And here is the story about how this boat is joining forces with the Sea Shepherd expedition to harassment Japanese whalers.
Of course the sponsorship predates this announcement. I predict some rapid strategic re-painting.
The other day we found a shrine not on the Kamakura tourist map. Too small to be included I suppose, but google maps on my iphone knew it was there. It had some nice carvings, and the gargoyles were rather cute and only slightly scary.
Thirteen years ago on midsummer's day, James and I got wedded. It has taken me a whole week to take a half-decent photo of him, to show you just how well marriage has suited him.
Unlike some, these tiny flowers have real character. I have previously seen them flowering colourfully in the cracks between ancient flagstones that pave temple grounds. These ones were found dangling elegantly from one of the pots in our "garden". The next day they were completely gone, thanks to an overnight rainshower.
B is for butterfly but the blue pattern on its wings makes a V in this picture. The Japanese for V is Bwee. It gets even more confusing when bwegetarian lunch at the canteen is described as stuffed pork parcels.
Nothing stops the touristic fun in Kamakura. Noon on Sunday, the rain had just decreased from tipping buckets to merely torrential.
While it seems the beauty ideal for most Japanese is the anorexic twig, I much prefer the look of the well toned outdoorsy guys and gals who pull the rickshaws.
Super cool salary man brightening up the toxic waste dump part of town.
[photo taken by iphone while riding bicycle]
Next century technology and medieval culture. You already knew that, but it still keeps us entertained each day.
Actually it isn't true. Rather we had a huge rave at Hotel Okura, one of the top 3 hotels in Tokyo. And I improved my minor-royalty number by one point.
Put off by the photo showing a huge throng packed into a small hall, I convinced James to not to go all the way to Tokyo for the Beer Festival last weekend. Instead we went to the Kamakura Beer Festival, attended by two people and held in our lounge. I suppose it was a bit lame compared to the real thing, sampling only 7 beers from a single company, but Kamakura beer is particularly good. I see their website currently sports a picture of some....hydrangea.... there is no escape....
If you want to see as many hydrangea varieties as possible, covering several diferent shapes and the whole (pastel) rainbow then Hase-Dera (near the Daibutsu) is the place to go. If, on the otherhand, you want blue blob overload then Meigetsuin (yesterday's photo) is not to be missed. Expect queues at both places.
Even for those who don't appreciate ajisai sufficiently this is a precious shot of a a famous view at Megetsuin in Kita-Kamakura. It was taken at 8.25am yesterday, just before the full bloom was announced on the TV. When such things are announced on the TV, the whole of Tokyo comes to visit Kamakura. Luckily we're heading out to Tokyo this weekend.
Proper flowers have architecture (like the passion flower), or they might have striking colours, or patterns or interesting smells. After all the idea is blatant advertising; they want the insects to visit them rather than some other flower. Then there is the hydrangea (ajisai). Flat little flowers that form amorphous blobs of pastel. I hate pastel. But in rainy season we must worship the hydrangea. You have been warned.
In its prime, our passion flower has had at least 60 flowers at once but last year the damp got the better of it, and one of the main branches died. The flowers it does have are, however, no less remarkable than before.
The classic view of Hachimangu in Kamakura is something like this (only better, of course). Without serious cropping it's only possible with a long lens, since as you move closer to the buildings, the higher one become hidden.
Two armies ready for battle? Three hundred samurai killed each other here at Sugimotodera, the oldest temple in Kamakura. It's an interesting place for a battle with not much flat ground on the otherwise steep hillside. These gorinto are for the repose of the dead samurai.
I find it helps to put these things in the context of what was going on elsewhere in the world at the time. So here goes. The battle occurred fifteen years before Corpus was founded, while the legends say that the temple was founded around 100 years before Alfred the Great didn't found Univ.
Some things in Kamakura are huge: the insects, the bamboo, the spiders, the butterflies, some of the trees... and the daisies. Even more excitingly, Lan's lens has learned to focus proper like.