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鎌倉大仏殿高徳院 The Great Buddha and Kotoku-in

  • Temples / Shrines / Cathedrals
  • Around Kamakura
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  • Price RangeAdult 200 (JPY)
    children 150 (JPY)
    "Fee to enter the interior of the Great Buddha statue 20 (JPY)
  • ClosedOpen Every Day

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Maps are rarely carried out with accessing from mainland China.

Around Kamakura
4-2-28 Hase, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa 248-0016, Japan
  • Temples / Shrines / Cathedrals
Opening Hours
[April-September] 8:00-17:30, [October-March] 8:00-17:00, Interior of the Great Buddha Statue - 8:00-16:30
Open Every Day
Price Range
Adult 200 (JPY)
children 150 (JPY)
"Fee to enter the interior of the Great Buddha statue 20 (JPY)
Date of post:2015/06/16

Great Buddha, Kamakura's symbol

  • Temple / Shrine
  • Special Recommendations

The Great Buddha of Kamakura is the second biggest sitting bronze Buddha statue in Japan. The biggest one is in Nara, but what is unique about this one is that you can see it in the open air. So you can take good photos of the statue in the sunshine. Among its other temples and shrines, this is a symbolic place of Kamakura.

It was constructed in the 13th century. Its height is 13.35m including the base and its weight is 121 tons. The statue used to be covered by a pavilion which was destroyed by a tsunami in the 15th century. You can still see the foundation of the pavilion made of stone. Gold leaves were applied to the statue during its construction but only a few remain now.

The inside of the statue is empty. If you pay ¥20 (JPY), you can enter it.

On the side, you will find huge straw sandals for Buddha.

The real name of the temple is Kotokuin.

You can walk to the temple from Hase station on the Enoden line. You can find many fancy souvenir shops and restaurants on the way.

Also there is another nice temple with a big statue of Kannon (a disciple of Buddha), Hase temple is nearby.

Date of post:2015/06/12

The Great Buddha

  • Temple / Shrine

When you hear the word “Kamakura”, the images which come to your mind will be “Daibutsu, the Great Buddha”, or the famous woodblock print of ‘The Giant Wave of Kamakura’, but for most locals, the Great Buddha comes first and more vividly. The Great Buddha is very popular all year long. It is said to have been built in 1243. The statue first had a hall which covered it, but with earthquakes and strong storms, it was broken down many times, later it ended up being washed away by a tsunami; then it was never rebuilt, and it’s been sitting out in the open since then. However, you can see the remains – the stone benches where tourists are sitting on, around the Great Buddha, are said to be the bases of the columns of the hall.

The statue including the pedestal is about 13 meters high, and weighs about 120 tons. The type of the Buddhist statue is “Amida-nyorai” which is the highest rank of the incarnation form of Buddha, which already enlightened to give mercy and save people. The hand signs of Buddhist statues always have a meaning, and the Great Buddha here has the most prestigious sign of meditation. It is said that there are 32 traits of Buddha, which differ from humans, one of which is the curly hair. The Great Buddha here has 656 curls in all. Also it has a spiral dot between the eyes on its forehead, it’s also a curly hair and it’s said to emit the light to people. The other trait is a kind of web between its fingers. They are for scooping and saving as many people as possible without missing anyone. On both cheeks, you might be able to find gold coloring, since it was once covered with gold, but most of it came off as time went.

Let’s go around the statue after looking at the front. You can go inside the statue from the side. You can get some hints on how it was made, as it has some lattice patterns on the wall of the statue, which is the clue that it was made separately and it was obviously high technology for the age. At the back of the statue, you will see two windows. Some people might think they are for air ventilation, but it was for scraping the clay out from inside of the statue in the process of casting.

By the way, there is another popular Great Buddha in Japan. Have you heard of the Great Buddha in Nara? It is located in the Nara prefecture, in the Western part of Japan. It is seated in a hall of the Toudaiji temple, and the size is a bit bigger than the one in Kamakura. Also the hand sign is different. If you have chance to go to Nara, it would be nice to compare the two and find some differences.

Opening hours: 8:00-17:30 (April to September)
8:00-17:00 (October to March)
Price: Adult ¥200 (JPY) / Child (primary school) ¥150 (JPY)
To enter the interior of the Great Buddha statue: 8:00-16:30 (Price: ¥20 (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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