4 days in Japan -05/19/ - 5/23-2018

Day 2-Kamakura-5/20/2019

Kamakura is a seaside Japanese city just south of Tokyo.  Its most recognizable landmark is the Kotoku-in Temple’s Great Buddha, a roughly 48 ft. high bronze statue still standing after a 15th-century tsunami.

Today, Kamakura is a very popular tourist destination. Sometimes called the Kyoto of Eastern Japan, Kamakura offers numerous temples, shrines and other historical monuments. In addition, Kamakura's sand beaches attract large crowds during the summer months.  We only got to see the temples and never made it to the beaches.

This morning we are taking the train from Shinagawa station to Kamakura.  The train ride is about 1hr and 30 minutes.


Kotoku-in Temple

Kōtoku-in temple is a Jōdo-shū Buddhist temple in Kamakura. The temple is renowned for its "Great Buddha" (Daibutsu), a monumental outdoor bronze statue of Amida Buddha, which is one of the most famous icons of Japan. It is also a designated National Treasure, and one of the twenty-two historic sites included in Kamakura's proposal for inclusion in UNESCO's World Heritage Sites

The entrance of the Kotoku-in Temple


At the entrance A notice to the grounds reads, "Stranger, whoever you are, when you enter this sanctuary remember to walk in upon this ground hallowed by the worship of ages. This is the Temple of Buddha and the gate of the eternal, and you should therefore be entered with reverence."


Before entering the ground of the temple it is customary to cleanse yourself (Chozu) or to purify yourself before making any prayers at shrines or temples in Japan.  The Chozuya is a large basin with special wooden dippers that is usually located at the entrance of shrines and temples.


1-Take the wooden dipper in your right hand and scoop up some water

2- pour the water slowly over your left hand.

Next, fill up the dipper again if necessary and be careful not to touch the dipper with your lips.  Pour the water into your left hand and then rinse your mouth. Spit it out on the rocks below.


The main courtyard leading to the Buddha statue.


Well kept garden inside Kotoku-in Temple



Behind us is the Great Buddha (Daitbutsu) of Kamakura, an enormous outdoor bronze statue of Amitābha Buddha


The bronze statue probably dates from 1252, in the Kamakura period, according to temple records. It was preceded by a giant wooden Buddha, which was completed in 1243.

The bronze Buddha was probably cast by Ōno Gorōemonor orTanji Hisatomo, both leading casters of the time.



The enormous bronze Statue  representation of Amida Buddha was originally gold-plated.  The statue has stood in the open air since the temple building was destroyed in the tsunami of September 20, 1492, and only traces of gold-leaf remain around the ears.


The statue is approximately 43.8 ft. tall including the base and weighs approximately 121 tons. The statue is hollow, and visitors can view the interior.

Length of Face: 7 ft. 9 in




The 1923 Great Kanto earthquake destroyed the base the statue sits upon, but the base was repaired in 1925. 

Repairs to the statue were carried out in 1960–61, when the neck was strengthened and measures were taken to protect it from earthquakes


Large incent burner in front of the Great Buddha statue



At one time, there were thirty-two bronze lotus petals at the base of the statue, but only four remain.  This one is located in front of the Buddha statue.


History board of the Statue


Giant straw sandals hanging on a wall of the temple.


View of the square from the Great Buddha statue.


The back of the Buddha statue

The inside it hollow and you have to pay a small fee to get inside.


It is actually quite roomy inside-lots of tourists, and only 30 people can get in at once.


Construction techniques explained how it was build.


You can see here that the head portion was strengthen to prevent force of nature disaster.


Students on a excursion trip listen to their teacher...


We are now walking into the garden of the Kōtoku-in temple 


Stone lantern with a monk hidden inside


The property is really Zen.


Very serene


Kangetsudo Hall (Moon viewing hall) was formerly located in the royal palace of the Joseon dynasty in Seoul.



The temple was donated to Kotoku-in by Mr. Kisey Sugino in 1924.


The temple was designated as the 23rd sacred place of the Kannon, a wooden Kannon statue said to have been made in late Edo period is enshrined inside.


Mature trees in the garden.






    NEXT..........Hokokuji Temple





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