Saturday, February 11, 2012

Kamakura Japan

While we were in Tokyo, we used our JR pass and took a day trip to Kamakura on the Yokosuka line that took about an hour. Once in Kamakura we wanted to see the great Buddha so took the little JR Enoden Line that putt-putts to the Hase station. Very charming.
The most famous attraction in town is the Great Buddha (Daibutsu) near the Kotoku-in Temple. The Buddha is 13.5 meters (44 ft) high, weighs 93 tons and is the second largest bronze Daibutsu in Japan, the largest is at Nara’s Todai-ji. The statue was cast in 1252 and was originally located inside a large temple there. However, the temple buildings were destroyed multiple times by typhoons and finally a tidal wave in the 15th century. Since 1495, the Buddha has been standing in the open air becoming more weathered and beautiful with each passing year.

You can pay ¥20 and go into the Buddha. Standing inside the Daibutsu, you get a sense of the sophisticated technologies used to cast it. It is clear from the lattice pattern on the interior walls that the Great Buddha was made in a series of 40 separate castings. Impressive.

Kamakura is a small city now but it once was very important and was the center of the Kamakura period from 1185 to 1333. This period marks the governance of the Kamakura Shogunate and the transition to the Japanese medieval era, a nearly 700-year period in which the emperor, the court, and the traditional central government were left intact but lonly had ceremonial functions.

In 1333, the Kamakura shogunate was overthrown in a coup d'état. The Imperial House was restored to political influence, but that only lasted three years.

Rickshaw Driver
The history of Kamakura is fascinating and was once a very important city in Japan. Now it’s a wonderful, relatively quiet place to get away to from the crowds and noise of Tokyo. Highly recommended! 

No comments:

Post a Comment