^ The Great Buddha of Kamakura (Kamukura Daibutsu) located in the Kotokuin temple was our last stop for the Kamakura day-trip.
The Daibutsu is a very famous bronze Buddha statue in Japan. The other famous bronze Buddha statue that I’ve visited a couple of times is the one in Nara’s Todaiji temple. I like looking at huge Buddha statues – the serenity on the faces gives me a sense of calm and peace.
The Kotokuin temple is located at a different part of Kamukura, and therefore not within walking distance from the temples and shrines which we had visited before it. An overview of the locations of Kamakura’s major temples and shrines can be found here. We had to do a bit of commuting from where we were to see the Daibutsu.
The Tsurugakao Hachiman Shrine is located near the Kamakura station on the JR Shonan Shinjuku Line, the Engakuji and Jochiji temples are situated very close to the Kita-Kamakura station (one stop before Kamukura station) on the same line, but the Kamakura Daibutsu is near the Hase station on the Enoden line.
After visiting the Jochiji temple, we hopped onto the JR train at the Kita-Kamukura station, alighted at the Kamakura station, switched to the Enoden Line (a streetcar-like train) at the Enoden Kamakura station located next to the Kamakura station, and alighted 3 stops later at the Hase station. From the Hase station, we walked about 10 minutes to the Daibutsu, and straight into…
^ Another big group of school-children. And tourists.
By the time we got to the Daibutsu, we were super tired from traipsing around the entire day. I was craving for hot food and sake! Good thing the Kotokuin temple is a small one, with the Buddha being its main attraction. So there wasn’t much more walking required, and because the Daibutsu is so huge, I could admire it from a quiet corner without having to jostle with the crowds near the statue.
^ Kids staring up at the Great Buddha. Awed…? Bored…? Fascinated…? Disinterested…? 🙂
^ The old-world Hase station with its old, wooden beams. Standing on the platform, I felt like I was being transported to the Meiji era.
^ The streetcar-like train on the Enoden Line. It runs very close to private houses and you can literally stick your face into someone’s open window and say hello to whoever is on the other side of the window.
Goodbye Kamakura! It was a bit of a shame though that we didn’t manage to visit Hasedera, the famous Goddess of Mercy temple and its beautiful grounds. But it’s okay, there will definitely be another time.