We left Shinagawa station in Tokyo on the JR Yokosuka line and transferred in Ofuna to arrive in Kamakura. Once we arrived at our final destination, we followed the crowds to the right and through a pedestrian tunnel to a bus that was headed to our first stop, The Big Buddha. Officially known as the Kotoku-in Temple's Great Buddha, we just referred to it as The Big Buddha. The bus cost around $1 (you pay when you exit) and it dropped us directly at the temple. Approximately 42 feet tall and made of bronze, this Buddha is probably the thing Kamakura is known for the most.
Admission to the temple costs 200 yen, or around $1.75. The Big Buddha is the second tallest bronze Buddha in Japan, second only to the one in Nara. You may pay an additional 20 cents to enter inside the Buddha which allows you to see how it was constructed, and which we did. There are restrooms on site and a small area to buy some items associated with the Buddha. Our visit didn't take very long and then we were off to see Kamakura itself.
(Funny aside: One of the souvenir stores we went in had a photo of President Obama on the wall and the lady working there said he came to visit The Big Buddha and she shook his hand!)
Looking for a place for lunch we spotted a storefront selling octopus crackers. My girls wanted to try them - and I suppose I would have, too - but the line was long. Really long. I guess that Mackinac Island is known for fudge and Kamakura is known for octopus crackers.
We popped into a small cafe for lunch. It had a bit of a surfer vibe with Hawaii and California tourism posters for art. Fortified after some shrimp pasta, we were on our way.
Hasedera Temple sits on top of a hill in Kamakura and includes the temple, its grounds, a cave and a large statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. She is portrayed in all her glory with her eleven heads, each representing a characteristic of the goddess.
The grounds are stunning with beautiful gardens and a view of the sea. There is also a small bamboo forest which I was thrilled about as I was hoping to see one on my visit to Japan. I spent a little time just sitting on a bench by the entrance to the forest while my girls wandered on the path and took in the view.
My youngest noticed that the construction worker is bowing!
Sailboats in February!
It was getting late and we needed to catch our train back to Tokyo but we stopped at the tiniest sweet shop in town for a snack. I don't remember what everyone had but I know mine was chocolate!
And we were off on the train! Such a great day in Kamakura. My favorite day in Japan - a Big Buddha, a beautiful temple and it's grounds, a town by the sea, a delicious lunch and chocolate! What more could one ask for?
I'm linking up with: Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox,Weekend Travel Inspiration at Reflections Enroute, The Weekly Postcard at Travel Notes and Beyond and Weekend Wanderlust at A Brit and A Southerner!