Monday, 1 August 2011

Kamakura Daibutsu & Kotoku-in Complex

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Daibutsu / 大仏 is the Japanese term for a large statue of Buddha - it quite literally means 'giant' (dai) 'Buddha' (butsu). There are many examples throughout Japan, ranging from the old (Asuka-dera in 609 AD) to the new (Ushiku Daibutsu was created in 1993).

All are large, imposing, beautiful and magnificent. One of the more famous examples is the Kamakura Daibutsu in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, which was created in around 1250 AD. It was made more famous in a Rudyard Kipling poem, and is a destination for countless visitors annually.

We were lucky enough to visit this particular spectacle ourselves, and in fact it was under Kamakura Daibutsu's watchful gaze that we got engaged, back in 2008. We can attest to its impressive, imposing presence, even if it didn't happen to be the most memorable part of the excursion for us that day...

The Buddha is situated in Kotoku-in complex with a few of the usual findings in a Japanese shrine, such as incense and trinket sellers, and fortunes. 

The walk up is also rather nice, with a number of stalls and shops selling traditional Japanese food, souvenirs and other bits and pieces.

How To Get There
The Kotoku-in complex is within walking distance of Kamakura station, which can be accessed via the JR Shonan-Shinjuku Line from Shinjuku, or the JR Yokosuka Line from Tokyo Station.


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