The Great Buddha (Daibutsu) of Kamakura, Kotoku-in
The Great Buddha of Kamakura within Kotoku-in Temple
Facts & Figures
The Great Buddha of Kamakura (Kamakura Daibutsu) is part of the Kotoku-in Buddhist temple of the Jodo-shu sect. The sect was founded by priest Honen (1133 - 1212). This huge bronze statue with a height of 13,35 meters (incl. the base) and its weight of 121 tons is really an impressive sight and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Japan. The open-air statue is designated as a National Treasure and displays the image of Amida-butsu (Amitabha Buddha). The Kamakura Daibutsu is the second largest Buddha statue in Japan, after the Daibutsu within the Todaiji Temple in Nara. My tip: It is possible to enter this hollow statue and you should check out its interior design.
- Kotoku-in Temple:
- Opening Hours - 8:00 am to 5:30 pm (final entry 15min before closing, April - September)
- Opening Hours - 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (final entry 15min before closing, October - March)
- The Great Buddha of Kamakura - to enter the interior:
- Opening Hours - 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
- Admission fee - 300 yen (Adults), 300 yen (Students age: 13-18), 150 yen (Students age: 6-12), free for Kids under 6 years, 20 yen additional charge for entering the statue
My tips for local activities
How about exploring the beautiful city Kamakura and its historical places with a local guide. Check out this page for more details.
The Great Statue of Amida Buddha at Kamakura is dating back to 1252. Priest Joko collected the money for this huge undertaking without any governmental support. His goal was to replace the destroyed wooden Buddha statue with a bronze statue. In the beginning the bronze statue was covered with a thin layer of gold. You can still see some remaining parts near the ears. The large wooden Buddha Hall housing the statue was destroyed and rebuilt after heavy storms in 1334 and 1369. A big tsunami after the Meio Nankaido earthquake in 1498 destroyed the hall again. Short after the decision was made to leave the statue in the open air. After the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 and in 1960 some repair work was done. The last major restoration work of the statue is dating back to 2016.
The Kotoku-in Temple and Buddha Statue is located within the city Kamakura in the Kanagawa Prefecture. Kamakura is less than 1 hour away by train from Tokyo.
Address: 4-2-28 Hase, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa
How to get to the Great Buddha of Kamakura?
- 7min walk from Hase Station served by the Enoshima Electric Railway
Sightseeing spots at the Kotoku-in Temple
Daibutsu - The Great Buddha statue is the highlight of the Kotoku-in temple.
Buddha Sandals - Close to the statue you will find a pair of huge 1,80 meter-long traditional Japanese warazori straw sandals. In 1951 they were first donated to the temple and the sandals get renewed every 3 years. The idea behind this is Buddha should wear them on his trip trough Japan and bring happiness to the people.
Nio-mon gate - At the entrance you will find the wooden and nicely colored Nio-mon gate, which is housing 2 fierce looking Nio statues (guardians of the Buddha).
Kangetsu-do Hall - This sub-temple was brought from Korea in 1934. The hall contains an image of Kannon Bosatsu (Goddess of Mercy) dating back to the Edo period (1603 - 1867).
Festival & Events in Kamakura(dates can change without notice)
Kamakura Matsuri (from 2nd to 3rd Sunday)
The city and its history will be celebrated.
Bonbori Matsuri (7th to 9th)
Hundreds of lanterns can be found around Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu shrine.
Kamakura Hase no Akari (19th to 25th)
Eight temples and shrines (incl. Kotoku-in) will get illuminated at night.
Reitai Matsuri (between 14th and 16th)
Great festival with its most famous attraction the Japanese horseback archery.
Where to stay in Kamakura?
My 100 Best Moments in Japan
I am visiting Japan nearly every year since 2004. This is my collection of the 100 best moments in my favourite country. Enjoy the pictures and I hope you will start your own journey soon.