1) Great Buddha statue and Hasedera temple
2) Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine and Komachi street
■ Great Buddha statue
In the Kotoku-in temple near the Hase area of Kamakura, there is the Great Buddha statue.
The bronze statue of Amita-Budda was erected in the middle of 13th century. It used to sit inside the temple building, but the building was washed away by tsunami about 500years ago. Weight approx. 121 t, Height approx. 13.35 m, Face approx. 2.35 m, Eye approx. 1 m
■ Hasedera temple
This temple is famous not only for its Buddhist statues but also for its gardens.
The principle Buddhist statue is an eleven -faced Kannon Boddhisattva, which believed to have been carved from the same camphor(Shounou in Japanese) tree as the statue at Hasedera in Nara. From the lookout platform you can see the view over Kamakura city and out towards the ocean.
Gardens in the Hasedera templle are beautiful. Hydrangeas are in bloom in spring and colored leaves are beautiful in fall. There are Zen gardens, too.
■ Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine in Kamakura
Enoshima dentetsu train and the Toriigate of the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine
■ Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine
It is Kamakura’s most important shrine. It is dedicated to the god of war, and is a guardian shrine of the Minamoto family who originated the Kamakura shogunate in the late 12th century.
Votive tablets called Ema and a pond of the shrine
■ Komachi street
Along the Komachi street, there are many shops selling paper crafts, sweets, kimonos, and more.
■ About Kamakura
Kamakura is located about an hour and half from Tokyo by train. It is where the first Shogunate was established in the late 12th century. Kamakura has been the center of politics for 140 years.
Kamakura is home to many Zen temples, because Zen Buddhism has flourished thanks to the Shogunate’s special patronage. Among them, the Kenchoji temple is famous. It is the top ranked Rinzai Zen temple established in the mid-13th century. It has many splendid structures including the Butsuden hall in which the gorgeous dragon picture is painted on the ceiling. Vegetable soup called “Kenchin-jiru” is said to be originated by priests of the Kencho-ji.
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