鎌倉 Kamakura ∞

Day 299:  July 3, 2014

鎌倉Kamakura:  An ancient city just south of Tokyo, once the capital of Japan in the late 12th century.  Kamakura is home to its own, original culture, welcoming sunrise meditation and hillside hikes – which can be added to fresh mattcha ice cream and a meeting with Buddha as reasons to visit.

The Great Buddha of Kamakura

The Great Buddha of Kamakura

This iconic Daibutsu is arguably among the few images which have come to represent Japan in the world’s collective imagination. [Time]

Newly grown bamboo

Journey to the Buddha begins in the bamboo groves.

Tree facts

“Biyakushin,” a national treasure. Planted over 700 years ago by Zen Master Mugaku Sogen.

This temple area serves as the final place of prayer along the Hundred Kannon Pilgrimage.  Kannon is a popular form of Bosatsu (Bodhisattva) in Japanese Buddhism and is known as the “God (Goddess) of Mercy,” the Bodhisattva who helps the suffering in this world.

Meditation pillows

Meditation pillows

A notice at the entrance to the grounds reads,

“Stranger, whosoever thou art and whatsoever be thy creed, when thou enterest this sanctuary remember thou treadest upon ground hallowed by the worship of ages.

This is the Temple of Buddha and the gate of the eternal, and should therefore be entered with reverence.”

The Great Buddha of Kamakura ∞ 大仏が大好き

The Great Buddha of Kamakura ∞ 大仏が大好き

The structure dates back to 1252. Visitors are allowed inside the hollow statue to leave messages and wishes.

The 43 ft. Buddha dates back to 1252. Visitors are allowed inside the hollow statue to leave messages and wishes.

The Infinite Knot ∞ is a line without a beginning or end that radiates both calm and movement.  In the Buddha’s hand gesture for meditation,  it represents the idea that everything in this world is interconnected.

Zen stone garden, 枯山水 "karesansui"

Zen stone garden, 枯山水 “karesansui”

Tatami room

Tatami room 畳

“Until only infinity remained of beauty”
― John Ashbery, Some Trees

Hope you’ll join me on these last few weeks exploring the true beauty that is Japan …

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One response to “鎌倉 Kamakura ∞

  1. Very nice! I remember the large bronze bells when I visited Kamakura in the early 1980s. The older bells were on display inside a building. The newer ones were outside on the porch – they were only 700 to 900 years old! It gave “old” a whole new meaning to me. Enjoy the last few weeks of your sojourn, Kate!

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