Giant Buddha and Great Kannon
Trip Start Jun 01, 2012
8Trip End Jun 10, 2012
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Trains run direct to Kamakura from our local station Shimbashi but that would be just too easy! We took a fast train on the Ito line to Totsuka and then switched to the local Tokaido line to Kamakura, There, we bought the local "Kamakura Free Pass - an all day travel ticket and switched to the charming little Enoden line to our first stop Hase. This is the location for another temple area including the famous Giant Buddha (11m tall) and the Great Kannon temple.
A 15 minute walk from the station led us to the Giant Buddha, proper name - daibutsu
A short stroll back from the Great Buddha along their high street stopping at a beautiful japanese gift shop on the way. We followed the crowds to the Great Kannon. And yes there were many people visiting this temple and we did wonder why. Paying 300 yen entrance we started to see why. There were the most beautiful manicured gardens Japanese style and also a hydrangea festival too. We climbed the steps to see a 9m tall gold leaf statue which is said to have been washed up from the sea in the early 8th century. This statue represents the Buddha goddess of mercy and compassion. To the left of the statue is a beautiful view across the bay and town with our first view of the Pacific Ocean. It was a very beautiful place to visit and well worth the detour.
So Then it was off on the Enoden line again, this time to Enoshima, a seaside resort on the coast of the Pacific overlooked (except on a cloudy day) by Mount Fuji.
After lunch a special treat for Alison and Emma - a trip on a monorail; the Shonan monorail is one of the very few in the world where the train is suspended from the monorail rather than running on top of it (the picture makes it clearer!). They were unsurprisingly unimpressed ("what do you mean we now have to get on it to go back to where we started").
Finally for the day trip the Enoden line took us back to Kamakura and it was back to Shibuya for dinner by way of the Shonan Shinuku line.