We visited Kamakura!
We took the weekend to forget our busy internship and city life in Tokyo and took the train to visit Kamakura.
Kamakura (鎌倉) is a coastal town in Kanagawa Prefecture, just less than an hour south of Tokyo.
Kamakura became the political center of Japan, when Minamoto Yoritomo chose the city as the seat for his new military government in 1192. The Kamakura government continued to rule Japan for over a century, first under the Minamoto shogun and then under the Hojo regents.
After the decline of the Kamakura government in the 14th century and the establishment of its successor, the Muromachi or Ashikaga government in Kyoto, Kamakura remained the political center of Eastern Japan for some time before losing its position to other cities.
Today, Kamakura is a small city and a very popular tourist destination. Sometimes called the Kyoto of Eastern Japan, Kamakura offers numerous temples, shrines and other historical monuments. In addition, Kamakura's sand beaches attract large crowds during the summer months.
We took our Zenterns first to a Ghibli shop close to Kamakura station
Then we were off to get to know the locals of Kamakura as well.
We made a new friend here, he's our youngest Zentern!
Let's move on to the part where we were sniffing up the culture of Japan!
We visited the Great Buddha, Hachimangu and Hasadera-temple making it an excursion of half-a-day.
Our tour guide, Toru-san had many interesting stories to tell about the place and meaning behind every temple.
Great Buddha (Kotoku-in)
The Great Buddha of Kamakura (鎌倉大仏, Kamakura Daibutsu) is a bronze statue of Amida Buddha. With a height of 11.4 meters, it is the second tallest bronze Buddha statue in Japan, surpassed only by the statue in Nara's Todaiji Temple.
The statue was cast in 1252 and originally located inside a large temple hall. However, the temple buildings were destroyed multiple times by typhoons and a tidal wave in the 14th and 15th centuries. So, since 1495, the Buddha has been standing in the open air.