Translated by Jasmine Nishino
Explore The Wonderful Hase Temple In Kamakura
Written by naomy
Hase Temple in Kamakura is famous for being the home of Japan's largest wooden statue of the eleven faced Kannon Bodhisattva and for its beautiful hydrangea garden. Discover the views and the highlights of Hase Temple!
Kaikozan Jisho-in Hase-dera, also known as Hase Temple, is located in Kamakura city, Kanagawa prefecture. It is also commonly known as the Hase Kannon and has been loved by the locals since its establishment in the year 736. In the main prayer hall, there is Japan's largest wooden Buddhist statue - the Eleven-faced Statue of Kannon Bodhisattva, standing at 9.18 meter tall. In this article we will introduce you to the charm of the Hase Temple along with the seasonal views of the temple grounds you can only enjoy for a limited time.
The Iconic Lantern and Pine Tree at the Entrance
After walking for about five minutes from the station, you will see the grand temple gates of the Hase Temple. When most Japanese people think of Hase Temple, many would imagine its gate, with the unique red lantern and the pine tree.
Before entering the temple grounds, first you need to purchase entry tickets at the vending machine on the left hand side of the gates. The admission fee is 300 yen for adults and 100 yen for elementary school students.
After entering, you will see a relaxing scenery of lush greens, while the refreshing sound of the water flow will welcome you in the peaceful temple garden.
Within the temple grounds, there are plenty of places to visit, such as the main prayer hall, the Amida Buddha hall, the Jizo hall, the Benten hall, the Inari shrine, the observatory path, a museum dedicated to Kannon Bodhisattva and the Miharudai observatory. When visiting, why not stop by some of these spots in the temple grounds?
In the main hall, you will have the colossal eleven-faced Kannon statue before your eyes. Inside, the visitors quietly give their prayers before the grand eleven-faced Kannon statue. You can also purchase a candle for 100 yen to pray for the safety of your homes and have your wishes answered. Why not give it a try during your visit?
Please note that eating, drinking and photography is strictly prohibited within the main hall.
Inside the Hase Temple, there is a cave called the Benten Cave. It is a cave where the Goddess Benten is being worshiped. Inside, you will see an engraving of the sixteen followers of Benten.
Small Benzai Tenjin dolls are placed inside the cave. They create a truly mystical atmosphere.
Please be careful inside, as the ceiling of the cave is extremely low.
This adorable Jizo statue really warms one' heart. This is a popular spot for photos as well!
Other Fun Places (Miharudai Observatory, Kaiko-an, Kannon Museum)
In addition to the main temple, there are other interesting spots to stop by in Hase Temple. For instance, at the Miharadai observatory, you will be able to witness the grand panorama of Yuigama. Feel the refreshing sea breeze as you enjoy the view.
On a sunny day, you will be able to spot the Miura Peninsula on the left-hand side and the Izu Peninsula on the right-hand side. With benches and parasols available, this is a great place to take a break during your adventure.
Kaiko-an located by the Miuradai observatory is also recommended. It is a restaurant that serves dishes such as temple curry and temple pasta along with "good luck dango rice cakes" and drinks. They are open from 10 AM to 4 PM. Meals are served until 3 PM.
The Kannon Museum is a facility that informs you on the teachings of Kannon Bodhisattva. Original merchandise and books related to the museum are also available. They make wonderful souvenirs as well. Many limited time exhibitions are held from time to time, so do check it out!
Lastly, we would like to introduce you to the observatory path, also known as the hydrangea path. Go up the many stone steps to the garden and see the city of Kamakura from above.
After reaching the top of the stairs, you will reach a spot from where you can enjoy an overview of Kamakura. This path is also famous for its many beautiful hydrangeas that bloom at the end of June. During the early summer season, over 40 types of hydrangeas bring in many visitors. You would be able to enjoy the view of the blossoms on the mountainside. However, expect the area to be very crowded during this season, so it is recommended to visit at an early hour!
Depending on the season, you will be able to see various types of plants and flowers in bloom. Both the hydrangeas in the summer, and the beautiful leaves that are lit up in the autumn are sights that shouldn't be missed!