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Kamakura, Japan

Kamakura was once the seat of power in Japan centuries ago and still hold onto some of those traditions. The main draw is the second largest Buddha in Japan (the largest is in Nara). This one is made of metal and was once housed in a building but a tsunami destroyed its lodgings long ago. Kamakura also has several festivals throughout the year with the biggest one held twice. This festival is for yabusame, or horse archery. The main road in front of the shrine (which incidentally, is called Yabusame Road), has sand pours into a wooden frame for the horses to run on and there are three wooden targets placed evenly along the road. We initially found a nice spot in the shade near the second target but due to an old man complaining, the priests moved us to the third target. In typical Japanese fashion they apologized profusely for the inconvenience. This spot worked better though as we could see the entire run as well as the finish. Some of the riders would be going to fast and there was not much room for the horses to stop. One rider jumped off his horse when he lost control. I have a video but can't seem to upload it here.

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We also stopped by a shrine where you could wash your money in order to gain some more. All I had on me was some single yen coins, so even if it doubled it still wouldn't be worth anything (1 yen = 1 cent).

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Other than extremely expensive delicacies or full course meals, Kamakura is only known for sweet potatoes. As we were heading back to Tokyo, we only had a small snack of purple sweet potato croquettes and baked sweet potato ice cream. Other than the color, purple and regular sweet potato tastes the same. The breading was crispy and is the filling a nice change from normal croquettes. As for the ice cream, the baking gave it more flavor and developed the sweetness. It was odd with the ice cream texture but not the weirdest thing eaten on this trip.

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Posted by CulinarySojourn 11:15 Archived in Japan

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