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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

Attraction

Kamakura Daibutsu (Great Buddha) 鎌倉大仏

Stand inside Buddha and contemplate life and the universe

The Great Buddha of Kamakura is the second tallest bronze Buddha in Japan and the largest outdoor Buddha.

Don't Miss

  • The Buddha's 1.8 metre long straw sandals
  • Kangetsu-do Hall, which originated in 15th century Seoul
  • Going inside the Buddha himself

How to Get There

From JR Kamakura Station take the Enoshima Electric Railway towards Fujisawa and get off at Hase Station.

The Great Buddha is a 7 minute walk from there. It is well signposted.

Elemental

At 11.3 meters and weighing in at 121 tons, this bronze statue of Amida Buddha is second only in height to Todaiji's Great Buddha in Nara.

Like the statue in Nara, it was originally housed inside a temple building after its casting in the 13th century. However, in the 14th and 15th centuries typhoons, tsunami and earthquakes kept destroying the hall. So, in 1498, the Amida's carers caved in to the inevitable and left the statue exposed to the elements.

Since then it has stood, implacable, the venerable symbol of Kamakura.

The Pure Land

Kamakura's Buddha sits in the grounds of Kotoku-in, a temple belonging to the Jodo Sect of Buddhism. The Jodo are committed to the liberation of all beings, meaning the Great Buddha is there for all: saints and sinners, rich and poor, young and old. An equal opportunities Buddha, guiding all to the Pure Land.

Have warazori, will travel

The highlight of any visit is surely standing inside the Great Buddha, gazing up at the emptiness within, listening to the muted world carrying on outside. However Kotoku-in has more to offer.

To the right of the Buddha hangs a pair of 1.8 meter-long warazori straw sandals. Originally woven by children in 1951 in the hope that the Buddha would use them to walk the length and breadth of Japan, they are renewed every three years by children from the same club in Ibaraki.

Not only, but also

Other sites of interest include Nio-mon gate, the richly colored entranceway where the temple's two protecting Deva Kings reside.

Behind the Buddha stands Kangetsu-do Hall which started life as part of the imperial palace in 15th century Seoul before being moved first to Tokyo and then to Kamakura. Placed in a leafy grove, it contains an Edo Period (1603-1867) image of Kannon Bosatsu, the goddess of mercy.

It is perhaps in keeping with the sensibilities of the two Buddhas celebrated here that Kotoku-in is very well set up for visitors of restricted mobility, with a well signposted barrier-free route. Tickets to Kotoku-in cost a tiny 200 yen, with an additional 20 yen charge to go inside the Buddha.

Plan to spend an hour or two to see the Great Buddha and the other treasures at Kotoku-in Temple without feeling rushed. During azalea blooming season and national holiday periods, expect to spend a longer time due to the crowds in the area.

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