Kamakura's Giant Buddha
         and Mt Fuji
The Giant or Great Buddha is a bronze statue dating
back to 1252.  Tourists from Japan and everywhere
else enjoy having their picture taken in front of it.
In my opinion, having the statue out in the open is perfect,
making Kamakura's Giant Buddha superior to its rival in
Nara.  However, this Buddha was enclosed until 1495,
when a tsunami helpfully destroyed it's display hall.        
When I saw Mt Fuji in October 1984, there was a ring of
snow at its summit, the proper symbol of Japan.  21 years
later, I first thought this was the wrong mountain, snowless
in September of 2005.  But it really is Mt Fuji, despite the
bare appearance, with only a few white clouds.  Perhaps
evidence of global warming, but I make no scientific claims.
Mt Fuji was covered in haze, impossible to see the first two
times I tried to photograph it.  Then I got bald mountain,
both video and stills taken from the Shinkansen (bullet
train), as it sped past a suddenly visible Mt Fuji.     
If you have a high speed internet connection, watch the
Intrepid Berkeley Explorer's free streaming video of this trip,
"Castles of the Rising Sun", by clicking on: