Kamakura Daibutsu (Great Buddha)

Stand inside Buddha and contemplate life and the universe

The bronzed Great Buddha of Kamakura, also known as Kamakura Daibutsu, is a magnificent statue that dates back to the 13th century. Standing at a height of 11.3 meters and weighing 121 tons, it is the second tallest bronze Buddha in japan. This iconic statue is not only a symbol of Kamakura but also one of the most visited tourist attractions in the Kanto area.

The Great Buddha is a sight to behold, with its serene expression and majestic presence. It is a bronze statue of Amida Buddha, the Buddha of Infinite Light and Infinite Life. Similar to the Great Buddha in Nara, the Kamakura Daibutsu was originally housed inside a temple building. However, due to the repeated destruction of the temple by natural disasters, the statue was left exposed to the elements in 1498. Since then, it has stood as a venerable symbol of Kamakura, attracting visitors from all over the world.

When visiting the Great Buddha, there are several things you shouldn’t miss. One of them is the Buddha’s 1.8-meter-long straw sandals, known as warazori. These sandals were originally woven by children in 1951, and they are renewed every three years by children from the same club. Standing next to the Buddha, they serve as a reminder of the hope and dedication of the people who contributed to the statue’s creation.

Another highlight of the visit is the opportunity to explore inside the statue. For a small donation, visitors can enter the statue and experience the peaceful atmosphere within. Standing inside the Great Buddha, you can contemplate life and the universe, feeling a sense of awe and tranquility.

To get to the Kamakura Daibutsu, you can take a day trip from Tokyo. From Shinjuku Station, you can take the Shonan Shinjuku line to Kamakura Station. From there, transfer to the Enoshima Electric Railway towards Fujisawa and get off at Hase Station. The Great Buddha is just a 7-minute walk from there, and it is well signposted, making it easy to find.

The Kamakura Daibutsu is located in the grounds of Kotokuin, a temple belonging to the Jodo Sect of Buddhism. The Jodo Sect is dedicated to the liberation of all beings, and the Great Buddha serves as a symbol of their teachings. It is a place where people from all walks of life can come and seek solace, regardless of their background or beliefs. The Great Buddha is an equal opportunities Buddha, guiding all to the Pure Land.

In addition to the Great Buddha, there are other points of interest within the temple grounds. One of them is Niomon gate, the entrance to the temple. This gate is richly colored and houses two protecting Deva Kings. Behind the Buddha stands Kangetsudo Hall, which has an interesting history. Originally part of the imperial palace in 15th-century Seoul, it was later moved to Tokyo and finally to Kamakura. Inside the hall, you can find an Edo period image of Kannon Bosatsu, the Goddess of Mercy.

Kotokuin is well-equipped for visitors with restricted mobility, as there is a well signposted barrier-free route. The temple also provides accessibility features to ensure that everyone can enjoy the beauty and serenity of the Great Buddha. Tickets to Kotokuin cost 200 yen, with an additional 20 yen charge to go inside the Buddha. It is recommended to plan at least 30 minutes for the visit to fully appreciate the Kamakura Daibutsu and the other treasures at Kotokuin Temple.

It is important to note that the information provided in this article may be subject to change due to COVID-19. It is advisable to check the latest updates and guidelines before planning your visit.

In conclusion, the Great Buddha of Kamakura is a remarkable testament to the rich history and culture of Japan. Standing in its presence, you can’t help but feel a sense of awe and reverence. Whether you are a Buddhist or not, the Kamakura Daibutsu offers a spiritual experience that transcends religious boundaries. So, if you find yourself in the Kanto area, make sure to visit this iconic symbol of Kamakura and take a moment to contemplate life and the universe inside the Buddha.

Address And Maps Location:

4-2-28 Hase, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa-ken

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