Our last day in Hiratsuka City dawned too bright to take photos, but as the day wore on storm clouds began rolling in over the ocean. Tatsuya took me on a hike up the big hill in town with a steep path, flowers growing in stumps, and totem poles. Sometimes I wonder which side of the Pacific I’m on.
Tatsuya and I set off down the seacoast road in the morning, enjoying the blues and greens of the water. We turned right and abruptly found ourselves heading for the mountains, astoundingly green, steep, and shrouded in mist.
Last week was the tail end of the Obon holidays, meaning many people had traveled home to visit their families and the graves of their ancestors. What with the the overnight BBQ in Okutama, and group leader having told Tatsuya to take me to his home prefecture and show me around, we felt no qualms taking off Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday to go explore the areas surrounding Tatsuya’s hometown in Kanagawa, the next prefecture south of Tokyo.
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We picked up Tatsuya’s best friend from middle school and set off to explore Kamakura, an oceanside town with a very Hawaiian-inspired surf culture.
It was astoundingly windy, but that didn’t prevent scores of surfers from dotting the small waves, hoping to catch a big one.
Kamakura is famous for its Daibutsu, or giant Buddha sculpture, the second-largest in Japan. Cast in 1252, it’s survived various storms and tsunamis, even though the temple that used to surround it is long gone.