Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Beach trip

Me and Henry had a lovely weekend in Kamakura and Yokohama. Kamakura is a beach town about 1 hour from Tokyo. It was the 1st capital of Japan in 1192. and it was a samurai government. There is a GIANT Buddha statue called Daibutsu that was cast in 1252 and originally located inside a large temple hall. However, the temple buildings were washed away by a tsunami tidal wave in the end of the 15th century, and since then the Buddha has stood in the open air.The statue is smaller than the Buddha statue in Nara, but this one was amazing, I think because of the beautiful scenery of mountains behind it.

As you can see there are heaps of people. This is a popular weekend spot for the Japanese, and its probably better to not come on the weekend. We only came on Sunday because it was meant to be better weather (we wanted to go swimming...more on that later). You can also go inside the Buddha for 20yen. Its amazing that they cast this almost 2000 years ago! Inside was some graffiti from 1870! Our photos didn't really work though, sorry.

Me and Henry in matching colours...by accident!

Kamakura is famous for having beautiful Hydrangeas at this time of year. So we stopped and looked at them for a bit.

Like my outfit?

Ok so as I mentioned this was a beach trip. Yes there are alot of temples in Kamakura, but really once you have seen 1 temple you have seen them all, and being good Aussies we really love the beach (well actually thats not true, we only started loving the beach after living in Tokyo for 9 months, we miss all this "Aussie" stuff we never or rarely did back home, like BBQ's in the park, going to the footy, pubs etc) The beach is called Yuigahama Beach and my students had all told me that Kamakura beach isn't clean, but I didn't believe them. They always say Tokyo is filthy when really its not, so I thought this was just another thing like that. Well no, this beach is DISGUSTING!!! I cant believe how filthy it was, I didn't think it was possible to have a beach so rank. There was trash everywhere, and strange half built shacks, no seagulls just menacing crows and a HAWK!!! Plus I almost stood on a used condom, and I searched for pictures on google of the beach and I found a photo of a GIANT VIBRATOR someone found on the beach!!! Ewwwww. Also the sand is black (from the inactive volcano) which isnt so bad (Tahiti had black sand in some areas...but here it just added to the ewwwness). There are also 3 storm water drains going straight into the water...It was really disappointing, because we were all excited to go swimming, but I put my legs in for 1 minute and had so much floating rubbish around my feet I couldn't move. So we sat on the sand, on our new beach towels wondering why this beach gets soooooo packed in summer. Who could swim there? Well I guess we have it good in Melbourne, with the exception of St Kilda beach, but even that has been cleaned up recently. The view out onto the water is pretty though. Lots of sufers and windsurfers and hills to the left. PLUS it was nice to see some open space!

Rusty boats


Nice view

One of the crows with the beach shacks behind

Below is the photo I found on google of what someone found on the beach here!


On Monday we went to Yokohama. Yokohama is the 2nd biggest city in Japan, just 30 mins from Tokyo. It has a Chinatown and some shopping malls and an amusement park called Cosmoworld. We went to Chinatown 1st. It wasnt very busy, and we couldnt find any vegetarian food, plus all the restaurants were very expensive. It wasnt as good as Melbournes Chinatown if you ask me. Melbourne's Chinatown is more real, like it has an organic feel to it, and it isnt just full of tacky giftshops. I would say that Melbs Chinatown is more like an Asiatown though, with Korean, Vietnamese and Japanese restaurants and shops. However it was fun to go see what its like, and eat some prawncrackers (heyyyyy they are the only meat product I ever eat!!!)

Dumpling street stall

Numchucks and instructions

Cool dudes

One of the many panda gift shops

A Chinese temple

Next we went to have a look at the harbour. Its very pretty.

Henry, looking fine and fashionable!

I bought this hat in Chinatown and it was about to blow off...hence the mad laughing crazed woman face!

After having a bite to eat and checking out some malls we went to Cosmoworld. I convinced Henry to go on the log flume ride. It was soooooo much fun! Its really really fast and it has 2 big drops into the water, and you hardly get wet. Henry was terrified and after the 1st drop told me he hated me and wanted to get off NOW! It made me laugh so much...poor Henry, he is such a wuss! I also went on the rollercoaster (alone) which is called Vanish, because the big dip takes you into a hole in the ground, so you vanish! Cosmoworld is really pretty, behind the park is a nice view of the city, and Japans tallest building, Landmark Tower, with the worlds fasted elevator at 45kph...we didnt go up to the observation deck on the 69th floor for exactly that reason...I HATE LIFTS!!! BUT I'm not scared of rollercoasters, wierd hey. I'm also terrified of ferris wheels, so we didnt go in this one, which is meant to be the worlds tallest Ferris wheel (I thought the one in Odaiba was. but thats Tokyo's tallest)

Cosmoworld by day

Cosmoworld by night

Me posing infront of the photo wall

Bad photo of the coaster going into the hole

Landmark Tower, the view from the park

Sayonara xxx


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