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Hasedera Temple of Kamakura: See the magnificent Hase Kannon

When I happen to visit Kamakura in Kanagawa Prefecture, I always stop by Hasedera Temple, one of the 33 holy places in Kanto area. It is beautiful in all seasons, mostly because of the flora in the temple compound: white lotuses, maple trees, Camellia Sasanqua, Japanese anemone, cherry and plum blossoms, hydrangeas, wisteria, azalea, daffodils, and wild flowers.Hasedera TempleHasedera TempleHasedera Temple is located in a few minutes walk from Hase Station, but if you have some spare time, I suggest you walk there from Kamakura Station. The streets of Kamakura are very picturesque and there’s that unutterable atmosphere of a beach resort city.Hasedera Temple

Hasedera Temple was founded by Jōdo-shū (“The Pure Land School”) sect. It has lots of cute Jizo monks all over the compounds.

Hasedera Temple

Hasedera Temple also boasts a 9.18 meter high statue of eleven headed Kannon, Buddhist goddess of mercy. Actually, two identical statues were carved from a camphor tree that a pious monk Tokudo Shonin found in Nara forest. One statue was placed at Hasedera Temple in Nara, and one (the larger one) was thrown into the sea near Osaka with prayers. It emerged from the water 15 years later and was installed in Kamakura in 736. Then the temple was build. As it is prohibited to take photos of Hase Kannon, you will need to go to Hasedera Temple there to see it.

Hasedera Temple

Also, don’t miss a chance to visit the cave of Benzaiten, Benten-kutsu Cave, which stands next to Benten-do Hall. It has a small statue of Benzaiten, a sea goddess, and patron of music and fine arts.Hasedera Temple

By the way, “hase” in Japanese means lotus. It is an important flower in Buddhism.Hasedera Temple

Information

Hasedera Temple
Address: Kanagawa Prefecture, Kamakura, Hase 3-11-2
Access: Walk 5 minutes from Hase Station (Enoden railway line) or 15 minutes from Kamakura station ( Yokosuka line, Shonan-Shinjuku line)
Opening Hours: 9 AM-5:30 PM
Distance to airport: About 40 km from Haneda Airport
HP:
Map:

Article by Olga Kaneda

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