Japan is an amazing place – if you would ask me, it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. So much to see here, that you have to spend probably all year only by traveling around, maybe even more.
I recently went with one of my friends to visit Kamakura – a coastal town in Kanagawa Prefecture, less than an hour south of Tokyo. It’s a small city and a very popular tourist destination. I have been here before during the summer straight to the beach, and there were plenty of parties then. We started our day in a very nice cafe just outside the station. We picked this place at random and we loved it. The place has plenty of beautiful cups on display and I love the idea how every customer gets a different one. I had coffee latte and chocolate cake–a perfect way to start the morning–and it was so delicious, I wanted to go back there and have more.
We also went to the beach to see what’s happening. It’s still spring but people are getting ready for a nice time at the beach.
People were ready for surfing. There were actually several surfers on the beach, because the waves were pretty big. It was also windy when we visited, and we had sand everywhere when we left the beach.
I took some random pictures while walking around, trying to find a nice place to have lunch.
After some pictures and sight-seeing, we finally found a small, but very cool place to have lunch.
After a very nice lunch, we went on our way to see the Great Buddha and also took random pictures along the way. One of the interesting ones is this bean shop, that sells almost all kinds of beans.
The Great Buddha is a national treasure. Construction of the Daibutsu began in 1252 and continued for approximately ten years. The cost of construction of the Daibutsu were met by the priest Joko, who successfully persuaded members of the community to make the necessary donations. Among the records of the temple, the name of Hisatomo Tanji appears as a craftsman responsible for the casting of the Daibutsu, and a man known as Gorouemon Ohno appears in the temple lore, but the designer of the original model and many other details surrounding the construction remains unknown to this day. Few more details:
Height, including the pedestal = 13.4m
Height of the cast = 11.3m
Weight = 121t
And finally, we entered the Hase-Dera temple. According to legend in 721 AD, the pious monk Takudo Shonin discovered a large camphor tree in the mountain forests near the village of Hase in the Nara region. He realized the trunk of the tree was so large that it provided enough material for carving two statues of the eleven-headed Kannon. The statue he commissioned to be carved from the lower part of the trunk was enshrined in Hasedera Temple near Nara; the statue from the upper half (actually the larger of the two) was thrown into the sea near present-day Osaka with a prayer that it would reappear to save the people. Fifteen years later in 736 on the night of June 18, it washed ashore at Nagai Beach on the Miura Peninsula not far from Kamakura, sending out rays of light as it did. The statue was then brought to Kamakura and a temple was constructed to honor it. Since time immemorial, Hasedera temple had been known as the 4th station among the 33 holy places in the Kanto area.