Daibutsu – The Great Buddha of Kamakura

There are two Daibutsus (Great Buddha), in Japan. One is in Todaiji Temple of Nara-prefecture, which is a world heritage and is also a great place to visit, and the other is in Kamakura’s Koutoku-in.

What exactly is the Daibutsu?

‘Daibutsu’ is the Japanese word for ‘Great Buddha’, and generally means a large statue of Buddha. The Kamakura Daibutsu a is one of the most famous Daibutsus in Japan, and since it was built in the 13th century, for over 750 years it has been an iconic symbol of buddhism in Japan.

Kamakura Daibutsu

A special and unique point about this 11.3 meters tall Daibutsu is that it is not placed inside a larger temple or building. The Nara Daibutsu is inside the massive structure of the Todaiji-temple, and the Kamakura Daibutsu was originally constructed inside inside a temple as well. However, unlike Nara, the temple of Kotoku-in was destroyed by typhoons and an earthquake around the 15th century. Since then, the Daibutsu has been left vulnerable outside. (http://www.kotoku-in.jp/en/about.html)

A Journey Inside the Daibutsu!

Although there is no temple for Kotoku-in, you can go inside the Daibutsu itself only for 20 yen per person. The space inside is not so large, but it’s a quite unique and interesting experience to be able to see the Daibutsu from the inside.

There are several monuments around Kotoku-in, and one of them is a haiku (poem) by Akiko Yosano, a Japanese poet and author, that describes this Daibutsu as ‘handsome’.

Occasionally (once in several years), the Daibutsu goes through maintenances and restorations, as it is vulnerable to the weather.

The visiting fee of Kotoku-in is 200 yen for adults and children above the age of 13, and 150 yen for children between the age of 6-12. More information of Kotoku-in can be found on their homepage here.

As it is situated outside, the Kamakura Daibutsu creates various atmospheres in different weather conditions and seasons, which visitors can expect to have a special and emotional experience. The iconic Daibutsu of Kotoku-in is a must-visit location in Japan.

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