By this point in our trip, I was comfortable on the subways. The thought of venturing out of the city on the JR trains was still a bit daunting, but I felt there was a good chance that Lisa, Tiffany, and I could get to Kamakura and back on our own.

The day was bright and sunny. Our first stop was the Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu shrine where Walt and I had watched the Shinto wedding during our walking tour of Kamakura. The open sided stage where that ceremony had been held was quiet, but we were able to observe two other ceremonies at the shrine. Unfortunately, we had no guide to explain the significance of these ceremonies, but they were intriguing. The first ceremony involved the priests and the little tree at the end of the first line of photographs. The second involved the women and musicians in the second row of photographs.

After leaving the shrine, we headed in the direction of the shopping street, but we couldn't resist wandering down a quiet road where we found this beautiful little shrine. We returned to the shopping street, where this affectionate cat came up to us. Photographing him was a challenge, because he kept rubbing against our legs.

It was such a beautiful day, we decided to venture off to the island of Enoshima. We boarded the little Endoen train at the main Kamakura station. The train was packed with students who were enjoying a day away from their classrooms. The little train meandered past houses and gardens until the ocean was suddenly before us. The students gasped in delight. The waves were small, but people were surfing.

After about a 15 minute walk from the station, we came upon the bridge that leads to the island. A series of shrines and gardens begins at the end of the shopping street. If you get tired of walking up the steps, you can pay to ride 3 escalators which have been cut into the mountain. We saw many intriguing sites on our way to the top. I particularly liked the dragon images.

Hundreds of dragon flies filled the sky at the top. We enjoyed the view as we consulted our map. It looked like we could continue down the other side and return to the bridge by a different route. The road down was lined with shops and restaurants and even more shrines. It was quite steep in parts with many steps, and we joked that we were glad we were going down this way and not up. Eventually we reached the rocky shore and discovered that the road ended at a cave which our guide book said was full of artificial grottoes, piped music, and roaring dragons. There was no alternative but to return up the steep path that we had joked about on our way down.

We huffed and puffed our way almost back up to the summit. There was no convenient escalator alternative on this side of the island. Lisa consulted a woman in one of the shops who indicated to us that the alternative route down was a narrow lane that looked like it was leading to someone's back yard. When we looked back in the woman's direction in disbelief, she was still watching us and waving us down the narrow lane in an encouraging manner.

The narrow lane was almost deserted and surprisingly rural. We walked under the picturesque red bridge on the way down.

We saw many friendly cats in Kamakura that day, and we snapped pictures of all of them. Lisa describes the cat in the first picture as "well loved".