This was my eighth trip to Tokyo but I had never gotten to Kamakura before.
Mum and I caught the train to Shinagawa and transferred to the train for Kamakura. It took us about 50 minutes from Shinagawa, a distance of around 50 kilometres.
Kamakura is most well known for the Daibutsu, at temple, but we discovered on our arrival that there are many more shrines and temples than we expected.
We went to the tourist information office at the station and they told us which bus to take. The buses have announcements in Japanese and English so we got off at the right stop which was across the road from the temple.
Lots of school children everywhere, they are the ones with the yellow caps on.
After passing through the Deva Gate you enter the gardens and grounds surrounding the Amida Buddha which sits on a foundation and then reaches 13.35 metres in height. Made of bronze the statue weighs in at 93 tons. More information on Kōtoku-in HERE.
Visitors are also able to enter the interior of the statue to see the construction. They also provide a good explanation of the methods used.
A few shots from around the grounds.
We wandered back to Hase Dera, a short walk from Kōtoku-in. There were plenty of shops to pop in to as the footpaths were quite busy with groups of school children and other tourists.
Hase Dera was established around 736AD and is a temple honouring an 11 headed Kannon that was washed ashore near the temple. Check the link for more information on Hase Dera HERE.
I will say that the gardens here are spectacular and I hope to go back for flowering time of the wisteria and hydrangea. Other wise it is very lush and green.
A cave system is home to Beten-do Hall and Benten-Kutsu cave with statues of Benzaiten and children carved from the rock walls. Sadly the only photo I have inside the cave is slightly blurry.
Some shots of the gardens and ponds.
Jizo-Do Hall is where Fukuju Jizo is enshrined. The hall is surrounded by thousands of jizo there to comfort the souls of unborn children. Often these will be dressed with knitted or fabric bibs.
Kannon-Do Hall is the home of the Kannon statue. Attached is Amida-Do Hall and the Museum.
On one side of Kannon-Do is the Shoro Belfry, home to a massive bronze bell. On the other side is the Kyozo, holding the sutra archive.
The upper part of Hase Dera offers fabulous views over Kamakura, out to the ocean.
We continued our walk back to Kamakura station stopping in at many handcraft shops. I was always calculating how much room was left in my suitcase though. We did stumble across a second hand shop where I picked up an obi. To my eye it looks like autumn colours, but still trying to work out if it is bamboo or maple.
We arrived at the station and as we were a bit warm from our walk had a delicious icecream served in a crepe rolled in to a cone shape.
Arriving back at Shimbashi I had to show Mum the big Tanuki near the station. Ended up with some fun shots.Now if you don’t know about Tanuki, he is a mythical Japanese racoon dog. Tanuki is also a real animal as well.
Thanks for dropping by!
Next post will be our day with a Tokyo Free Guide host.