Larry Knipfing

Kamakura's Hase Temple in January

Autumn is still hanging on, but spring is on the way

Larry Knipfing   - 1 min read


As a result of the April 2016 earthquake, Kumamoto Castle sustained heavy damage. While the inner grounds remain closed for renovation, the fortress can be admired from outside via special 400-m route on Sundays, national holidays, and select Saturdays. The inner keep is expected to reopen in Spring 2021, though the sitewide renovations are expected to take decades.

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Hase Temple is just down the street from Daibutsu (The Great Buddha) so be sure to visit both of them. It's also just a five minute walk from the beach, so you might want to fit that into your Kamakura itinerary, as well.

I visited on a warmish day in mid-January and I felt like we were skipping winter and going straight to spring from autumn. There were still beautiful momiji maple in the temple grounds, but I also spotted the first ume (plum) blossom of the year, a sure sign that spring is right around the corner!

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Larry Knipfing

Larry Knipfing @larry.knipfing

Born on Long Island, New York in 1958, I have spent the last 30 years of my life living in Japan, and enjoying every minute of it! I especially love photography, and Japan is definitely one of the most beautiful places in the world to photograph! (Visit my online gallery) My other love is ...