LUJ Students Enjoy Field Trip to Kamakura
As a part of their Environmental History of Japan class, nine LUJ students, led by their professor, Dr. Adam Tompkins, took in Kamakura, a historic seaside city about 90 minutes by train from LUJ’s campus in Ryogoku.
For Dr. Tompkins, it was a chance to show firsthand the historic nature that surrounds Kamakura city, sometimes called ‘the Kyoto of Eastern Japan.’ Kamakura had also once been the capital of Japan for about a century from the late 1100’s to the 1300’s, preceding Kyoto.
The class, all told, hiked around 10 kilometers in total. The day started by trekking to the Nagoe Kiridoshi Pass, first built in the 13th century to help facilitate travel through the mountains between Zushi and Kamakura. The pass is one of the historic seven gateways to Kamakura, a city ringed on three sides by a protective mountain barrier. Students also saw from a distance the Mandarado Yagura Caves, a haunting collection of centuries-old tombs unlike anywhere else in Japan.
After reaching the summit of Mt. Kinubari, the class moved alongside the kirigishi, which Dr. Tompkins described as “a mountain wall constructed by Kamakura bakufu [shogunate from 1192-1333] to reduce chance of attack from the [rival] Miura family.”
The class also had time to examine a defunct quarry that dates back to Edo period or earlier.
Final stops included stopping at the Hokokuji Bamboo Garden for some well-needed matcha amidst beautiful views, and then the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, considered by many to be Kamakura’s cultural and spiritual center.