Since today was a day off for The Hubs, we decided to check out some more of our neighboring city, Kamakura. Kamakura is full of historical sights, many of which are temples and shrines that have been around for hundreds of years. One of the most popular sights is known as The Great Buddha.
"The Great Buddha of Kamakura (Kamakura Daibutsu) is a bronze statue of Amida Buddha, which stands on the grounds of Kotokuin Temple. With a height of 13.35 meters, it is the second tallest bronze Buddha statue in Japan, surpassed only by the statue in Nara's Todaiji Temple. The statue was cast in 1252 and originally located inside a large temple hall. However, the temple buildings were destroyed multiple times by typhoons and a tidal wave in the 14th and 15th centuries. So, since 1495, the Buddha has been standing in the open air."
- Hours: 0800-1700 (1730 March through October)
- Open every day
- Admission - 200Yen
If you are traveling with kids, there is a lot of walking to get to the Buddha from the train station. It's about a 10-minute walk, but when it's 85 degrees, humid, and sunny... your little ones will complain. Both of my girls really liked seeing the Buddha, however, because we had talked about how we were going to see a GIANT statue. There was also a lot of room for them to run around and a couple of different souvenir shops that sold ice-cream - always a plus for tired, hot kids. Unless you have a tour guide, there isn't really much else to see besides the Buddha. However, it's still a must-see for this area of Japan. The size of it is very unique and it's a gorgeous sight in the middle of the trees and Japanese garden.
|I was so proud of Thing 1!! We had watched a movie about Japan and she knew just what to do at the entrance to the temple. The water is used to "cleanse" you before you enter.|
|I told them to make their biggest smiles and I think Thing 2 is about to explode.|
|Notice that green ice-cream? That would be the "green tea" flavor.|
|Mmmmm! Green Tea! (I think it tastes like baby food - especially the "sweet potato" flavor. Ick!)|
|Thing 1 ran over to be in the picture too. My little copy-cat.|
|Thing 2 looooved the lions.|
I might also mention that if you have a child with blond hair, blue eyes OR curly hair, random Japanese people will want to touch it. Thing 2 was minding her own business when a little, old Japanese lady walked by her and at the last minute, rubbed her hair! It was like a drive-by hair assault. Thing 2 gave the lady a mean-face and ran over to me saying, "Moooom! That lady touched my head!" Get used to it. Curly hair isn't very common in Japan and everyone wants to cop a feel.