In the Belly of the Buddha

I got swallowed by a Buddha today, although I did enter by the side entrance.

Because today was the last day of my Golden Week holiday, I met up with an old friend (and former photography teacher) in Kamakura to take some pictures of the big Buddha stature at Kotoku-in.

The Buddha statue at Kotoku-in.

The Buddha statue at Kotoku-in.

The Big Buddha is made of bronze and stands 13.35 meters (43.8 feet) and weigh 121 tonnes (267,000 pounds). It is one of those places I’d always intended to visit but had always decided “there’s always next week”.

The big concern today was crowds, especially on the small coastal train line. We were lucky that neither train we took was that crowded (i.e. there was actually room for people AND air, rather than just people).

The entry fee of 200 yen ($2ish) makes it one of the best deals in Japan (not counting, of course, the money and time spent getting to it.

Despite the crowds around the statue, I managed to score a photo with no people in front of it and was able to get inside without too much of a wait. (Although it did cost another 20 yen). The inside would be more interesting to architects and engineers than it was to me, especially as it was too dark to take good pictures.

Looking up through the neck of the Buddha. It literally has "No Mind". There's a lesson there, I suppose.

Looking up through the neck of the Buddha. It literally has “No Mind”. There’s a meditation lesson there, I suppose.

I like the Buddha and could be persuaded to go back. I like that it seems to have a slightly different expression from different angles.

Contemplating the power of having "No Mind".

Contemplating the power of having “No Mind”.

After seeing the Big Buddha, we went to Enoshima, a picturesque rock/island just off the coast in Tokyo Bay.

Unfortunately it was even more crowded and we opted to avoid the main stairs and wander off toward the Marina which turned out to be rather boring.

People on the main path up the hill at  Enoshima.

People on the main path up the hill at Enoshima.

It was a good day, even though we chose the wrong path on Enoshima.

Now it’s back to work, for a day, then there’s the weekend.

 

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