BOOM. All of a sudden the towering Daibutsu stood before us Intrax interns. What the heck is a Daibutsu? Well to the readers unfamiliar with Japanese culture, it is Japan’s second-largest Buddha statue. It is located in Kamakura, which lies south of Tokyo. Why the heck did all the Tokyo interns meet up in Kamakura to see a giant statue of Buddha? Well, last weekend Intrax held its annual expedition down to Kamakura, and we were all lucky enough to go along for the ride (it was quite a long train ride. As you will see at the end of this post, some of the interns did a little hibernating on the way back).
The weather was perfect making for great walking and soaking in the atmosphere. We went to a bunch of different famous temples and just snapped pictures throughout the day (I apologize for asking people to pose all day for pictures!). Around twelve-thirty we all went to a small restaurant that Intrax made reservations at. I got an absolutely delicious noodle dish called soba. It is served cold and is extremely popular in Japan during the summertime. We visited a few more famous temples following lunch, and after that Intrax let us explore on our own the rest of the day. We found a street that is pretty much just a large strip of various little stores and restaurants. There were kimono shops, a Totoro shop (a famous Japanese anime movie), German hot dog stands, and other rather amusing shops. After exploring on our own for a couple of hours, we met up with Intrax in front of the station, ending an epic day of sightseeing.
I was a big fan of the mid-summer excursion to Kamakura for multiple reasons. I liked it because it was a paid-for trip to one of Tokyo’s most historically significant locations. That is obvious, but must be reiterated because sometimes it is difficult to find awesome historical places in the greater Tokyo area. I also really enjoyed Kamakura because it was great to be with pretty much all the Tokyo interns. Everyone has different schedules with their respective companies, so it is really rare that we all get to hang out together and see how everyone’s internships are going. After an exhausting, yet fulfilling and enriching day, we all took the train to a place called Yotsuya. There, we went to a Japanese-style bar and just continued catching up and hanging out. This was one of my favorite Saturdays thus far.
Nine of us went to Harajuku to shop and explore the day after a very memorable Saturday. Man, if I had to describe Harajuku in one word, I would label it unique. I really think that is an accurate definition for the small town/area right off the Yamanote Line because it just has so many interesting things that will just surprise you. From the weird store names to people’s frankly crazy-looking outfits, Harajuku is a location particular from other popular Tokyo areas.
The day, and thus weekend, could have ended there. But did it? Heck no! We all rallied and went to Shinjuku to grab some grub. We found this delicious chain restaurant that I unfortunately forget the name of, and I ordered a fat bowl of ramen. Probably the thickest broth I have ever tasted, but so incredibly delicious it makes my mouth water just thinking about it.