Planning a trip to Japan? Make sure to visit one of the most famous monuments in the country, the Great Buddha. This huge bronze statue is of Amida Buddha, known as the Daibutsu in Japanese, and is located in the city of Kamakura on the grounds of Kotokuin Temple. This 44 foot tall and 93 ton Buddha was placed inside a temple hall in the year of 1252, but in 1495, it was relocated to being outside due to the destruction of the temple buildings from typhoons and a tidal wave. The inside of the statue is hallow, and visitors can tour the inside for 20 yen (which is less than one U.S. dollar.) The Great Buddha of Kamakura is seated in the lotus position, with it’s hands folded into the Dhyani Mudra, which is the symbol of meditation. Amid Buddha is the focus of Pure Land Buddhism. The sect gained prominence in the 12th century in Japan, and actually originated in China. The story behind this Buddha is that if one devotes themselves to Amid Buddha through both sincerity of heart and mantras, after they die they will go to the “Pure Land,” or “Western Paradise.” Every day thousands of tourists gather around the Great Buddha to take pictures of him, while others try and sneak a nice belly rub in.  Snap a photo in front of Amida and enjoy the beautiful view of lush green rolling hills and colorful treetops. This iconic statue is extremely easy to get to, only being a a 5-minute walk from the Enoden Railway Hase Station.

 

the great buddha of kamakura
[photo credit: Dmitry Valberg via photopin cc]


Shane Autumn is currently a senior at The University of Tampa, pursuing a degree in Communication, a minor in Spanish, and a certificate in International Studies. When this travel-obsessed, adventure junkie isn't out exploring the world, she can be found feeding her unhealthy addiction to chocolate chip cookies. Shane Autumn is an avid human rights and animal activist, and plans on starting her own non-profit organization someday.

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