26 km from where we live to work. Now, one would think that it should be just a quick jaunt up the road to get there, and take, oh, 20 min or so. Not the case. If I leave at 5:30 AM, I get to work at about 6:25. Coming home in the evening is worse...about an hour and a half. But, it's just the price to pay so that Melodyh and I can live in the same house, and it's well worth it. Still, I'll be taking the train (even though it takes about 1.5 hrs) a few times a week, b/c it's more relaxing, and I enjoy the walk to and from work. A little fresh air and exercise, you know...

At the risk of jinxing myself, I'm getting the hang of driving on the wrong side of the road, too. It took less time than I thought it would, especially after all the driving experience in KSA. Driving however you want, fast, slow, passing on the right, driving the "Inshallah Lane"...all those habits apparently weren't too deeply ingrained, as I've been able to get around fine. It's still strange, but not too bad.

Now, some pictures from the day I found my first Geocache.

Lion along the way to Hachimangu Shrine
Canon 20D 1 May 05 004.jpg

Rickshaw Driver in Kamakura...these guys make a living by pulling tourists around. They wear these cool looking "ninja" shoes with a split toe sole.
Canon 20D 1 May 05 006.jpg

The first stop was Kenjoji Temple, the start point for finding the Geocache. Hanging from the temple was this sign...not sure what it said, but it was probably enlightening (since this was a Zen Buddhist Temple).
Canon 20D 1 May 05 009.jpg

A serene Zen Garden
Canon 20D 1 May 05 013.jpg

Bamboo Forest
Canon 20D 1 May 05 016.jpg

Scary Bird Man...I think he was there to try to convince me not to try to find the geocache.
Canon 20D 1 May 05 020.jpg

The first part of the trail was straight up a bunch of stairs. Once at the top, the trail followed a ridgeline for about a kilometer or so. Along the way were some nice views of Kenjoji Temple and beyond.
Canon 20D 1 May 05 021.jpg

Along the way, the trail was lined with steep (vertical) drop offs...Sort of hard to see in this picture, but the trail edge just dropped straight down for tens of feet.
Canon 20D 1 May 05 023.jpg

Up along the ridge was a small shrine to Buddha. People will come along and make offerings of saki. Saki, because it is made from rice, is considered to be a holy drink.
Canon 20D 1 May 05 024.jpg

After finding the cache at the base of a high tension wire (humming with electricity), I headed back down the trail to town. Once out of the woods, the road led to a small shrine just outside of Kamakura. At the Kamakura-gu Shrine, there was a place where one could buy a small clay dish and break it on a rock. I'm not sure what that was for, but folks seemed to be getting into it...
Canon 20D 1 May 05 028.jpg

Kamakura-gu Shrine
Canon 20D 1 May 05 026.jpg

All in all, it was a great day...a chance to get out and enjoy the nice weather, get some good exercise wandering around in the woods, see a few more places in Kamakura, my new home town, and find my first Geocache. If you enjoy being outdoors, like to play hide and seek or do scavenger hunts, you'll love this sport.

Posted by djf on May 21, 2005 05:57 AM
Category: Dave in Japan


HOWDY! What's going on? I like the items and pictures that you post on your site. Your parents will be here in Florida tomorrow 5/27/05.

Sent you an email two weeks ago. Don't know of you got it, or if it became lost in cyberspace. I'm thinking of coming to visit you in 6-9 months from now. Let me know how that would work for you.

Your cuz,

Posted by: Richmond HJ Garwood on May 27, 2005 05:46 AM
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