Are you planning to visit Kamakura as a side trip from Tokyo? If so, it must mean that you will visit the Daibutsu, or the Great Buddha. The exterior of the enormous Buddha statue is of course, the most impressive part of the site, but what not many people know is that you can actually enter the statue to visit the interior.
The Kamakura Daibutsu is situated in the grounds of Kotoku-in, a Buddhist temple, and can be reached by bus or by foot from Kamakura Station. Kamakura Station is a short train ride away from Tokyo Station, so the city is easily accessible! Entrance to the temple grounds of Kotoku-in costs only ¥200, making it an extremely budget-friendly place to travel to.
To enter the interior of the Daibutsu, you will need to go to the side of the Daibutsu statue where you will see a small ticket booth. It costs a mere ¥20 to enter, on top of the very affordable ¥200 entrance fee. There may be a short line, as the interior of the statue has very limited space. Prepare your ¥20 yen coin in advance to help speed up the process. Once you are inside the great statue, you will first feel a blatant difference in temperature. Mostly due to the number of people inside, but also because of the insulation inside of the statue - the temperature feels a lot warmer, and stuffier since the interior holds the infrastructure that holds the statue.
So, what's so nice about this tiny, enclosed space crowded with tourists? It's a rare chance, being able to see the inside of a famous statue and even symbol of a city. There isn't a grand amount to see inside, but even just standing inside for a minute or two and appreciating the statue from inside to out, is worth the small price. During my visit, I particularly enjoyed reading about the statue in the interior, as there is a lit up information board available inside.
If you're debating whether or not it is worth it to wait a few minutes in line and to crowd into the interior of the Daibutsu statue, do not think anymore, for it is a unique experience that offers you a literally different perspective.
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