長谷寺   Click to listen highlighted text! 長谷寺


Hase-dera (長谷寺) is a temple located on a hill overlooking Kamakura city and the Pacific Ocean. The temple’s entrance is situated at the base of the slope, where visitors are greeted by a serene garden with ponds that create a calming atmosphere.

Founded by a monk named Gyoki in 736 AD, Hase-dera is an important pilgrimage site that has been rebuilt several times. It has been designated as a National Treasure due to its historical significance and cultural value.

One of the main attractions at Hase-dera is the Kannon-do Hall, which houses an impressive eleven-headed statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. The gilded wooden statue is one of the largest wooden sculptures in Japan, standing at a height of 9.18 meters. The statue is said to have been carved by Tankei, a renowned sculptor during the Kamakura period.

Aside from the Kannon-do Hall, visitors can explore other areas of the temple, such as the Benten-kutsu cave, which houses sculptures of Benten, the goddess of feminine beauty and wealth, and other deities. The cave is located next to a small temple hall dedicated to Benten, and is a popular spot for visitors to take photos.

Hase-dera is not only a significant historical and religious site, but it is also a place of natural beauty. The temple is surrounded by lush greenery and offers breathtaking views of the city and the ocean from its hilltop location. The temple’s gardens are also worth exploring, especially during the cherry blossom season when they are covered in pink blossoms.

In addition to its natural beauty and historical significance, Hase-dera offers visitors the opportunity to participate in various cultural activities, such as calligraphy, tea ceremony, and meditation. These activities provide a unique and immersive experience of Japanese culture and traditions.

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