Astute readers of my weblog may have noticed that I was recently in Japan. Astute or not, it is hard to hide the fact that I have a great fondness for things kelp-flavoured and sea-weed covered.
You could make the leap of faith and suggest that in some past life I was Japanese. It wouldn't even be a leap too far—a vague knowledge of my childhood, talents, outwardly repressed but-bordering-on-near-obsessive intensity, and these days quaint sense of the polite and socially harmonious is so obvious, that, at least an in-transit Japanese stopover during the many millennia round-the-world ticket that is the soul's journey should be a given...
Exploring these themes in the proper depth they require I will leave for another day. For now the destination is the temple town of Kamakura, a popular coastal tourist attraction in Kanagawa prefecture called in some guides "The Kyoto of Eastern Japan", and less than an hour's drive south of Toyko.
Indulging my love of history and maybe the reader's patience further, Kamakura became the political centre of Japan over eight hundred years ago when Minamoto Yoritomo based his shogunate there, and the hundreds of temples, palaces and statues—almost but not quite as prolific as iced coffee vending machines—are the resulting legacy.
You can view my Kamakura gallery of photos here.