Hasedera Temple (Kanagawa)

Hasedera Temple: A Journey through History and Serenity


Nestled in the scenic city of Kamakura, japan, Hasedera Temple stands as a testament to the rich cultural heritage and spiritual traditions of the country. With its origins dating back to the eighth century, this ancient temple is not only a place of worship but also a symbol of peace and tranquility. Home to a magnificent statue of the Kannon, the goddess of mercy, Hasedera Temple attracts visitors from all corners of the globe who seek solace, enlightenment, and a deeper understanding of Japanese history and Buddhism. In this article, we will take you on a journey through the wonders of Hasedera Temple, exploring its history, architectural marvels, and the serene beauty of its surroundings.

I. A Glimpse into the Past: The Miracle Statue

The story of Hasedera Temple begins with a miraculous event that took place in the year 721. It is said that the monk Tokudo Shonin commissioned the creation of two statues of Kannon, the 11-faced god, from the wood of a camphor tree. One of these statues was enshrined in Nara, while the other was thrown into the sea as an offering. Miraculously, the statue washed up on the shores of Kamakura 15 years later, and Hasedera Temple was built to house this divine artifact.

Today, the statue of Kannon at Hasedera Temple is the largest wooden statue in Japan, standing at an impressive height of nearly 10 meters. As you stand before this magnificent work of art, you can’t help but feel a sense of awe and reverence. The intricate carvings and the serene expression on the face of the statue evoke a feeling of peace and compassion, embodying the essence of the goddess of mercy.

II. Exploring the Temple Grounds: Bells and Buddhas

Beyond the awe-inspiring statue of Kannon, Hasedera Temple has much more to offer. As you wander through the temple grounds, you will come across a small museum dedicated to the history of the temple and the worship of Kannon. Here, ancient scrolls and statues are showcased, providing a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Japan.

One of the notable attractions within the temple is the Amida-do Hall. This hall is home to a golden statue of Amida Buddha, the same deity celebrated in the iconic Great Buddha of Kamakura. The golden glow of the statue creates a sense of serenity and reverence, inviting visitors to pause and reflect on the teachings of Buddhism.

Another highlight of Hasedera Temple is its bell, which has been officially recognized as an Important Cultural Property. The melodious sound of the bell reverberates through the temple grounds, creating a sense of harmony and tranquility. Visitors often take a moment to listen to the bell, allowing its soothing tones to wash over them and bring a sense of peace to their minds.

III. A Stroll through Serenity: The Temple Garden

Hasedera Temple is not only a place of spiritual significance but also a haven of natural beauty. Situated on a tree-lined hill, the temple offers breathtaking views of Kamakura and the vast expanse of the ocean. As you walk through the temple garden, you will be greeted by a kaleidoscope of colors, depending on the season.

In autumn, the leaves of the trees transform into vivid shades of red, orange, and gold, creating a picturesque backdrop for contemplation. The gentle rustling of the leaves in the breeze adds to the sense of tranquility, making Hasedera Temple an ideal spot for meditation and reflection.

During the spring, the temple garden is adorned with the delicate blossoms of cherry trees. The sight of these ethereal flowers in full bloom is nothing short of magical. Visitors can witness the ephemeral beauty of the cherry blossoms and immerse themselves in the spirit of renewal and rebirth that they symbolize.


Hasedera Temple is a place where history, spirituality, and natural beauty converge. As you step into its sacred grounds, you will be transported to a world of serenity and tranquility. The grandeur of the Kannon statue, the ancient artifacts housed in the museum, the melodious sound of the temple bell, and the vibrant colors of the temple garden all combine to create an unforgettable experience.

Whether you are a religious pilgrim seeking spiritual enlightenment or a curious traveler eager to immerse yourself in Japanese culture, Hasedera Temple offers a journey of discovery and introspection. As you explore its hallowed halls and take in the breathtaking views, you will come to appreciate the profound wisdom and timeless beauty that this ancient temple embodies.

So, the next time you find yourself in Kamakura, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Hasedera Temple. Allow yourself to be captivated by its history, inspired by its spirituality, and rejuvenated by its serene surroundings. Hasedera Temple is a place where the past meets the present, and where the soul finds solace in the embrace of ancient traditions.

Address And Maps Location:

3-11-2 Hase, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa-ken

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