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Big Buddha’s Charm

Just outside of Tokyo lies one of the most impressive Big Buddhas in Japan, along with a selection of temples and coastal views which make Kamakura so special.

Discover Kamakura

A trip to Kamakura would never be complete without visiting the Great Buddha of Kamakura, also known as Daibutsu) located at Kotoku-in temple. The Great Buddha of Kamakura dates to the thirteenth century, and for a long time was the second largest Buddha in Japan, second only to one in Nara. Cast in bronze, standing at almost 12 meters tall and depicting Amida Buddha, this sacred statue is an awe-inspiring sight.

While exploring the temple complex, take a moment to wander through Kangetsu-do Hall, a hidden gem that offers glimpses into the city’s storied past. This remarkable structure is believed to have once graced the imperial palace in Seoul before finding its current home in Kamakura. Its tranquil atmosphere and elegant architecture make it a perfect spot for reflection and appreciation of history.

For a touch of good fortune, make your way to Zeniarai Benten Shrine in Western Kamakura, where a unique tradition awaits. Join locals in the ritual of washing money, as it is believed that money cleansed in the shrine’s sacred waters will multiply. This delightful custom adds a touch of whimsy to your journey and an opportunity to experience a local belief deeply rooted in Kamakura’s cultural fabric.

As you continue your pilgrimage through Kamakura, be sure to visit Kencho-ji, one of the city’s Five Zen Temples and a revered place of worship. Explore its ornate halls, admire the ancient temple bell known as Bonsho, cast in 1255, and find solace in the temple gardens that exude tranquility. Nearby, the Hansobo shrine beckons with its captivating collection of statues representing Tengu spirits, inviting you to delve into the mystical folklore of Kamakura.

Beyond its spiritual allure, Kamakura also boasts picturesque natural landscapes that enhance the city’s allure. Embark on a serene walk through the enchanting bamboo forest of Hokoku-ji temple, where the whispering of bamboo leaves creates a soothing symphony. Indulge your taste buds with the local delicacies of Kamakura, from fresh shirasu dishes to the exquisite vegetarian cuisine of Kamakura-style shojin ryori, deeply rooted in Buddhist traditions.

As you wander the narrow streets, lined with charming shops and inviting cafes, you’ll discover the essence of Kamakura’s vibrant culture and warm hospitality. Take a moment to immerse yourself in the captivating atmosphere of Komachi-dori, a bustling shopping street offering unique crafts, delightful souvenirs, and a true taste of local life.

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