A few days after Haruichiban, the first strong southern wind of the year blew, I went to Kamakura to take a walk from Kita-Kamakura to Kamakura. I got on the train to Ofuna at 10:10 at Ishikawa-Cho station and changed the line to Kita-Kamakura. It was just half an hour of train ride. it was cloudy all day. But, it was not windy and warmer for February, the coldest month of the year.

Statue of The Great King Yama at Ennoji Temple

I started to walk from Kita-Kamakura toward Kamakura along the road. Within 20 minutes, I arrived Ennoji Temple, which enshrines the statue of Emma, the great king Yama, who is believed to be the judge of afterlife. In Buddhism, it is believed everyone who died will stand trial on their behavior during their life. Yama will decide whether you can go to Heaven or hell after series of long and detailed interrogations. If you acknowledged your past misdeeds and swore to reform in front of the statue, you would not be questioned about what you had done. I saw a lot of people, man and women, young and old, come this temple and pray seriously. I found statues of deities are placed in the hall. One of them is Bodhisattva who intercedes with Yama for you. It is interesting to me that they have a Our Lady in Buddhism.

Kenchin Soba noodle at a Kita-Kamakura’s restaurant

I left the temple and decided to have lunch early before Noon. There was Soba Buckwheat noodle shop near Kenchoji Temple. where Kenchin Jiru, or Chinese Vegetarian soup is believed to be invented by their chefs. I ordered Kenchin Soba. I contains Daikon radish, carrots, other winter vegetables and soba noodle in a hot soy sauce based soup. It tasted good and made my cold body warm.

Road to Zeniarai Benzaiten. It leads through Genji yama Koen Park

After lunch, I headed to Zeniarai Benzaiten through the Kamegayatsuzaka pass, where the narrow winding road was carved out of the mountain in the medieval age. People come to the shrine to pray for their monetary fortune. They believe money would come back multiplied when you used the bank notes rinsed by spring in the shrine. In the precinct there was a Ume plum tree in full bloom. I could feel the spring is not far.

Zeniarai Benzaiten Shrine

I walked down to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine. There I had a hot Amazake, a sweed drink made of fermented rice and decided to end the walk there. It was around 4 o’clock. I am not sure how long I walked in total. It was quite a good walk.