Monday, September 3, 2012

The Giant Buddha

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."

Specific Information:
  • 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.


  1. The female Buddha, Ofuna is quite beautiful too. Great opportunities for modeling with blond hair & blue eyes - Tristan did that for 2 years and was on the cover of a magazine and on a huge Tokyo billboard in his undies. We learned the train system REALLY well doing that. It was different....did a Canon video 3 day shoot on the northern island, Hoikado. Interesting staying in traditional Japanese hotel!! We had fun with it. Great seeing the girls trying different foods, some are delicious, others, hmmm. We loved the Gyozas near Zama & seeing the women literally make 1000's daily while we gobbled them up by the dozens. Very tasty & inexpensive and fun meal out with another family sitting around a low table. We also enjoyed eating at Mori Mori Bon Bon or that's what the American's called of cooking with hibachi grill at each individual table. You select your vegies, meats and fruits and grill them....our boys LOVED doing that and you get as much as you want. We also loved the Snow Festival - MWR offers some great tours. Your daughters will love the snow castles, amazing what they create from snow, mind boggling. Also the Fertility Festival is CRAZY. Not for kids, lol. Thanks for sharing your time there, its fun remembering our 3 years in Japan.

  2. The curly hair rub made me laugh. On one of my first nights in Japan, I took a walk to explore my neighborhood. I lived in a more rural area. An elderly woman was riding a bicycle, and when she saw me, she started babbling in Japanese and bowing incessantly on her bicycle. I was worried she'd fall over, and I have no idea what she was saying. I don't know if it was good or bad! Perhaps it was the first time she had ever seen a gaijin. I don't know, but I'll never forget it.