Exploring the Kamakura Mountains

Last weekend I went out to revisit some of the Kamakura trails I have been on in 2004 and also check out some of the trails I had never ventured down before.   This area is really awesome and it offers a lot of great trails that range from mild buffness, to scary hairball rocks and roots.   Navigating around here can be real interesting.  There are lots of trails optons and not all of them are well marked.   Even when marked, there is the whole language barrier thingy for me to help keep things interesting.

There was no shortage of good trails.  

 One of my favorite things to do when riding out here is to stop by this mountain rest stop were you can grab a bit of local grub as well as a mid ride snack.  It seems like you are out in the middle of nowhere until you come upon this place.   This group of hikers I had been leap frogging around for about and hour or so as I checked out most of the various splits in the main trails while they plodded along.   

 Yummy Oden.  It is mostly different types of Tofu, veggies and seaweed. 

 After lunch I decided to check out a route that none of my friends had tried before.  (Or at least not talked about)     The trail started near the mountain hut and went to the Kencho-Ji Temple in Kamakura.  

 For being a trail to place considered peaceful and good, the trail was more like a guantlet of trail evilness.  There were enough roots, rocks and drops to get most riders thier fill of technical playtime.  This would be a good trail to come and session all the features on. 

After a but of tough riding and a fair amount of hike-a-biking I arrived to the mountain peak above the Kenchoji Temple.   What followed after this was a very long, narrow and steep set of twisting stairs.

The stairs lead to the upper area of the temple known as the Hansobo which is the temples inner sanctuary. There are numerous and very impressive statue of creatures known as Karasu-tengu which roughly equates to Crow Goblins.  They are considered part of the protective spirit of this place.

 

 The Kenchoji Temple ranks first among Kamakura’s so-called Five Great Zen Temples and is the oldest Zen training monastery in Japan.   It was built in 1253.

The light was pretty crappy that day for taking pictures and I seemed to be having a “bad camera day” for some reason when it came to getting a good shot of the temple buildings.    There were lots of artists out working on thier craft and I soon figured out they had all the right viewpoints.   Thier paintings were much more interesting than any pictures that I was trying to get that day.

After spending about an hour on the temple grounds I meandered my way through downtown Kamakura and back to the apartment.   It was good to get in some culture along with a nice chunk of riding as well. If you like to read some more about the Kenchoji Temple first check out this site before hitting up Google.

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