We have finally arrived to day 4, which was our last day were we got to properly visit a place. And we choose to finish this amazing trip by visiting the town of Kamakura.
Kamakura is a beautiful small town around an hour (by train) south of Tokyo. It was actually de facto the capital of Japan from 1185 to 1333 as the seat of the Kamakura Shoguate (the feudal military government)
We took the Enoden railway line, in the morning, and arrived at the Hase Station. From there we walked around 5-10 minutes to our first stop for the day, The Kotoku-in Temple and the Great Buddha.
Kotokuin Temple & Great Buddha
The Kōtoku-in is a Buddhist temple of the Jōdo-shū sect. It is home to the Renowner Great Buddha of Kamakura. It is a huge bronze statue of Amitābha, one of the most famous icons of Japan and it’s also classified as a National Treasure.
It was made in 1252 and measures 11.4 meters tall which makes it the second tallest bronze Buddha statue in Japan.
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine
After spending some time admiring the Great Buddha and the temple, we walked back towards the centre of Kamakura and towards Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine.
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu is Kamakura’s most important shrine. It was founded by Minamoto Yoriyoshi in 1063 and enlarged and moved to its current site in 1180 by Minamoto Yoritomo, the founder and first shogun of the Kamakura government.
The shrine is dedicated to Hachiman, the patron god of the Minamoto family and of the samurai in general. The deified spirits of the ancient Emperor Ojin who has been identified with Hachiman, Hime-gami and Empress Jingu are enshrined at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. Source: Japan-Guide
Last stop for the day was the two ponds and a garden that flank the main entrance to the shrine. I think this was the only garden where we saw the most flowers on the trees and it was beautiful.
This is where our day slowly came to its end and with it the end of our beautiful express holiday to Tokyo. But before we had one last stop. The very well-known Shibuya Crossing. It is located in front of the Shibuya Station Hachikō exit and stops vehicles in all directions to allow pedestrians to inundate the entire intersection.
Speaking of Hachiko, we also had to take a picture of his statue. And if you don’t know who Hachiko was, it was an Akita dog that would go to Shibuya Station to greet his companion. He continued to do to that every day for 10 years after the professor’s death, and until his own. There is a film adaptation with Richard Gere I highly recommend you to watch it but… Be prepared for some headaches!
This is it! This is the end of our beautiful trip to Tokyo. It was way too short, and I’m hoping to have the opportunity to visit Japan again and get to see even more of this amazing country and people.