An Incredible Work - What Is The Kamakura Daibutsu?
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An Incredible Work - What Is The Kamakura Daibutsu?

Kanagawa 2014.05.20

Known as the symbol of Kamakura, just what exactly is the Kamakura Daibutsu? And what makes it so special?

Translated byMATCHA_En

MATCHA's English language editorial board. We are bringing you the latest travel information on Japan. Yoroshiku!

Written by TakahashiChuya

The Kotokuin, most commonly known as the Kamakura Daibutsu, is one of the most widely visited tourist attractions in Kamakura. Located by both the sea and the mountains, today let's take a look at just what makes this spot so special.

What Is a Daibutsu?

The term 'Daibutsu' means the Great Buddha and is one of the icons of Japan. The Kamakura Daibutsu is a statue of the Buddha seated serenely in the grounds of Kotokuin, a Buddhist temple belonging to the Pure Land sect of Japanese Buddhism. Kamakura-Daibutsu is the second largest Buddha statue in Japan, after the largest which is located at Todaiji Temple in Nara, and is considered by many to be the most impressive as it stands outside.

Trivia of Kamakura-Daibutsu

Stands 11.4 meters high. It's taller than a 4-storey apartment building!
Total weight is 121 tons. That's about 12 truckloads of goods! It's so heavy!!

The dignified zazen meditation posture of the statue has a soothing quality to it.

Only in Kamakura! Enter the Kamakura Daibutsu!

This is something you can only experience in Kamakura. For just 20 yen, you can climb inside the Kamakura Daibutsu.

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Photo by: tokyojapan5181

Once inside,you can see the techniques used to create this incredible statue of 1300 years ago. Being able to enter a national treasure such as this is a very rare opportunity, and one that you should not miss out on when visiting Japan. You can see the bronze used inside the statue up close, and feel the spaciousness of the work itself. It almost doesn't seem possible that this statue could have been builtin the 12th century, does it?

Those Who Get the Miniature Buddha Statue can Come to Japan?

One of the most popular souvenirs of the Kamakura Daibutsu is this miniature statue of it, which is available at the shop in Kotokuin. This souvenir has a bit of an urban legend attached to it, at least in Southeast Asia. According to legend, if you visit the temple and purchase one as a gift for a friend or family member, they will suddenly be able (whether through work or sudden money luck or what have you) to also be able to travel to Japan. Whether this is true or not is something you'll just to find out for yourself!

If you are planning a day trip to the Kamakura area, make sure to stop by the symbol of the city, and see just what the Kamakura Daibutsu is like for yourself.

Information

Address: Kanagawa, Kamakura, Hase 4-2-28
Hours: 8:00-17:30 (Apr.-Sept.), 8:00-17:00 (Oct.-March), statue entrance 8:00-16:30
Closed: None
Nearest Station: Hase Station, Enoshima Line (Enoden)
Access: 7 minute walk from Hase Station, or 30 minute walk from Kamakura Station
Entrance Fee: 200 yen (Daibutsu's tour: 20 yen)
Phone: 0467-22-0703
Website: http://www.kotoku-in.jp/en/

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