The Great Buddha of Kamakura, Japan

The Great Buddha: A huge bronze statue of the Amida Buddha, one of Japan's most famous icons

On my recent trip to Japan, I had the pleasure of visiting  The Great Buddha of Kamakura, one of Japan’s most famous icons. Like many travelers, I was eager to see to the 13.35 meters tall (43.8 feet) and 270,000 lbs bronze statue in person. Although I had seen images of the Great Buddha hundreds of times, none of them came close to what I experienced that day: the statue as well as Kamakura were covered in snow.

I saw the Great Buddha and surrounding temples during my Walking Tour of Kamakura offered by Due to the bad weather, I was the only person on the tour that day. Being the only brave soul to venture on a walking tour of Kamakura on one of the coldest days in Japanese history had a few perks. Kamakura was fairly quiet,  the temples and shrines usually flooded with tourist, were calm with an intimate atmosphere. I nearly had the town all to myself.

Hasedera Temple in Kamakura

The Hasedera Temple, the first stop on my Walking Tour of Kamakura

In the morning we left Tokyo and took a 60 minute journey to Kamakura via train. Once there, our first stop was the Hasedera Temple. The Hasedera Temple is home to large statue of Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy. I was not permitted to take pictures of the statue but believe me when I say it was remarkable. The Kannon statue is gilded in gold and has 11 heads. Legend says that the statue was once thrown into the ocean, set adrift to decide for itself where it should be worshiped. It eventually made it’s way to Kamakura where the Hasedera temple was then built around it.  The temple, located on a steep hill,  is also a place to get an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately on this day with the snow and freezing rain, I didn’t see much of the ocean but I did snap a few picture of the temple grounds.

Blossoms in the Snow at Kamakura

Blossoms peeking through the snow at Hasedera Temple

Prayer Tablets at the Hasedera Temple with a likeness of Kannon

Kannon Tablets with Written Prayers on the back

Statues of Jizo Covered in Snow

Jizo statues are all around the temple. These statues are said to protect children

Snow covered blossoms on a tree in Kamakura

More blossoms who thought spring was coming

Snow Covered Grounds of the Hasedara Temple

Snow Covered Grounds of the Hasedara Temple

I did not get as many pictures as I would have liked. I was absolutely frozen because it was snowing with this wintery mix kinda deal. After the temple, we headed to the Great Buddha statue where I snapped more pictures and then it was time for lunch. My Japanican tour also included a rickshaw hire. Due to the weather I did not have the heart to ask the rickshaw man to cart me around town. ( The roads were so slippery.) I ended up cancelling the afternoon section of the tour because the snow showed no signs of letting up and I was soaked with widdle icicles for toes. BUUURR!

Great Buddha Covered in Snow

Only a few tourist at the Great Buddha Statue of Kamakura

Apparently I was super lucky to visit Kamakura that day and see it covered in snow. The few people that I came across mentioned that it hadn’t snowed like that in years. The frozen appendages were totally worth it. I really enjoyed my Walking Tour of Kamakura and the history of this magical place.

How long would you have lasted on a walking tour in weather like this? I lasted about 4.5 hours. I’m a chicken.

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9 Responses to A Remarkable View of Kamakura and The Great Buddha Statue

  1. […] A Remarkable View of Kamakura and The Great Buddha Statue Photography Workshop in Kreuzberg By Nicole On April 22, 2012 · Leave a Comment · […]

  2. Margyle says:

    Oh wow… I went to Kamakura three times, but never during the winter. To be fair, when I was there, we had a very mild winter, but your pictures turned out really well! I think the best time I went was during hanami (cherry blossoms), but it’s a place I can never get sick of!
    Margyle recently posted..This Just In – Awesome Guy (Me) Helps Stranded Couple in RomeMy Profile

    • Nicole says:

      yeah i regret not seeing the cherry blossoms but that would have increased the cost of my visit significantly. I found a flight from Berlin to Tokyo for 430 Euro, I simply couldnt pass it up 🙂

  3. Laura says:

    Your photos are is incredibly beautiful and inspirational. I love everything Japanese and hope to make it to Japan sooner than later.
    Laura recently posted..An Insiders Guide to North CornwallMy Profile

  4. That place seems amazing, must have been pretty cool to have the place all to yourself!
    Sofia @ As We Travel recently posted..Places To Visit In Sri Lanka – Exploring The CoastMy Profile

    • Nicole says:

      yeah it really was surreal. all this??..for me! i would love to go back when the weather is better though.

  5. […] Credits: Great Buddha covered with snow […]

  6. […] See: • The Great Buddha • Hasedera Temple • Hachimangu […]

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