Kamakura (Part I): Great Buddhas and Sacred Shrines

Kamakura had a brief run of glory from 1192-1333 when Japan’s capital was briefly relocated from Kyoto.  It also happens to be  about an hour train ride from Tokyo where Andy’s work brought us for nine days.  We decided to take a day trip to see the lovely temples, shrines and the most famous sight: the Daibutsu (Great Buddha).

Aidan and the Great Buddha

The children liked the Buddha but they were particularly impressed by his shoes.

Kamakura has a wealth of temples and gardens.  We could only visit a small fraction of what there was to see.  This is the entrance to Hase-dera, a temple around the corner from the Daibutsu which overlooks the bay.

The temple landscaping is beautiful.

Hase-dera is a particularly sacred to mothers as a place to remember miscarried or lost children by placing a jizo statue.

Aidan followed the lead of others and washed the statue.

There was also a small cave that the children felt was a hidden secret tunnel.  They had us walk through there two times.

Ema tablets are placed in Shinto shrines to document wishes and hopes of those who visit.   My hope is that these two stay as happy as they were on this day.

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