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Monday, 20 April 2009

Kamakura: Hase-dera

Hase-dera (Hase Temple) or Hase Kannon is most famous for its statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. It is also one of the most popular temple in the Kanto region.


The entrance to the temple up the hill is a small gate flanked by an old pine tree, typical of a Zen courtyard layout.


The temple garden and ponds at the foot of the hill are of typical Zen layout too.


The temple garden covers the whole passageway along the hill all the way up to the main hall.


There were always beautiful flowers to appreciate on the way up to the main hall as I was there during spring time.


There is also a pond along the way made into the shape of the symbol of Buddhism.


At the end of the passageway is the main hall where the 9.18 meter tall, gilded wooden statue of Kannon is housed and worshipped. This Kannon is an 11-faced Kannon who can cast an eye in every direction. Photo taking is not allowed inside the main hall, so I don't have any photo to show on the statue.


The terrace next to the temple's main buildings is a great place to have a little rest and to replenish the body fluid. Some local people were there creating their masterpieces of the temple paintings. It is also a good place to enjoy a great view of the coastal city of Kamakura.



At the side of the temple buildings is a small bamboo forest which looks like a scene in the movie 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'.


I explored further to the backyard of the temple buildings and there were more gardens and flowers.


I found another vantage point for the view of the coastal city of Kamakura at the backyard.


There are many statues of Buddha along the passageway in the gardens.


After coming down from the backyard, I visited the other temple buildings and saw a giant praying wheel and another gilded statue of Buddha.



Descending from the hill brought me back to the temple garden again, but on the opposite side.


I saw a passageway that resembled a secret path leading to a cave, so I followed that path an found myself in a small cave (Bentenkutsu) housing the statues of the minor gods.


Before leaving Hase-dera, I took a look at the wishing board. Any visitor can make a wish by writing down the message in any language and hang it on the board.



Mojo said...

I'm always amazed at the intricate detail in these temples and shrines. Especially the ancient ones where all that was available were hand tools. The color of the gardens here is brilliant too!

CK Ng said...

Hi Mojo, thanks for dropping by again. :)

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