|Large selection of biscuits, chocolate, and candy at the konbini. There is always something to tempt you.|
|Top: Clocktower on the side of the station with the Enoden. Bottom: Enoden line platform. You can see the old fashioned train car.|
Enoden Train from Kamakura to Hase
The Endoen runs on a single track that is basically like a single lane road. On either side, you are looking into people's backyards and admiring the laundry they have out to dry. It is a very cozy experience as the trains are often full too.
|Looking out the front of the train.|
Daibutsu Great Buddha
It is half kilometre walk to the Great Buddha from Hasedera Station. You basically follow the crowds straight up a shopping street to the temple. While we were heading there the Japan Classic Car rally drove by and we were seeing all of these vintage cars passing us too.
|Car Rally Posters|
|Top: The Great Buddha with the crowds in front of it. Bottom: Closeup of the great bronze face.|
|Great Buddha and a bronze flower in the foreground.|
|The body of the Buddha is hollow, with air vents in the back. You can pay a tiny extra fee to enter inside the Buddha. There they have some displays describing how the statue was built.|
This Buddhist Temple is a very pretty one in the western edge of Kamakura. From its grounds in the hillside, you can get great views of the coast and the bay. This is a very prosperous temple too from the upkeep of the grounds. This temple is famous for its tall statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. The statue of Kannon stands nine metres tall, is covered in gold leaf, and is one of the largest wooden statues in Japan. There is also a small museum that shows some of the temple's treasures including a golden statue of Amida Buddha.
|Kannon-do Hall housing the Kannon statue.|
|Tiny Bamboo Grove by prayer wheel building.|
|Statue of Sho-kannon Bosatsu in front of the museum.|
|View to the bay from Hasedera.|
|Pond at Hasedera.|
Zeniarai Benten Shrine
After a brief walk back to Hasedera Station, we took the Enoden back to Kamakura. I wanted to visit one more shrine that day. This one was the wonderfully quirky shrine to Zeniarai Benten up in the hills about a two kilometres NW of Kamakura Station. I tried to hail a cab, but the driver kept saying he couldn't go to the shrine. Fortunately, a gate attendant, who had helped us earlier, was able to let us know that the cab could only go to the base of the hill which was why he wouldn't go. It wasn't a long walk in the end, but the shrine entrance is half-way up a hill, which can be tough at the end of a day. Walking there took us by a cool looking Starbucks and we also briefly admired some woodwork being done by carpenters at another store (they were doing nice join work).
The entrance to the shrine is a tunnel / cave cut through a hillside into a little valley beyond. It is a very cool entrance. Zeniarai Benten is an unusual shrine that fuses together Buddhist and Shinto rituals in one place. You can find Buddhist Shrines with a small Shinto Shrine inside them, but not functioning together as a whole. This is a popular shrine where people go to wash their money in the sacred spring to double it. I've even saw a commercials on TV with 7-11 giving away lucky money washed at the shrine. This shrine dates back to the Kamakura period again. The first shogun had the shrine built after a dream where a god told him to build it to bring peace. Later the shrine was also dedicated to a Buddhist goddess of snakes as the dream happened on the day of the snake in the year of the snake.
|Entrance to Zeniarai Benten Shrine|
|Images from inside the grotto. It can get full. In the bottom picture, you can see people taking ladles of water to pour over their money in the baskets.|
|Anothe portion of the sacred grotto.|
|Basket, small votive candle, and bundle of incense.|
Part One of Kamakura Highlights.
More Tokyo / Japan Travelogue Posts.