Friday, June 07, 2013

Kamakura 5 The Daibutsu 15/04/2013

After visiting the trio of Temples in the leafy relaxed area around Kita-Kamakura Station I headed off across the hills taking the Daibutsu hiking trail. I had read about this walk in my guide book but was a little apprehensive about heading into the hills alone while not speaking any real Japanese. Luckily as the trail ends at the most popular tourist destination in Kamakura it was well marked with bi-lingual signs. The final destination, The Daibutsu or Great Buddha was a must see for me as I had seen it appear in three Ozu films. Clearly Ozu enjoyed Kamakura as a location using the Daibutsu as a place to visit for his films characters be they gangsters, families or single ladies looking for a husband. In addition to being an Ozu location it is also a great historic monument the construction of which started in 1252 .
It is a great survivor in a country prone to earthquakes . According to the tourist notes on the back of the ticket, attempts had been made after it's construction to put a building around the statue but the buildings didn't fare well being destroyed several times and the Buddha has remained outside since the 14th century .

As always please click photos once and a second time to enlarge and see more detail.

The hiking trail signpost 

hand cleansing seems to be the tradition at both Buddhist Temples and Shinto Shrines in Japan

The statue is very popular to visit and is set in an attractive open plan garden

there were some nice leafy corners of the garden too

Sakura or other blossom in bloom was always very popular 

It was possible to climb inside the statue for a few yen to see the amazing techniques used to build it you can see from the rear view that it's hollow and made from metal ( Copper I believe )

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