Day 3, Kamakura: Hasedera, part 1

We woke up in the morning pretty early (due to jet lag) and found out that the weather forecast was not particularly nice, all cloudy sky and rains. Regardless we decided we'd try to go to Kamakura as planned. Did not even have a breakfast to arrive there before main tourist masses.

Purchased a "Kamakura free kippu" which allows you to get to Kamakura on JR and then use local Enoden street-train line to travel around there without any limitations (1970 yen for one person).

Traveling from Shinjuku need to be careful to take trains bound to Zushi on Shonan Shinjuku line, this is roughly every second train in this direction, otherwise need to change trains at Ofuna station. Total travel time was around 55 minutes.Then proceeded to Enoden train platform.

People lining out
Enoden platform, people lining up to enter the train.

Enoden train coming
The train arrives. Looks like street-car.

Inside Enoden car

Inside Enoden car
Inside of the train.

Hasedera is a third stop from Kamakura, the road uphill from the station would lead you there.

Sign on the street
Just about when we started to wonder if we are going in a wrong direction we met this helpful sign.

Shu Genji Temple п╦ п╬п╨я─я┐п╤п╟я▌я┴п╦п╧ п╣п╣ я│п╟п╢
Right behind the sign Shu Genji Temple was located.

Really just a small house in a small (by American standards) garden in appearance.

п║п╟п╨я┐я─п╟ п╦ Shu Genji Temple

The temple itself indeed once was a house of Shijo Kingo until his death in 1296. He was a vassal of Ema Mitsutoki and as such a faithful believer of Nichiren Buddhism. So much that he even decided to kill himself if execution of Nichiren in 1271 to succeed. After his death the house was remodelled into this temple as a sacred place of Nichiren sect.

п·п╠я─п╟п╠п╬я┌п╨п╟ п╢п╡п╣я─п╦ п╡ Shu Genji Temple
Some summer preparations at the Temple, I guess. Renovating the doors in this case.

Shu Genji Temple
The temple itself.

Music school
On the way to Hasedera. Music school.


п╖п╟я│я▀ п©п╣я─п╣п╢ п╪п╟пЁп╟п╥п╦п╫п╬п╪ п╪я┐п╥я▀п╨п╟п╩я▄п╫я▀я┘ я┬п╨п╟я┌я┐п╩п╬п╨
This clock tower was installed in front of a mechanical piano shop.

Hasedera Sammon main gate
Main Hasedera gate, Sammon.

Jishoin Administration office
Jishoin Administration office near the Hasedera gate.

Kamakura Hasedera is famous for its hosting the biggest wooden statue of the goddess Kannon (goddess of mercy), it has 11 heads in addition to main one all with different expressions showing that it listens to all kinds of people. Statue is 30.1 ft high (9.18 m). There is another very similar Kannon statue made from the same tree in Hasedera near Nara.

According to a legend a monk named Tokudo Shonin discovered a large camphor tree near a village Hase in Nara region at around 721 AD. He commissioned 2 statues to be carved and enshrined the one from the bottom part (smaller) in Hasedera Temple near Nara. The statue from the top part was thrown at the sea near current-day Osaka with a prayer that it would reappear to save the people. Fifteen years later the statue appeared at the Nagai Beach not far from Kamakura. It was brought to Kamakura and a temple was constructed to honor it.

The entire complex is built on a hill-side with a garden at the bottom and the Kannon-do hall that holds the Kannon statue somewhere in the middle of the hill side.

Statues near the entrance
Statues near Jishoin Administration office.

Hasedera entrance gate
Entrance gate, view from the ticket office.

Hasedea tickets
Tickets to enter. 300 yen each.

Hasedera pond
A pond in the lower garden.

koi in hasedea pond
Of course the pond is full of Koi.

Cleaning place
Cleansing place to wash your hands on entrance.

Hasedera pond

Hasedera pond
Miniature waterfalls in the lower garden.

Incoming group of tourists
A group of tourists entering the garden.

Asian Paper-bush (Edgeworthia papyrifera).

Since we visited during a Spring, the garden is full of all kinds of flowers.

Fureai Kannon in Hasedera
Fureai Kannon statue.

Hasedera pond
Another view at the pond in the lower garden.

Buddha's feet in Hasedera
Buddha feet.

Stairs up the hill
Stairs up the hill from the lower garden.



Buddha splashing

Buddha splashing
Japanese wash statues as paying homage to the gods it seems. They do similar things to the memorials of their ancestors at cemeteries.

Burning incenses

Burning incenses

Burning incenses
Before entering a shrine it is common to cleanse one's spirit by burning incenses.

This place is called Jizo-do hall, a statue of Fukuju Jizo (happy Jizo) is enshrined. Thousands of small jizo stone statues stand around the shrine.

Jizo Bodhisattva possesses great powers including all the blessings on Earth. It is believed to protect small children, travelers and seamen.

The small statues around the shrine are offered by the pubic (could be purchased on site) and serve to comfort the souls of children born dead or aborted. They often have knitted caps and bibs. More than 50000 were offered here since end of WWII, but once a year they are typically buried or burnt to make space for more.

Jizo statues
Rows of Jizo statues.

Jizo statues
Jizo Bosatsu surrounded by smaller Jizo statues.


Jizo statues

Jizo statues

Jizo statues

Jizo statues
Rows and rows of smaller statues.

Also there are bigger and seemingly permanently placed Jizo statues around too:

Jizo statues

Jizo statues

Jizo statues

Jizo statues

Jizo statues

Jizo statues

Jizo statues

Jizo statues


Roku Jizo (six Jizo)
Roku Jizo (6 Jizo)


Jizo Bosatsu
Smaller statues are all around.

Jizo statues

Jizo Bosatsu

Fukuju Jizo
Fukuju Jizo in the shrine.

Swastika-shaped pond
Swastika-shaped pond near Jizo-do hall.

п▓п╦п╢ п╫п╟ п п╟п╪п╟п╨я┐я─я┐
Kamakura view from the Jizo-do hall platform.

Also near a Jizo-do hall there is some strange figure of a man sitting, don't yet know who he is but will update the post if found out.

Yet unidentified statue.

Going up the stairs further we see a lot more statues small stone statues again

Jizo statues

Jizo statues

Jizo statues

Amida-do Hall
Amida-do hall is located next to the Kannon-do hall.

Yakuyoke (Protector from Evil Spirits) Amida Buddha
Yakuyoke (Protector from Evil Spirits) Amida Buddha located in Amida-do hall. 9.2 ft (2.8 m) high not including halo. Commissioned by the first shogun of Japan in 1194.

Two carved dragons
Wooden(Camphor) sphere with two dragons carved out of it is near the Amida Buddha. Don't yet know what is the significance of this.
Diameter is 270 cm (the biggest such thing in the world). Time to make: 8+ years. Author has a chinese name Wan.

п╒п╟п╠п╩п╦я┤п╨п╦ я│ п©п╬п╤п╣п╩п╟п╫п╦я▐п╪п╦
Stand for "wishing tablets" is located near the entrance to the Amida-do Hall.

п╒п╟п╠п╩п╦я┤п╨п╦ я│ п©п╬п╤п╣п╩п╟п╫п╦я▐п╪п╦

п╒п╟п╠п╩п╦я┤п╨п╦ я│ п©п╬п╤п╣п╩п╟п╫п╦я▐п╪п╦

п║я┌п╬п╩п╦п╨ п╢п╩я▐ п©п╬п╢п©п╦я│п╦ я┌п╟п╠п╩п╦я┤п╣п╨
You are supposed to buy a wooden tablet, write you wish on it and hang it on the frame.

Shoro Belfry
Shoro Belfry located to the right of Amida-do hall. The roof was constructed in 1955 and the current bell was cast in 1984.

Following the Buddhist tradition the bell is rung 108 times beginning around midnight December 31 each year to dispel the 108 sufferings of humanity. The ritual is called Joya no Kane.

Kakigara Inari
Kakigara Inari behind the bell. Kakigara is a shellfish (like oysters). When Tokyo Toyama statue was washed ashore it had a lot of these shells attached and people decided it must be the shells that brought the statue with them. Now these shellfish are considered to be bringing luck and are worshipped.

Also behind Amida-do Hall a cemetery is located.


п·пЁя─п╟п╢п╨п╟ п╨п╩п╟п╢п╠п╦я┴п╟

п║я┌я┐п©п╣п╫п╦ п╫п╟ п╨п╩п╟п╢п╠п╦я┴п╣

п п╩п╟п╢п╠п╦я┴п╣ п╡ п╔п╟я│п╣п╢п╣я─п╣

п║п╨я┐п╩я▄п©я┌я┐я─п╟ п╫п╟ п╨п╩п╟п╢п╠п╦я┴п╣

п÷п╟п╪я▐я┌п╫п╦п╨ п╫п╟ п╨п╩п╟п╢п╠п╦я┴п╣?

п▓п╣п╢п╣я─п╨п╦ п╢п╩я▐ п╪я▀я┌я▄я▐ п╪п╬пЁп╦п╩
These baskets are used to wash and scrub grave stones when you visit the graves.


п≤п╥пЁп╬я┌п╬п╡п╩п╣п╫п╦п╣ п╦п╨п╣п╠п╟п╫я▀
Ikebana making right near the cemetery.

Hotei statue (also known as Fat Buddha and Laughing Buddha in China)

п║п╟п╨я┐я─п╟ я┐ Kannon-do
Part of Kannon-do Hall

Kannon-do Hall roof
Kannon-do hall roof.

Incense burning
Incense burning in front of Kannon-do hall.

It was not allowed to take any pictures inside of the Kannon-do hall, so no pictures of the big Kannon statue.

Taishakuten. The ruler of the gods of the Veda. The mightiest of the gods, he is also the god of war and the god of the storm and thunder. He commands and is served by the Shitenno (the four Deva Kings also known as Heavenly kings).

Komoku-ten (King of the South) is the Lord of Spiritual Growth.

Zojo-ten (King of the South) is the Lord of Spiritual Growth.

Tamon-ten (King of the North) is the Lord of All Knowledge.

Jikokuten (King of the East) is the Keeper of the Kingdom.

It was a mid-day already and time to eat something. Kaikoan restaurant is located right on site.

п░п╡я┌п╬п╪п╟я┌ п╢п╩я▐ п╡я▀п╠п╬я─п╟ п╣п╢я▀
Vending machine used to choose dishes to eat, spits out tickets you give to the kitchen to actually get your dishes.




Swiss Roll
Swiss roll.

Maccha and Wagashi
Maccha and Wagashi (Traditional Japanese sweet to the tea).

Wagashi closeup.

Jump to the second part of this article.