Kamakura: Hasedera Temple

Monday, April 18th, Kamakura

After lunch, we went to the Hasedera temple – one of the few places I had flagged as a must-see. This temple is known for its collection of statues of Jizo, the incarnation of the Buddha that consoles lost souls, especially miscarried an stillborn children. This was an emotional place for me. Firstly, the garden at the lower level was lush and beautiful, filled with flowers. Different than I was expecting, much less somber. Overcast sky made all the colors glow. Up the stairs and to the left is the shrine to Jizo. Hundreds, maybe thousands of Jizo statues in three sizes – reinforced that we are not alone in this experience. Offerings of baby clothes, food and utensils very poignant. Cried a bit, took many photos, and lit a candle for the two little ones we lost.

Spent some time in the upper level also – large Kannon, wisteria blooming in a small garden, bamboo grove. View out to the sea across rooftops – beautiful, muted palette. Signs warning about kites stealing food. Stayed until a little past closing time, wound our way back down the hill and through the cave.

Rain held off all afternoon, but started up on our walk back to the hotel. Short stop for coffee in a german-themed cafe. Beautiful dogwood branches waiting to be arranged. Leisurely walk back to the center of town and our hotel for a little rest before dinner.

For dinner, we met Keiji and Jim Boggia, who had just arrived from the U.S. Dinner at a wood-fired pizza place – pretty good pizza. Jim used to work at Ensonic so he and Dan had some friends in common. Jim’s position there is very likely the one Dan’s original job at Korg was modeled on.

Visit next day:

Hasedera was busier this time, and the light wasn’t quite as good, but it was still nice to have a chance to shoot it again. Spent some time on the flowers and gardens on the lower level, then more in the Jizo shrine and the upper level with the bamboo grove. No emotional reaction to the Jizo area this time, so maybe the intial visit did achieve the goal I had in mind for it.