Kamakura and Yokosuka 3/19

On Sunday, Prof. Ken Oshima invited me to join his Japan studio on a trip to Kamakura and Yokosuka, two towns on the southernmost end of the land to the west of Tokyo bay.  Our first stop was Kamakura, which was the capital of Japan around the 12th century.

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After a short walk, we came to Engaku-ji, a lovely buddhist temple.

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During this part of the trip, I noticed many spaces carved out of rock walls, which is something I’ve not seen at many Buddhist temples before.

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This god will give you good luck!

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The exit gate.

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We hiked farther up the hill, and got a nice view of the town on the way.

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After another brief stop, we arrived at Kotoku-in, home to Kamakura’s famous Buddha.

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The statue may be large, but it’s quite serene.  The temple was lively, too.

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Windows in the back, possibly for ventilation.  The people in line here are waiting to go inside the statue, which we didn’t have time to do unfortunately.  I don’t know much about how the statue is made, but it’s interesting to see here the stratified lines that I assume are related to its fabrication.

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Introspective posture.

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The buddha’s sandals.

Next, we set out even farther south, to Yokosuka, to see the Yokosuka museum of Art.

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The large lawn had a view of the ocean, and on a warmer day it would probably be busy.  This is a good view of the composition of the building.  A glass box encases white interior walls, which have rounded corners and are punctured with circular apertures.  A light glass portico extends over the entrance and connects to another museum building at the left.
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Just inside the main entrance to the gallery; the bridge extends over exhibit space, and various apertures in the walls give glimpses to spaces outside.  You can see how the transition from wall to ceiling is rounded.  Unfortunately, I was not able to take photos inside the gallery, but the interior was really neat.  Below this bridge, the ceiling height alternates between the full height of the building and smaller, single-story rooms.

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This hole in the ceiling shows the glass box which encases the building.

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This stair goes to the roof!

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View to the ocean from the roof.  Here’s the top of the glass box.

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Outside the viewing room, grating hovers over the glass roof so visitors can explore.

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At the rear of the building, a deep cut separates the glass box from the part of the museum which is buried in the earth.

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A bridge extends over the cut, leading to a lawn and wooded area which looked like it might have some nice hiking.

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It floats.

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A couple enjoys the view.

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Walking up the spiral stair, you can see between the two layers of the building. Cool!

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View to the cafe from the gallery.

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View from the gift shop.

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The courtyard of the second museum building.

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