Best Spot 2: Kamakura (鎌倉)

Today I'm introducing to you yet another beautiful spot in Japan!


In this recently opened section's first post, I talked about Nikko (日光), which is one of my favorite places. This time, I'll talk about Kamakura (鎌倉), which has kind of a similar atmosphere, and where I went in last June.

In Kamakura, one can visit Japan's second largest Buddha statue (see picture above), which is located in Koutokuin Temple (高徳院). Initially, a wooden statue was build from 1238 to 1243, but a violent storm destroyed it in 1247. Five years later, in 1252, a new statue, this time made of bronze, was completed, which is the one that remains until nowadays.

It was originally housed inside a wooden structure, but storms and earthquakes damaged it a lot of times, so it is sitting outdoors since 1495.

The statue height is 11.3 m, and visitors are actually able to enter the statue to see how it is made inside! By paying 20 yen (yes, 20 yen!) you can visit it! As in many places in Japan, it is established that it costs an entrance fee, but there is no one asking for money. People just pay it, it's like a code of honor.

As I said before, Kamakura is a place with an atmosphere similar to Nikko, in my opinion. It's calm, quiet, it has a lot of temples and interesting places to see, a lot of green areas, and kind of a sacred aura.

The differences to Nikko might be the number of visitors, which I think is higher in Kamakura, as well as it is located near the sea.

As I said in Nikko's best spot review, in Kamakura too, Nature gives a really mysterious feeling when walking through the streets or the paths in the various temples that one can visit. Just love it.

For those who like video games, I have an interesting detail to tell you! Do you know the videogame Legend of Zelda? Does this symbol look familiar?

You know it right? The triforce symbol! Well, actually it is the family crest of Houjou Clan (北条氏, ほうじょうし), the family who controlled the hereditary title of Shikken (執権, a regent for the Shogun) of the Kamakura Shogunate, and Zelda's symbol was based on it! Later I will explain you better about Shoguns!

I went in June, one of the best seasons to enjoy the hydrangeas (紫陽花, あじさい), and it was quite a beautiful scenery. If you think about going to Kamakura, definitely put June among your options!