A few days ago I posted some photos of Lake Sagamiko, and here are some more from that series. Every year at the Lake Sagami Pleasure Forest resort area there is a big illumination event at the fairground. The rides are lit up and the park attracts large crowds despite the entrance fee and the winter cold. The ferris wheel up on top of the hill looks particularly spectacular when approached from below. The lines for the rides were pretty long though, much too long for me! Read more about how to get there from Tokyo in this post.
The great Buddhists temple of Hasedera in the city of Kamakura to the south west of Tokyo has one of the greatest prayer wheels (マニ車 in Japanese) that I have ever seen in Japan. Housed in its own protective building, the house is centered on a giant prayer wheel made in wood joinery itself housing tens of thousands of handwritten pray slips, visible when the little door in the walls and the wheel itself are open. On the 18th of every month the wheel may be turned by members of the public, but on other days ordinary people can still use the prayer wheels attached to the walls. Prayer wheels are common in Tibetan Buddhism where the act of spinning a wheel containing a prayer is considered having the same effect as saying the prayer itself. Naturally one spin on this wheel is worth several weeks of actual praying!
The other weekend I visited Yuigahama Beach in Kamakura City to the south of Tokyo. Despite the cold winds and the chilly temperature in the ocean there were lots of surfers – just as usual. It is always interesting to go down there with a longer lens, something you can’t really do in summer for obvious reasons. A curious gentleman crow tried to join but as any beach goes knows, one does not bring for to the beaches of Japan! The crows are not as bad, it is the kites circling above you are more worried about.
The three square kilometer Lake Sagami in Sagamihara City in Kanagawa Prefecture has a comparatively short history, having only existed since 1947 when the Sagami River was damned. Its biggest claim to fame is that it was the venue for the canoeing events in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. The Japanese economy was desperate for electricity after the war and to compensate the local fishing families whose income was ruined by the creation of the lake they were given economic rights to boating on the lake which is now inhabited by black bass who are notoriously difficult to catch in this lake.
I stumbled around up a large hill to the south east of the lake to take these pictures after sunset, at the Lake Sagami Pleasure Forest resort area. The lake is accessible by the Sagamiko station on the Chuo main line.