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Great Buddha - Kamakura

last update: November 15, 2021
Daibutsu (大仏) is a Japanese word for a large statue of Buddha or one of his reincarnations, and the Kamakura Daibutsu (or Great Buddha of Kamakura) is one of the largest bronze Buddha statues in Japan. Its height of 12.35 meters for 121 tons, and almost eight hundred years of history, make this Daibutsu the most famous in all of Japan, perhaps second only to that of Nara. The statue is located inside the Kotoku-in Temple.

Hours and fees

All the details about the Great Buddha of Kamakura

Historical background

Although neither the author nor the date of its creation is known with certainty, according to the most accredited thesis the Great Buddha of Kamakura today dates back to 1252, in the middle of the so-called Kamakura period (1185-1333). During this period Kamakura was the capital and main center of power in Japan. An earlier wooden statue, made ten years earlier, was damaged in a storm, prompting the temple's monks to collect donations to build today's bronze statue. The statue was not originally located outdoors, but inside a wooden structure that was destroyed three times, the last in 1498 by a tsunami, after which it was never rebuilt and the statue was left outside. The Big Buddha was once covered with a layer of gold, and some traces of gold are still visible today near the statue's ears.
kamakura daibutsu
kamakura daibutsu kamakura daibutsu Kamakura Daibutsu in all its glory

What to see at the Kotoku-in Temple

If it weren't for the large statue it houses, the Kotoku-in Temple would be just an anonymous Buddhist temple unknown to most. The Big Buddha is therefore the only thing to see inside this temple, and is located at the end of a suggestive avenue surrounded by trees on all sides. If you have never seen such a monument, this is the best opportunity around Tokyo. The statue is empty internally and with an offering of 20¥ it is possible to enter.
kotokuin temple kotokuin temple inside Kotoku-in Temple
kamakura daibutsu
kamakura daibutsu
kamakura daibutsu Some particular shots of the Great Buddha of Kamakura

How to get to the Kamakura Daibutsu

On foot

You can reach the Kotoku-in Temple and its big Big Buddha on foot from Kamakura station. In total there are about 1.7 km and along the road you will find several maps and directions also in English. It is not difficult to get there on foot, even without using the GPS.

By train

450 meters from the Kotoku-in Temple is Hase station, a small station along the Enoden railway line that connects Kamakura station with Enoshima and Fujisawa. From Kamakura station it takes 4 minutes and it costs 200¥. The street between Hase and the Kotoku-in Temple has been filled with little tourist shops in recent years.

Guided tours, activities and other things to do

If you are planning a trip to Japan and you want to do something more than just visiting famous places and monuments, we suggest you to use Rakuten Travel Experiences.

How to use Rakuten Travel Experiences

Rakuten Travel is a very useful website to enrich your travel experience, especially if you are going solo or it's your first time in Japan.
Because of the language barrier (and more), in Japan it is very difficult to interact with the locals and to get off the tourist track.
Thanks to Rakuten Travel you can find a lot of interesting and sometimes unique guided tours and activities all over Japan (and not only in Japan), that you would otherwise never be able to enjoy.
But there's more: on Rakuten Travel you can also buy tickets for several famous attractions, events, transportation and other useful services for tourists. Last but not least, you can reserve a table in hundreds of restaurants.

Some examples

Take a look at Rakuten Travel Experiences

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