Ofuna Kannon Statue

The Kamakura area is just one hour away from Tokyo and a very popular day trip spot. The huge Hachimangu Shrine, The Great Buddha or the Hasedera temple are very famous. If you are already on the way to Kamakura and you have some time left, I recommend to do a short stop at the station “Ofuna” just one station away from Kita-Kamakura. You can use the Tokaido or Yokosuka Line.
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Already from the platform you can see a mega giant statue standing high up on a hill. Unfortunately the way to get there is not easy to find. After leaving the station at the west exit, you have to cross the small river. If you go straight to the mountain you can find on the right side a small path which unfrtunately had no sign but it will led you to the entrance of the shrine. I walked around the hill a few times to find an access to the statue.  After walking up to the top of the hill, you have to pay an entrance fee of 300 Yen to see the statue, but you can also see it from outside if you don´t want to see it that close.
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The Ofuna Kannon also called "goddess of mercy of the white robe" is a Buddhist statue, which is about 25 meters high and really very impressing, if you are standing in front of it. The construction of the statue was completed in 1960, even they already started to build it in 1934. Because of the war the statue was often damaged and it took around twenty years to complete it. Comparing to the great Buddha in Kamakura, the Ofuna Kannon is way bigger. Inside the statue is the altar for praying.
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Around the statue is a nice small shrine area with benches, where you can rest. Also you will have a beautiful view from the hill over Ofuna. 
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There are also some small nice shrines and temple like the Ryuhoji Temple just around the hill. Also if you like flowers and plants you can visit the Ofuna Botanical Garden which is just 15 minuts away on foot from the station.
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The Ofuna Kannon is part of the Kamakura area, but due to the far away location from all the other shrines and temples, it is rare to see tourists there. Mostly local people are visiting that spot.

Kerstin Yamane