7 Things to Know About Daibutsu in Kamakura

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Source: Jim Epler

The Daibutsu is referred to as the Great Buddha of Kamakura. It is the top attraction within Kamakura which attracts thousands of visitors every year. When you travel to Kamakura, be sure to not miss The Daibutsu. Here are several things you should know when planning your trip.

1. Meaning

“Daibutsu” means “Giant Buddha” in Japanese and that is precisely what this attraction is.  This temple is a large bronze statue of Amida Buddha which is located outdoors in the city of Kamakura. It is located at the Kōtoku-in Temple and according to historical records, it dates back to as early as 1252.

2. History

The Daibutsu began as a wooden statue in the 1200’s but was destroyed by a storm after ten years of being built. After the original destruction, the Daibutsu was rebuilt and this time, out of bronze to withhold any inclement weather. It was actually destroyed and rebuilt a few more time within history. As visitors have been able to go inside in recent years, graffiti has been left which still remains on the indoor parts.

3. How to Get There

To arrive at The Daibustu, take the JR Yokosuka  line or the JR Shonan-Shinjuku line. to Kamakura station, which will leave you in the city area. A third option includes getting off the Hase station off the Enoden Railway. From either of the three train stations, it will be about a five or ten-minute walk. As a reference point, you will pass Kamakura Hospital if you are coming north from the beach.

4. Timing and Fees

The Daibutsu has an entrance fee of 200 yen for visitors who want to enter the Kōtoku-in Temple where it is located at. It is an extra 20 yen to see the interior of the Great Buddha. The hours of operation are from 8:00am to 5:30pm. During the winter months of October through March, the temple will close 30 minutes earlier. A restroom is available on-site.

5. Size of The Daibutsu

Once you enter the Daibutsu, you will be amazed at how large it really is. The Daibutsu weighs about 142 metric tons total. It is almost 12 meters in height, almost 10 meters in width, and another 11.45 meters in depth. If you have visited the Great Buddha Statue in Todaiji, Nara, then The Daibutsu is about seven times larger in size.

6. Dress Code

Be sure to dress appropriately before entering The Daibutsu. Make sure your arms and thighs are covered. Cover your tattoos if you have any. You will be required to leave your shoes at the door.  Behave respectfully as this is a place of worship. Double check if photography is or is not allowed before you snap any photos after entering indoors.

7. Gift Shop

If you are looking for souvenirs, there is a gift shop located near The Daibutsu. For those visitors who are spending time in the city, you will pass many more souvenir shops and gift shops. Many sell similar items and for similar prices.


  • Name: The Daibutsu
  • Address: 2-28 Hase 4-chome, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0015
  • Price: 200 yen + additional 20 yen for interior entrance
  • Access: 5 minutes from Hase station
  • Opening hour: 8:00am
  • Holiday: None
  • Website: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/japan/kamakura-great-buddha

The best time to visit The Daibutsu is early morning. The crowds begin to roll in after lunch or in the afternoons. If you decide to make a longer trip out of it, be sure to check out our top hotels in the area to stay in and best things to do when you are in Kamakura.

Have a good trip and travel!

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Asia, Japan, Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Kanto Region