Right now I’m sitting at the library for the 10th day in a row, typing away on yet another paper out of the many papers that all seem so easy at the beginning of the semester, but so incredibly long and complicated when the end of the semester hits. I handed in my first paper yesterday, and number two is due tomorrow. In my moments of silence – in between desperate googling and library searching for sources I can’t locate – I find myself scrolling through the photos from the last year.
Like last year, this has been another good one for my travel diary. I’ve added new stamps to my passport, shared beer with new friends in new bars in new cities, and visited temples and museums on calm Sunday mornings. One of this year’s Sunday’s started with breakfast in Harajuku, before hopping a train out of Tokyo towards Yokohama.
Yokohama is the second-largest city in Japan (by population), even though it is usually counted as part of Tokyo and placed in the number one spot on most of those “Largest cities in the world”-lists.
I takes you about 45 minutes to get from Shinjuku Station in Tokyo to Yokohama Station. Bring a book, or play games on your phone like everyone else.
Once we got there we had a quick lunch at the station, before heading out of the city for some fresh country air.
Our destination? Engaku-ji Temple in Kamakura.
The temple is situated very close to the train station and the railway. So close in fact that you have to cross the rails a couple of times to get to the temple.
According to Wikipedia: “Zuirokuzan Engaku Kōshō Zenji (瑞鹿山円覚興聖禅寺), or Engaku-ji (円覚寺), is one of the most important Zen Buddhist temple complexes in Japan and is ranked second among Kamakura’s Five Mountains.” The temple was founded in 1282 by a Chinese monk at the request of the Japanese shikken Hōjō Tokimune.
After wandering the temple grounds for a couple of hours, we returned to the train station and headed back towards Yokohama again to find some place to cure our hunger. As I was hanging out with locals we decided on some foreign food for dinner and made our way to Chinatown to find the best “all you can eat”-joint in town. Apparently that’s what Chinatown in Yokohama is known for.
But first we had to take pictures of this little gem:
When I discovered that this particular Chinatown had stands on every street corner selling my favorite Hong Kong-staple: char siu bao (or BBQ pork buns), I decided to never ever leave. Quite possible my top 5 favorite food in the entire world.
We did have to leave eventually though. But before that we burnt off some calories at one of Japan’s amazing arcades immortalizing ourselves purikura-style, before playing my new favorite arcade-game: Taiko no Tatsujin! I want one for Christmas.
It was a pretty decent Sunday.