Aug 18th, 2009 | By | Category: Photo Gallery

The Great Buddha of Kamakura, better know as the Daibutsu, is a sight to behold and was one of the highlights of my trip to the area.

Kamakura Daibutsu Buddha 1

Sitting peacefully on the grounds of Kotoku-in in the hills to the southwest of Kamakura station this weathered bronze statue was erected in 1252, weighs in at 121 tons, and stands over 13 meters (42 feet) tall.

The statue has survived earthquakes, fires and was swept away, unharmed, along with its surrounding structure by a tidal wave wave in 1498.

Today the Daibutsu sits in the open air on an earthquake proof foundation and will likely preside peacefully over the area for hundreds of years to come.

Admission to Kotoku-in is a modest Y200 and for and additional Y20 you can take the narrow stairway into the heart of Buddha to explore the inside of this imposing structure.

Image Credit:  Personal Collection

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  1. It doesn’t look like the statue was “swept away,” although the wooden structure that once surrounded it certainly was. The temple apparently sits atop an old streambed, which gave the tsunami that did the damage a perfect path to rush up from the sea to the statue and its ex-housing.

  2. If it was standing in the same place after the tidal wave swept through that would be an amazing feat of engineering for the time…

    The English sign on the premises says the great temple was “swept away” leaving only its foundation and that the base was damaged during the 1923 earthquake. He also was reinforced in the 1960’s and the base was made earthquake proof.

    Good ‘ol Daibutsu has seen a lot in his day!

  3. The material I’ve seen on the wave says that the statue itself rocked back on its butt, but sat back down in place, while the structure was obliterated.

  4. I was blessed to visit it and go inside. It was the same as taking a trip to the moon for me. I converted to Buddhism at 17 having been raised a Catholic in El Paso, TX. Moved to Japan thanks to the U.S. Army and was able to visit the temple. It was an awesome experience! I could not believe someone coming from such humble roots as myself was actually standing inside the statue. I gave birth in 1989 and nothing can create life and was awed by the power of Christ. I am a true born again Christian. Only God can take and give life. But the history of this buddha is amazing!

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