1/2/2003

In the morning of first day of year, the weather was bad, so that I could not see the first rising sun from my home at Mita, the center of Tokyo. Although it had a drifting snow last night, it was cleared up by morning. I saw a wonderful rising sun this morning from the south east sky. Although it was cold with strong wind, I left my home about past ten thirty and went for Kamakura by taking a JR train from the Shinagawa station. At the Yokohama station, the train became more than full. At the Kamakura station, almost all passengers got off. The front plaza of JR Kamakura station, the Wakamiya avenue and the Komachi street were opened only for pedestrians. All vehicles including rickshaw were shut out from the area. I felt good air of Kamakura, right after I walked out from the station. It had a bright sunshine and transparent blue sky. The temperature here was warmer than in Tokyo by about two or three degrees.

Dankazura (an elevated walkpath from the second torii to the Shrine, roughly 50 centimeters high, 3 meters wide and 460 meters long, lined with some 310 cherry trees and azaleas on both sides) was rather crowded with visitors to the Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine. But although I walked very slowly, no one pushed me forward. I could walk comfortably.

When I walked over the Taiko bridge (drum bridge) to the shrine area, a horde of visitors were lined in good order to wait as shown in the above right picture. In order to avoid accidents at stone steps to the main shrine on the top of hill, visitors were grouped to small lots of people (probably a hundred of more.) When the forward lot reached safely to the top, the following lot was permitted to go up. All the control process were on a big screen installed on the left side of waiting line. So I might be able to climb up to the shrine safely. However as I was afraid that I might stumble when going up, I stayed on the ground and prayed to the shrine from the remote place.

At a shop on the west side of Wakamiya avenue, I bought a crepe and coroquette of violet colored potatoes from Kagoshima. They were very tasty. When I came back to the plaza of JR Kamakura station, I could see a platform crowded with waiting passengers, If I stayed here longer, the trains would be more crowded, I thought. So I took a train without staying any more in Kamakura, The train was so crowded that I could not hold straps. I changed to a special reserved coach at the Kitakamakura, next station. When I got off at the JR Shinagawa station, I found food staff shops were opened while the most of shops were closed.

Incidentally, I sat on a seat next to an old gentleman on a Metropolitan bus bound for the JR Shinagawa station from the Takanawa Icchome bus stop in morning. As he had a camera and held a small portable radio, I told him I was bringing around the same gadgets as yours and asked him whether he had a pedometer. He replied "Sure I have, I am on my way to Kamakura. He will take a Keihin Express train to the Kanazawa Hakkei and then take a bus to Kamakura. As we are enjoying the very similar life, both of us parted at the station with smiles. He said he was 72 years old, much younger than me. The said things may become three treasures of aged people at the early twenty first century.

My pedometer recorded 7,500 steps today. When I read this morning Mr. Fuutaro Yamada's diary between 1992 and 1994. In August 1993, he made a one-day sight seeing trip to Kamakura area. After he got off at Kita Kamakura station, he walked around almost the whole Kamakura area, visiting Kenchoji temple,Tsurugaoka Hachiman shrine, Daitonomiya shrine, Yui beach, Shichiri beach, Enoshima island and Fujsawa station. He said he was 21 years old. So I started for Kamakura, expecting to walk a half of him. But I was overwhelmed by a huge crowds so that I came back earlier. In evening, right after I took a bath at past six o'clock , I went to bed.

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