On Thanksgiving Day we traveled south of Tokyo to Kamakura, Japan. The train ride was approximately 1 hour, so Kamakura makes an ideal day-trip location. Over 75 Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines are located in Kamakura. The area is also known for it’s beaches and hiking trails.
The first temple we visited was the Amanawa Shinmeijinja Shrine. Built at the beginning of the 8th century, this is reported to be the oldest shrine in Kamakura.
Once you climb to the top of the stairs, you (kind of) have a view of the ocean.
The Kotokuin Temple contains the Great Buddha statue which was cast out of bronze in 1252. The 37-foot / 242,000 pound statue was originally covered in gold leaf and housed inside a large temple. In 1498, a tidal wave (caused by a tsunami) washed away the temple structure, leaving the Buddha statue behind. The temple structure was never rebuilt, so the Great Buddha statue remains outside – open to the natural elements.
The white spec in the upper-left side of the photo is an airplane.
We paid an extra 20 yen each (about $0.18 — yes for a total of $0.36!) to go inside the Buddha statue. Once we got inside, the views were amazing!
See what we mean? Sometimes you get what you pay for… 🙂
It was a beautiful day for sightseeing! Thankfully the sun was out and the sky was clear for most of the day.
In the photo above, can you see the pigeon that landed on top of the Great Buddha’s head?
Stay tuned…we still have several more pictures to share with you on our trip to Kamakura.