The Great Buddha of Kamakura – Kamakura, Japan - Atlas Obscura
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Kamakura, Japan

The Great Buddha of Kamakura

A bronze statue dating back as far as 1252, still has remnants of gold around its ears from its ancient gilding. 

The Great Buddha (or Daibutsu) of Kamakura is one of Japan’s most fascinating historical landmarks.

The enormous bronze statue is a representation of Amida Buddha, located on the grounds of the Kotokuin temple in Kamakura City. The monument dates all the way back to 1252, originally gold-plated and housed inside. The statue has stood in the open air since the temple building was destroyed in the tsunami of September 20th 1492, and only traces of gold-leaf remain around the ears.

The Daibutsu of Kamakura is the second largest monumental Buddha in Japan, weighing in at 93 tons and reaching a height of 13.35 meters. A unique aspect of the statue is that, since it is hollow, visitors can actually go inside the sacred monument. For a small donation of 20 yen, visitors are permitted enter the Buddha and see from the inside how it was cast. This unique experience ensures that a visit to the Daibutsu of Kamakura will be a memorable one.