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Tokyo Getaway: Engakuji Temple, Kamakura

By the time we were done with visiting Tsurugaoka Hachiman shrine, it was close to noon, and temperatures were creeping up to become mildly warm.

From the shrine, we took a long sweaty hike to the next temple, Engakuji Temple, the second of Kamukura’s leading five Zen temples. You can tell that the temple is Zen from the austere-looking wooden gate.

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^ I can imagine how beautiful the view from this angle would be during the height of autumn, when all the leaves of the trees turn red, gold and yellow.

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^ Sanmon. The imposing main gate to the temple.  We saw a number of people sitting around the gate, painting.

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^ Butsuden, the main hall of the temple.

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^ There were a number of people sitting in the temple grounds, sketching and painting on their own. It must be very therapeutic painting in the outdoors in such beautiful and quiet surroundings, especially in relatively cool weather.

Elegant-looking Japanese middle-aged ladies painting away in their big, lovely hats against a backdrop of centuries-old wooden temples and trees make such a pretty picture.

Quite a few people I know have taken up social painting as a pastime, but the venue is an indoor one. They have invited me to join them but…unfortunately, I am painting-challenged (despite having a grandfather who draws beautifully).

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^ Engakuji’s bronze temple bell. It is the largest bell in Kamakura and designated as a National Treasure.

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^ More rosy-cheeked school-going kids on excusions! Some of them make very adorable faces when asked to pose for pictures.

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