If you’re spending the day in Kamakura, there is one statue that is a must-see. This is the Great Buddha located at Kotokuin Temple. You may hear the locals refer to this statue at Kamakura Daibutsu which means Great Buddha of Kamakura. This impressive statue reaches 11.4m and is considered the second tallest statue made of bronze in Japan.
The Great Buddha statue was not built in this location. In the 15th century, it was moved from inside a large temple to the current outdoor location. The original temple had been continually affected by typhoons and a tsunami to the point where it made sense to move the statue.
This statue is actually in the form of Amida Buddha – also known as Buddha of Infinite Light. You’ll find this beautiful statue surround by gorgeous greenery. You won’t believe the tranquility of the area.
How to get here:
Of course, there are a few ways to get here from the Yokosuka Base. You can grab a train from the Yokosuka station near the base. This will require some walking – about 45 minutes to the train station. Then, about 26 minutes from the Kamakura stop to the Kotokuin Temple. Or, grab a bus for the last section of the journey, and it will get you there in about eight minutes. Make sure to grab your walking shoes for this commute, as you’ll be exploring around the temple as well.
If you elect to take this route, you’ll want to hop on the Yokosuka Line. The cost is about $7, making it the most cost-effective option.
The most direct and quickest way is to grab a taxi. This will, of course, bring you right to Kotokuin Temple. Be advised, taking a taxi will cost around $70. Make sure this transportation is within budget before heading there.
You can also drive to the temple if you have a car. However, there is not a parking lot directly at the temple that is meant for cars. You can only park bicycles and mopeds here.
The Kotokuin Temple is open every day from 8 – 5:30 (5 from October to March). Go throughout the year to see the statue during different seasons. This temple remains open throughout the whole year. Expect to pay 300 yen to explore around here.
Visiting the statue has more concrete hours. You can visit every day from 8 to 5:30. There are no days where the statue is closed for viewing. There is a 20 yen fee to visit just the statue.
The temple building itself is off-limits – you can explore around the exterior, but not inside the temple due to the pandemic.
Also, most Japanese Buddhist temples have a cemetery. Surprisingly, this temple does not. If you’re familiar with Japanese Buddhist temples, don’t bother hunting for one. You won’t find it.
Head over to the Great Buddha statue for a great way to do some sightseeing. This is one place you will leave feeling relaxed and refreshed due to the environment. Enjoy your time exploring around the temple and experiencing the giant bronze statue in person