Friday, June 18, 2010


"Daibutsu" is the Japanese word for "big buddha" and Japan's second biggest (almost 44 feet high) sits in the gorgeous seaside town of Kamakura.  On Wednesday, we were lucky enough to visit the Great Buddha of Kamakura.  Totally amazing.  One of my favorite sights this trip.  This Daibutsu is a bronze statue that dates back to 1252.  Originally, it sat inside the main hall in the Kotokuin Temple, but the buildings were decimated by a massive tidal wave in the 15th century.  Since then the Buddha has been unprotected from the elements.  As you can see from these pictures, the extensive weathering of the bronze has only increased the statue's beauty and given depth and texture to its serene visage. 

During our visit, I sat for a long time on a stone--a former pillar base for the temple--in front of the Buddha; meanwhile my travel colleagues toured the giant bronze statue's innards. One of them observed that I must be tired from the long day of tourist-ing (we'd already visited a Shinto temple and another Buddhist site).  What they didn't know was that I experienced a great peace sitting in the Diabatsu's perfect contemplation and was in no hurry to absent myself from that kind of grace--rare in any circumstances but especially when traveling.

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