A Day Trip to Kamakura

Kamakura Travel Blog

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A wooden carving at Engaku-ji

Hiromi had talked to Jana and at the end of April and we agreed to go to Kamakura to check out a couple of the temples/shrines there and to see the huge Buddha that they have. So we did that on today.

 

I should state that I have found I am really getting into the traditional Japanese architecture on the temples and shrines. I like the tradition wood temples with there amazing angles and simple designs. The Chinese ones are more colorful but there is just something I like about the traditional Japanese designs.

 

The first temple (Engaku-ji) we went to see had the most amazing wood carvings on the doors.

Another area at Engaku-ji
I have never seen such detailed carvings before. There were tons of dragons carved into the doors and I just could have looked at the details for hours. This temple also was supposed to have one of Buddha’s teeth but I was unable to see that because it was enclosed (it is a national treasure here).

 

After that we went to Kencho-ji (another temple) that is the oldest Zen training monastery in Japan. I have a quote from the brochure that I like “If you have lost your true self, all phenomena bring you nothing but annoyance. If you discover your essence of mind, you can follow nothing but the true path.” Rankei Doryu’s teachings from “Recording Sayings”

 

The temple also had a national treasure…700 year old juniper trees. They were HUGE! Of course part of the temple was up a huge hill and I made it most the way before the scary stairs made me stop but the view was amazing.

Stone carvings at Engaku-ji
(Everything in Japan is a fresh green right now so it is beautiful) I was able to watch the wind blow through the bamboo trees while I waited for Jana and Hiromi to finish their hike up to the top. I loved this temple.

 

We went to see another shrine but I was impressed because most of it was being repainted or had some repairs going on. Jana and I joked about “Coming Soon: An Old Shrine” but I was a bit disappointed.

 

After that, it was time for the Great Buddha (Daibutsu). The Daibutsu was made in 1252 A.D. and it weighs 121 tons. It survived a tidal wave in 1494 that washed the foundation away and in 1923 the base was once again damaged but the Buddha made it through that also. It is one strong Daibutsu.

 

The Daibutsu was an amazing sight and it is hard to believe that it is so old. I think the Daibutsu was my favorite part of the trip simply because it was cool to look at.

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A wooden carving at Engaku-ji
A wooden carving at Engaku-ji
Another area at Engaku-ji
Another area at Engaku-ji
Stone carvings at Engaku-ji
Stone carvings at Engaku-ji
Engaku-ji
Engaku-ji
A dragon carving at Engaku-ji
A dragon carving at Engaku-ji
The wooden carvings at Engaku-ji
The wooden carvings at Engaku-ji
One of the 700 year old juniper tr…
One of the 700 year old juniper t…
Another shot of the white dragon a…
Another shot of the white dragon …
The famous white dragon painting a…
The famous white dragon painting …
Jana and I doing our ah and um…
Jana and I doing our 'ah' and 'um…
Kamakura Great Buddha (Daibutsu)
Kamakura Great Buddha (Daibutsu)
A side veiw of the Daibutsu
A side veiw of the Daibutsu
Kamakura
photo by: poison_dee