Referred to as “The Buddha at Kamakura” by Rudyard Kipling in his novel “Kim”, this bronze statue has survived over 700 years of wars, tsunamis and earthquakes.
The Great Buddha (Daibutsu) statue at Kotokuin temple is the second largest in Japan (the largest being in Nara), and arguably the one with most artistic merit. Built in 1252 during the Kamakura Shogunate, this huge statue is cast in bronze, and weighs over 800 tonnes. At nearly 12 meters tall, it is pretty amazing stuff.
Kamakura also contains many other temples and cultural spots and is very popular with Tokyo-ites wanting a trip out of the city.
How to get there with the Japan Rail Pass
Lucky for you, it is a short ride from Tokyo on a Japan Rail Pass, and is only a short hop from Tokyo Station to Kamakura on the JR Yokosuka Line.
photo Michael Cornelius