Praying to Kamakura’s Great Buddha

Kamakura’s Great Buddha (Daibutsu) is a huge draw for foreign and Japanese tourists alike; its impressive size and serene features making it worth the trek no matter how many times one has seen it.

In fact so calming is the statue that it’s almost possible to forget the crowds, and instead just enjoy the moment — not to mention its impermanence.

Kamakura Daibutsu or Great Buddha


  1. Taki says

    My father has a picture of himself with the whole of the Buddha in the shot without anyone else in the picture. I think he said he went alone at around 6am in 1964 :)

    • says

      Very nice. I’ve seen similar photos and always envied them. There’s a similarly peaceful scene in an Ozu film too.

    • says

      Thanks a lot. Unusually for me I was very patient and waited an age for there to be nobody else in the frame. And as luck would have it, the ominous birds appeared at just the right time.

  2. winnie says

    Great Shot!!
    I went to visit the Great Buddha last year. The Buddha is so majestic to me!!
    The Buddha looked like thinking deeply in this picture.

    • says


      It’s the expression in particular that I find so appealing. As daft as it sounds, it seems to change depending on the shot or weather too.

  3. Willy says

    I always find it slightly disconcerting that Siddhartha (aka the buddha) said ‘worshiping me wont make any difference to anything’ or something like that… yet the last couple of thousand years has seen statues of him spring up in all kinds of places… even as a doorstop at one of my relative’s shop… much to the ire of the local monks… really… lumps of cement will do that to people!

    • says

      Yes, I’ve never quite worked that one out. There again, if people stuck to that idea, there’d be no Daibutsu, so it does have benefits. The makers of elaborate doorstops must be happy too!

  4. Marc says

    Enjoyed Kamakura when I was last there (2002). I have an old stereocard from around 1900 or so of this statue. I will need to find that.

    • says

      I’m a huge fan of the place. Never get tired of going there. My next trip will hopefully be when there’s a bit of snow on the ground, although that might be hard to manage.

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