Nestled in the captivating town of Kamakura, an hour south of Tokyo, lies an enchanting area that beckons travelers seeking a glimpse into Japan’s storied past. Hase Station, along the picturesque route of the Enoshima Electric Railway (Enoden), serves as a gateway to an array of awe-inspiring sights. With its rich concentration of shrines, temples, and historical landmarks, this region around Hase Station offers an immersive experience that is sure to captivate the hearts and minds of visitors.

Imposing and majestic, the Great Buddha of Kamakura stands tall as one of Japan’s iconic treasures. Located just a short distance from Hase Station, this monumental bronze statue draws countless admirers from around the world. Additionally, nearby Hase-dera Temple, with its serene gardens and sacred atmosphere, offers a tranquil haven for reflection and spiritual exploration.

Join us as we embark on a journey to uncover the timeless wonders that await at Kamakura’s Great Buddha and Hase-dera Temple, immersing ourselves in the rich tapestry of history and culture that defines this remarkable destination.

1. Hase-dera Temple: Ancient Japan and Seasonal Flower Scenery

The red paper lantern of Hase-dera Temple’s main gate called Sanmon.

Founded during the Nara period (710 – 794), Hase-dera Temple in Kamakura stands as a renowned Buddhist temple, housing a colossal wooden statue of the deity Kannon. Beyond its historical allure, the temple’s grounds showcase the captivating beauty of around 2,500 hydrangeas, boasting 40 different species that bloom exquisitely, particularly in June.

The vast precincts of Hase-dera Temple extend from the mountain’s base, encompassing both a lower and upper area. Within the lower section, enchanting sights await, including two picturesque ponds named Hojo-ike and Myouchi-ike. While summer displays magnificent floral splendor, these ponds transform into a vibrant tapestry of foliage during November, presenting a truly remarkable spectacle.

Hydrangeas blooming on the slopes behind the temple.

Ascend the stone steps leading to the Kannon-do hall, where visitors and worshippers are welcomed by the presence of the towering wooden Kannon statue. Adjacent to it stands the Amida-do hall, home to a golden statue of the deity Yakuyoke Amida Buddha, as well as the grand Shoro Belfry, housing a massive bronze bell rung at midnight every New Year’s Eve.

To delve deeper into the temple’s history and witness its exquisite ancient treasures, a visit to the Kannon Museum is highly recommended (admission fee of 300 yen, open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).

1) The wooden statue of Sawari Daikokuten, said to bless everyone who touches it 2) The stone steps leading from the ponds to the upper area 3) “Jizo” statues halfway up the stairs 4) Kannon-do hall 5) the Kannon statue 6) the observation deck

After immersing yourself in the temple&…

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