Kotoku-in (Great Buddha of Kamakura)

4.6 7 Reviews

Kamakura’s Daibutsu is a beautiful bronze statue built in the mid-13th century (750 years ago). He has been meditating under the sky for about 500 years of those years, after losing the shelter he was originally housed in. When you visit, you might see him soaked in rain, or sweating under the glaring sun, or just enjoying the warm spring sunshine. Whenever you come, his expressive face will touch your heart. Kamakura’s Daibutsu has been kept intact, without any large-scale restorations since it was built.

Overview

Address

4-2-28, Hase, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture (Map) (Directions)

Price

¥150 - ¥200

Phone Number

0467-22-0703

Website

kotoku-in.jp

Highlights

Gilded Daibutsu

See the fleck of gold leaf on the Daibutsu’s right cheek? The original Daibutsu was entirely covered in gold. Kamakura’s Daibutsu was made of bronze (68.7% copper, 9.3% tin, 19.6% lead) and so it was impossible to plate using the techniques of the era. Instead, they attached gold leaves directly to the body.

Fantastic proportions

The length between the inner and outer corner of the eye is about one meter. The ears are 1.95 meters tall. This impressive statue is 13.35 meters tall and weighs 121 tons. It was created step by step, in more than ten incremental pouring, starting from the bottom and moving up to the head. You can even see the linear borders of each pouring.

Remnants of the past

You might notice the several stones scattered around the statue. The surface of these stones is flat. They are thought to have been the foundation stones of the building that once housed Daibutsu. That building was destroyed and rebuilt before they finally decided to leave Daibutsu outside under the moon and the sun. At one time, there were thirty-two bronze lotus petals at the base of the statue, but today only four remain, and they are no longer in place.

Amenities

  • Information Counter
  • Free guides/pamphlets

Access

You can reach Daibustu in three ways, by the Enoden (tram), by bus, and by foot. If you choose the Eno-den, please get off at Hase Station. After passing through the ticket gate, turn right and walk for 7 minutes. If you take a bus, the bus will leave from an East gate terminal (#1 or #6). Pay when you get off at the front of the bus. The fare will be 190 yen. Get off at the “Daibutsu-mae” stop, the one after Hase Kannon. This bus stop is a bit tricky. After you get off the bus, walk back in the direction your bus just came from, and cross the street at the signal. The entrance to Daibutsu is on the left. If you get there in the afternoon, you’ll be fine—just follow the crowds. But if you are an early bird, and no one is there in the morning, it might be confusing. Finally, if you follow a map, walking to Daibutsu is quite easy. You can enjoy a nice stroll. The back streets of Kamakura are beautiful!

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Kotoku-in (Great Buddha of Kamakura)

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