Golden Hour in Kamakura

Discovering new faces of the old city

By Reynald Ventura    - 2 min read

There are a hundred and one reasons for visiting the ancient city. No matter how many times you have taken the Enoden Line, Tokaido, or Yokusuka Line to the old capital, you will not run out of excuses for paying a visit to this ancient seat of power and culture. This time I had one specific purpose - to capture images during the golden hour - the time of day when daylight here is gentler and softer.

I arrived at 4.00 p.m. Wasting no time, I walked through Komachi Street right away. The torii gate was bathed in golden light. The timing was perfect. I snapped a good number of frames. Then I spotted the awning of a rice cracker shop. From a distance, I took a wide shot; the play of light and shadow was lovely. Next, a window carpeted with luxuriant Virginia creepers caught my attention. Below it hangs elegant umbrellas for sale. I have always wanted to buy a Kamakura umbrella to give to someone.

Most establishments along Komachi Dori are shops selling various goods. But there are still a few that remain residential. Like a gem among the sea of consumer items and souvenirs, I noticed some ajisai (hydrangeas) in a front yard. Instinctively, I released the shutter to record the moment.

I wandered around the city for more than an hour. The intensity of summer light was filtered by the cloudy sky. Thus, the golden hour was muted. Colors were pale, shadows softer, and the contrast lighter. However, when I reached the grounds of Hachiman Shrine, I came upon a golden sight: the gilded lotus-shaped tops of the vermillion soribashi (arch bridge) to Hachiman Shrine. I have never seen them more golden than this time. The fading afternoon light enhanced their elegance.

The theme of the day is golden hour. With this single objective I discovered a face of Kamakura that I had not seen before.

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Reynald Ventura

Reynald Ventura @reynald.ventura

I have a little garden: slightly bigger than the forehead of a cat. I grow herbs: parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme, and mint, and lemon grass, and lavender, and basil. Occasionally, I cook for myself. Sometimes, my Japanese wife and my daughter like my cooking. I come from the Philippines – it is said that there are more than seven thousand islands but I do not own one. I’d love to, though. I always carry a camera with me – in my walks, journeys, and wanderings. Most of the time, I’m home – staring at Fujisan and writing something.