Tag Archives: Kamakura

Kamakura, Japan – shrines, garden temples



The peony garden at Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū, Kamakura, Japan


Recently my two sons were on a brief trip to Tokyo and decided to go down to the coastal city of Kamakura to see the iconic ‘Kotoku-in’ temple Buddha. (30km south east) This monumental bronze statue was completed in 1243 having a commanding  height of 13.37 metres and situated in a picturesque location surrounded by lush hills and wooded mountains overlooking the ocean. They also did some hiking along some of the many ancient trails winding through the undulating terrain to randomly discover some of the traditional Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines of Kamakura, not really knowing much about their existence or history prior to their visit. Eventually the trails descended down the hillside into the valleys where they honed in on the famous Hasedera temple complex and its stunning gardens, halfway down the side of Mount Kamakura. Steeped in history, this location dates back to 736 AD and naturally I was thrilled and intrigued to study the images that were sent as I also had limited knowledge about this place. Hase Dera is still an active Buddhist centre and collective chanting of the monks can be heard reverberating in the hills along with the great Ogune bell.


Iconic Amida Buddha in the Kotoku-in Temple at Kamakura

Amida Buddha at the ‘Kotoku-in’ Temple in Kamakura

“Namu Amida Butsu” (I take refuge in Amitabha Buddha)



Hasa-Dera--Benten Kutsu rock carving cave temple Goddess playing lute

Benten Kutsu rock carving

Hasa Dera, Kamakura



Zeniarai Benten Shrine entrance

Zeniarai Benten Shrine entrance

Kamakura, Japan


Ankokuron ji-Kamakura Buddha photo by Tarourashima

Ankokuron ji – Kamakura Buddha

Wikimedia photo by Tarourashima


Meigetsu in Kamakura-Sand-GardenThe-rock-garden

Meigetsu in Kamakura – Sand Garden with large rocks



Hase Dera temple




Hase Dera Temple garden koi pond Kamakura

Hase Dera Temple garden koi pond



 Carved stone Komainu lion dog guardian, Kamakura




Jomyo-ji,Temple Zen sand garden

Zen sand garden – ‘Jomyo ji ‘ temple



Meigetsu Main Hall round window



Zen Buddhist monk figurine porcelain

Porcelain Zen Buddhist monk figurine

late Imperial Palace Museum



Shariden at Engaku-ji in Kamakura, Japan

Shariden (Hall of sacred relics) at Engaku ji in Kamakura

Ibontxo flickr



Butsuzo, a small Buddhist statue-of-a-monk-in-prayer

Butsuzo, a small Buddhist statue



Statue of Buddha at the Tokei-ji, Kita-kamakura

Statue of Buddha at the Tokei-ji



Benten Kutsu Cave

Benten Kutsu Cave — Bas relief of Gyūba dōji



Kamakura Mountain ave where Nichiren-hid from his persecutors

Entrance to Kamakura Mountain cave where Nichiren hid from his persecutors



Kamakura-Buddha statue-Tokeiji Temple

Kamakura garden Buddha statue, Tokeiji Temple



Kamakura dragon sculptures

Kamakura dragon sculptures



Buddha carved into tree trunk

Buddha carved into tree trunk, Hase Dera



Togeji temple monks, Kamakura, Japan

Togeji temple monks, Kamakura, Japan


Saba Stone at Tokeji Temple


A woman with a kite. The God of good luck and wise choices Fukurokuju with a crane by Utagawa Kuniyosh

Woman with a kite. The God of good luck and wise choices Fukurokuju with a crane by Utagawa Kuniyosh




Kamakura – Benzaiten Statue



Jizo sculpture, Kamakura



Ogune at the Engaku-ji temple in Kamakura

‘Ogune’ bell at the Engaku-ji temple in Kamakura



 Bodhisattva statue


Buddhas feet fountain

Stone fountain with Buddha’s feet, Kamakura



Engakuji_Jizo_Engakuji-Jizo statue

 Jizo statue at Zuirokusan Engaku Kōshō Zenji , or Engaku-ji, one of the most important Zen Buddhist temple complexes in Japan

Photo – Ron Reznick



Benzaiten-Goddess of all that flows

‘Benzaiten’ – Goddess of all that flows



Fukurokuju stone statue at Kamakura

‘Fukurokuju’ statue at Kamakura –  sage God of Wealth, Happiness, Longevity,  Fertility and Virtue. His legend originated from an old Chinese tale about a mythical Chinese Taoist hermit.



Buddha with namaskara mudra

Seated Buddha with namaskara greeting mudra



Moss covered, carved Buddha monuments.



Kamakura Buddha statue

Kamakura Buddha statue


Zeniarai Benten Shrine-Kamakura

Zeniarai Benten Shrine, Hase Dera

This cave shrine has a flowing natural spring. Centre statue above is ‘Benzaiten’ – Goddess of all that flows (Also known in India as Saraswati)




Benten Kutsu Cave Statues


Kamakura Jizo stone carving

Jizo statue, Hasa Dera gardens


Hase Dera temple, Kamakura, Japan

Hase Dera temple, Kamakura


Kamakura hydrangea flowers in bloom--Hase Dera temple, Japan

Kamakura hydrangea flowers



Kuan Yin-Kamakura Jufuku-Zenji-oldest Zen temple in Kamakura,

Kannon (Kuan Yin) carved from camphor wood and gilded in gold. The 30ft tall statue has 11 heads, each of which represents a different phase in the search for enlightenment. According to legend, the statue is one of two images of Kannon carved by a monk named Tokudō in 721. The camphor tree was so large that he  carved two statues with it. One was enshrined in the city of NaraYamato Province, while the other was set adrift in the sea to find the place with which it had a karmic connection. The statue washed ashore on Nagai Beach near Kamakura in the year 734.  The statue was immediately brought to Kamakura where a temple was built to honor it.

Jufuku Zenji — the oldest Zen temple in Kamakura


Hase Kannon Kamakura temple, Japan

Hase Kannon Kamakura temple



Meigetsu Zen Temple  ‘karesansui’  –  garden of raked sand, rocks and plants representing legendary Buddhist Mount Shumi




Hase Dera garden Jizo statue


 Bamboo grove at Houkokuji temple, Kamakura

Bamboo grove at Houkokuji temple, Kamakura



Komainu at-the Zeniarai Benzaiten Shrine,-Kamakura, Japan

Lion dog guardian Komainu at-the Zeniarai Benzaiten Shrine

Kamakura, Japan


Japanese Meiji Period satsuma porcelain vase with multiple characters in high relief

Japanese Meiji Period satsuma porcelain vase with multiple characters in high relief. Japanese luck god, Fukurokuju at the front




Jizo Buddha carved relief. Kamakura Tenen hiking trail marker




 Buddha statues among the bamboo forest at Hokokuji Temple, Kamakura

Photo Michael Pasquali




Koyasa Okunoin cemetery stone monuments representing the five elements of the universe

Photo Michael Pasquali



Japan Kamakura temple decoration

 Kamakura temple decoration


Kamakura golden Yakuyoke Amida Nyorai

Kamakura golden Yakuyoke Amida Nyorai




Standing statue of Nichiren at the location of his Hut, Kamakura

Nichren spread the teachings of the Lotus Sutra which contained the highest truth of Buddhist teachings and represents the effective teaching for the Third Age of Buddhism. Nichiren held the belief that social and political peace are dependent on the quality of belief systems upheld in a nation. Religious practice can be reduced to the recitation of the Sutra’s title — Nam myoho renge kyo which encompasses all Buddhist teachings and its recitation leads to enlightenment. He taught that the historical Gautama Buddha was a manifestation of an eternal and all-pervading Buddha-nature, the existence and manifestation of such Buddha-nature is equally accessible to all, and those who embrace the Sutra must propagate it, regardless of persecution.




Kamakura-Hansobo-Shrine guardian

Hansobo Shrine guardian, Kamakura



 Contemplation Koi Kamakura   

 Contemplation Koi, Kamakura



Tree roots on Kamakura trail



Kitsune Fox keeper of a Shinto chapel, Kamakura

Kitsune Fox keeper of a Shinto chapel, Kamakura



Zeniarai Benten Shrine, Hase Dera

Zeniarai Benten Shrine, Hase Dera



Engakuji Temple, dragon relief, wood carving




Porcelain sculpture Fukurokuju---Japan---first half 20th century

Porcelain sculpture of Fukurokuju—Japan

First half 20th century


Kamakura Late Autumn Buddha



Taishakuten Lord of the Center,-Kamakura, Japan

Taishakuten, Lord of the Center with four guardians




Jizo stone statues, Kamakura

Jizo stone statues


Bronze Prayer Wheels



Kamakura Zen Garden

Hasa Dera pond