Those who have been to Japan will have visited the ancient capital Kyoto but may not have heard of a city called Kamakura. Kamakura is a city by the Pacific ocean 40 miles south-west of Tokyo and was the capital during 1192 to 1333. Today Kamakura is a relatively quiet town where Buddha meditates in the barrel, and surfers meet a Samurai from the past.

Kamakura is my “soul city” where I attended a Jesuit school founded by German priests shortly after World War II, and whose school uniforms were supplied by the U.S. military (they donated a bunch of used U.S. Army uniforms). Unlike Kyoto where aristocrats had always been omnipresent, Kamakura was the capital of the first military government in Japan. And where else could be more suited for a Jesuit school to be than A samurai city and the home of many important Zen temples?

Kamakura doesn’t have as many historic landmarks as Kyoto, and the past has not been preserved like a Disneyland of history. It is a beautifully intimate city. When you follow the narrow path cut through the surrounding mountains or sit inside an old temple, you almost feel you could hear the heartbeat of a samurai…

Because of the city’s proximity to Tokyo, and the somewhat laidback atmosphere similar to the beachside cities in Sothern California, the area has a nice mixture of traditional and contemporary houses. Most new architectures there may not come with top notch designs, but some of them have nice eclecticism like this new house designed by Tekuto.