Kamakura With Grandma - Japan Day 9

4:12 PM

We woke up a bit later than we had been the next day and got ready. We went out into the kitchen and Grandma had made us an amazing breakfast! There was soy spinach and rice, pickled salad, cucumbers, an apple salad and ham.

Randy played a game of Japanese chess (I can't spell the real name) with Grandpa while Keiko and I talked and she went to get ready.

We left with Grandma to go to the bus station right outside their house, which took us to the Machida train station. Then, we got on a train for Kamakura.

We stopped at this sweet and peaceful temple in the most quiet and quaint little town. There was nobody at the temple and it was just beautiful and peaceful, I loved it! We got back on the train and kept going, after Keiko gave us some yummy lemon and honey candy.

We got off the station as Keiko was telling us about her favorite sweet potato ice cream that they had in Kamakura. We walked off the train and there was an ice cream shop, so we had to stop! Keiko got sweet potato, and Randy and I got a sweet potato and a mint chocolate chip cone each. The sweet potato ice cream was SO GOOD. It blew my mind how much I loved it! I'm normally a chocolate girl through and through, but I loved that ice cream cone so much!

We went to see the giant Buddha statue which is called the Daibutsu. It is overwhelming to walk up to it and see how gigantic it is. There is a beautiful garden and shrine behind the statue, and there were a million school kids there on vacation. A few came up to me and said "Hello!" in their practiced English, and when I would respond "Oh hello, how are you?" They would run away because they didn't know what I was saying!

I need to talk about Randy's grandma Keiko for a minute. She is the sweetest lady in the world. She was so fun and would laugh and tell us hilarious stories. She speaks really good English that she learned when she went to Catholic school in Tokyo. She would speak to Randy in Japanese a lot but would translate for me immediately and would talk to me in English a bunch. She would ask me questions and we got used to speaking slowly and gesturing to each other so we could understand each other perfectly. She is so fun and loves to laugh and isn't afraid to speak her mind at all. I absolutely adore her and meeting her gave me so much insight into Randy and his family, and the reasons why he is the way that he is. Keiko would pause all the time and say "How you say that in English..." then she would say a word in Japanese to Randy and they would try to figure out the best English word. "Ahh yes" she would say after they decided on the right word. She would laugh and bump my arm and squeeze my shoulder. She is almost 80 but she is insanely healthy and walked all around, navigated busy stations for us, and seemed more energetic than we were!

After we saw the statue we went to a noodle shop Keiko loves and I had duck soba, and Randy had Oyacodon which is chicken and egg rice.

We got back on the train and went a little further into Kamakura, and walked up this beautiful lane that during the cherry blossom season, is just unreal. We saw a wedding party leaving the temple and it was amazing to see the dresses and hair and makeup, I loved it so much. Randy and I went up the steep stairs to the top of the shrine, then we came back down and wandered the town with Keiko, shopping and chatting about what she loved about America and about Randy's time in Okinawa. Keiko wanted to get some tea and we explained we would go with her but wouldn't drink tea, then we saw a jinriksha, which is a carriage pulled by a person, and before I knew what was happening, Keiko had arranged for Randy and I to get a tour of the city while she would go to a nearby cafe and we would be dropped off there later. They were all speaking Japanese so quickly and I was SO confused, it was kind of hilarious!

We got on the cart, he kept telling Randy he had to get in first so he could help me into the cart, it was sweet! And then, we were off! He would walk and run and then slow down the cart with us in the back and I was floored! He had to be SO in shape to be able to do it! He was really nice and spoke pretty rough English. Randy asked "Where did you learn to speak English" and he replied, "Uhhhhhh recently!" It was kind of hilarious! He showed us a museum and this beautiful temple called the Temple of Love. It was built after the first Shogun died and his wife built it for him, in his honor. The guy pulled out his notes to tell us the story and was SO animated and acted the story out for us, going "He died...BLEH" and then closed his eyes as if he died, or "His wife was so sad...BOOOHOOO" and pretended like he was sobbing. It cracked us up!

We finished running through the town making jokes about the cars and how his cart was "eco-friendly" and then we were back to the tea house where Keiko was. It was called the Milk Tea House and it was DARLING. Antique and beautiful, playing jazz music. We had hot chocolate with Keiko and laughed and talked. We left and kept walking around Kamakura, we went to this "Bean Store" where they had beans and nuts of all kinds of crazy flavors to sample, we tried curry, squid ink, green apple, raspberry, and a million more. It was so fun!

We got back on the train and laughed and talked the whole way back to Machida.

Keiko was ready to go home, so she told us to stay and play in Machida city while she took the bus home. We went around the city and people-watched and shopped and had a fun time just the two of us.

We decided to take the train to Naruse and then walk back, since the walk was short and it was fun to see the neighborhood.

When we got back, Keiko had made chicken and salad and tofu and rice, and we had this amazing oily bread from the bakery which was to DIE for.

Keiko pulled out the nuts and beans from the store that she had bought and we chatted to Grandpa about what we had done that day and told more stories. Randy's cousin Reina came to visit and it was so awesome to meet her. She doesn't speak a lot of English so Randy and Grandma had to translate a lot for both of us! We just talked and folded magazine paper into little trash bins for tissues and wrappers, which was super fun.

We kept talking for a bit, and then Reina went home, and we went to sleep after a crazy busy day!

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