A couple of weeks ago I spent a few minutes looking out at the sea from Yuigahama Beach in Kamakura city just south of Tokyo. The beach faces south so you are always going to see the sun over the ocean from this point, I always wonder what Kamakura would like like from a boat in the ocean? Someday I need to find myself a spot on one of those boats I sometimes see on the horizon here. It’s an unseasonably cold early April afternoon but already some windsurfers and surfers are out there.
Probably the biggest and most famous temple in Kawasaki city right on the south western border with Tokyo is the Kawasaki Daishi. It is a huge temple complex divided into several different parts, one of which is dedicated to traffic safety and cars! The temple building itself is a modernistic almost south east asian looking building in the middle of a huge parking lot where cars are staged in group depending on their order of taking part in the ceremony. Once an hour monks hold a ceremony praying for the safety and good fortune of the cars and their passengers and most people who have their cars blessed do so once a year. The ceremony itself costs 5000 yen but it is customary to give an additional donation to the temple when you return. Cars thus blessed gets a small bumper sticker that looks quite neat. You can see it on the temple’s home page. I was very lucky with the weather this day!
Feeding birds seems to be an almost universal pastime for the elderly of all nations on Earth. Here is a gentleman that I met in Yokohama who was kind enough to allow my photography as he was feeding the local gulls one fine afternoon in the sun. When I get to be his age I hope I can return the favor and do my share of bird feeding as well!
Here’s some more photos of the beautiful Futakotamagawa area on the southern end of Tokyo, right on the border with Kawasaki city in Kanagawa Prefecture. The river is called Tamagawa or Tama River, and is 138km long starting in Yamanashi prefecture and then winding its way between Kanagawa prefecture and Tokyo. The reason there is so much open space on the sides of the river is because it sometimes grows quickly in times of massive rains or typhoons, but since the levee was upgraded in 1974 it hasn’t actually broken through. In the 1950′s the river was famously one of the most polluted rivers in the country but since then there’s been a large effort by the government to clean it up and today it is again possible to fish in the river and even see some wildlife like turtles, carp fish, birds and once in 2002, a seal. It is actually really nice to walk some undeveloped land right here in the middle of one of the most densely populated urban areas in the world!