Ken Chin-Purcell

May 29, 2023

Japan day 14.2: Big Zori

A few more blocks up the road is the well known tsunami defying Buddha. He was cast in 1248, was gilded at one time, and has survived major storms, earthquakes, and a great tsunami in 1498. His surrounding temple has blown or washed away a couple of times, and his base crumbled and was rebuilt after a 1923 earthquake. After the tsunami he’s been in the open. The Buddha abides.


Every couple of years local school kids weave rope into a pair of shoes for the Buddha. They hang on the wall just to his side, within reach if he needs them.

After the big Buddha we travelled to the other side of Kamakura, to a temple that reportedly has a nice rock garden. Not many people were there and the plant gardens were less tended. As I walked up to the admission booth I could see on a posted sign it was 200¥ per person to go in, and as I was plunking down 400¥ for the two of us the guy said “one thousand two hundred”. There was a moment of confusion on my part, but then the gatekeeper said “that’s ok” and in we went. So I’m not sure what that was about.


When we got up to the temple most of it was blocked off, including the cloistered zen garden, and the monks were chanting. Here is a video.

Behind the temple was this area.


Back down in town Kamakura also has a small museum in a striking modern building.


We strolled back to our hotel down this promenade, which we later read is an ancient approach to one of the large temples.


Along the way we saw some uniquely Japanese creations, including the Cranberry Burger. Sorry, I did not try a Cranberry Burger.


Our hotel was a very modern change from the Antique Inn in Takayama. Lots of automatic switches and doors, elevators that knew which floor to take you, and a washing machine that soaped, washed, rinsed and dried all with the push of one button.