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鎌倉 長谷寺 Kamakura Hasedera Temple

  • Buildings (Temples / Shrines / Cathedrals)
  • Around Kamakura
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  • ClosedOpen Every Day

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District
Around Kamakura
Address
3-11-2 Hase, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa 248-0016, Japan
Category
  • Buildings (Temples / Shrines / Cathedrals)
Opening Hours
[March-September]8:00-17:00, [October-February]8:00-16:30
Closed
Open Every Day
Website
http://www.hasedera.jp/en/
Tel.
+81-467-22-6300
Date of post:2015/06/12

The eleven headed Kannon Bodhisattva

  • Temple / Shrine
  • Special Recommendations

Hasedera Temple is located at a walking distance from the Daibutsu, the Great Buddha. Of course the Great Buddha is a tourist- favorite sightseeing spot, but Hasedera Temple is also something you shouldn’t miss.

Built in the beginning of the 8th century, Hasedera Temple has attracted many worshipers and tourists since then. The nearby temple of the Great Buddha is quite simple, but on the other hand, here in Hasedera Temple, there is a lot more to see.

There is a huge statue of Kannon Bodhisattva, which is about 9 meters high, and it’s one of the largest wooden sculptures in Japan. It’s made of camphor tree, but you might not notice it at first sight, as it’s covered by golden leaves.
Most temples have a main hall which houses a main Buddhist statue, but there are different types of statue depending on the temple. The real character of all Buddhist statues is of course Buddha, but it incarnates itself into various forms to save all people who are suffering from different troubles. That’s why the statues look different from temple to temple. Especially here in Hasedera Temple, this eleven headed Kannon Bodhisattva is ready to find suffering people at once, having eleven heads which face all directions, in addition to the main incarnation. Kannon Bodhisattva is Buddha’s incarnation before its enlightenment, and it is half still in “our world”, not having finished its training, so it wears frilled clothes and accessories. As the training proceeds, Buddha needs less material without material desire.

In addition to the statue in the main hall, there is another important Buddhist statue next to it, which is called Amida-do hall. A different type of Buddhist statue is housed in the Amidado- hall next to it, and according to the legend it was built for Minamoto Yoritomo who was the first Shogun of the Kamakura period. Traditionally Japan has a concept of unlucky age, which is not technically proven with scientific basis, but has been practiced for a long time on the basis of the physical cycle of human life. The ages are different from men and women, but 42 year-old men and 33 year-old women are said to have the unluckiest age. When Yoritomo was 42 years old, he had this statue made to drive bad spirits away. It’s been worshiped by many people since then.

The type of the statue here is “Nyorai” which is a transformation of Buddha after its enlightenment and it has simple clothes with no accessories at all.

Another popular attraction here is a mysterious cave called “Benten-kutsu”. Inside the dark cave, there are stone sculptures attached to the wall, and especially the main statue of “Benzai-ten” which was originally the Goddess of water from India that is worshiped by many visitors. This Goddess was introduced into Buddhism and became popular as a Goddess for music and art.

The temple is famous for flowers as well so you can enjoy different types of flowers all year long.
In June, hydrangeas are beautiful with many different colors. The walking path on the ground is lined with hydrangeas. It’s even worth visiting just for these flowers if you are in Japan in the middle of the rainy season, which sometimes ruins your plans. The rain makes the colors more vivid. On a sunny day, you can see a nice landscape of the sea and the nearby town from the viewing spot.

Opening hours: 8:00-17:00 (Mar-Sep) / 8:00-16:30 (Oct-Feb)
Closed: From 29 Dec to 1 Jan.
Adult ¥300 (JPY) / Child (Primary school ) ¥100 (JPY)

  • * The information above is from the date of the review. Please be aware that some of the content may vary from the most recent information.
Other Sightseeing Spots of Yokohama, Hakone, Kamakura (Kanagawa)

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