- 4.5 hours
From Ancient Temples to Bronzed Buddhas
After Hasadera, we will head over to Kotoku-in, host to the iconic Great Buddha of Kamakura (Kamakura Daibutsu). The bronze statue dates back to 1252 and was initially housed within a temple hall. Unfortunately, typhoons destroyed the temple, and buildings but the Buddha survived unharmed and has been sitting outdoors since 1495. Today, green with age, this is Japan’s second tallest bronze Buddha; the first is at temple Todai-ji in Nara, outside Kyoto (where we also have a Nara Tour). Kotoku-in may be our last stop, unless we manage to keep up the pace--in which case we may be able to fit in one last visit for the day at the Tsurugaoka-Hachimangu Shrine before heading back to Kamakura Station.
You may, of course, return to Tokyo on the same train as your expert, however, we encourage you stay in Kamakura to have lunch or spend some of the afternoon visiting other attractions.
If you are using a Japan Rail Pass, please let us know. If you have one, you do not need to purchase a train ticket, and we will remove it from your order.
You'll meet near Tokyo Station. The confirmation email will have the exact spot. The tour ends in Kamakura. You can stay in Kamakura and explore on your own, or return to Tokyo with the expert. Your train tickets are round trip, and you can return at any time.
Yes! You will pay for them ahead of time, and the guide will buy them for you at the station.
For this tour, we always take the train. Trains in Japan are faster and more efficient than driving.
Jay received a Master's degree in Urban Planning from the University of Tokyo where he focused his research on the conservation of historic spaces and landscapes with a particular focus on food production and the agricultural families and communities in and around the city. Having been a resident of both rural and urban Japan, Jay has a particular appreciation for the visible transformation of the country's settled environments as ideas, resources, and the culture itself has changed over the past couple of centuries. While he has lived in a variety of cities and towns in the US, Syria, Russia, the UK, and Japan for study or work, he finally settled on Tokyo as home. He enjoys sharing information about its hidden history, constant development and endless layers.
Fernando is a Spanish architect and town planner. He received his M. Arch in Architecture from Madrid Technical University and his MSc in human geography from the University of Edinburgh. He is currently a PhD Candidate at Tokyo University, where he is studying urban planning. His PhD focuses on shrinking post-industrial cities and how they are restructuring their physical and economic fabrics to overcome their problems. Besides this, Fernando also investigates Japan’s urban reality from a cinematic point of view and how cinema and the city interconnect. Settled now in Tokyo, Fernando combines his research with his interest in Japanese architecture and culture.
Born in Russia and raised in Uzbekistan, Elena is a highly adaptable professional with extensive experience in cross-cultural communications. She received a Master’s degree in 1987 from the Tashkent State University, graduating with a specialization in Asian Studies and languages. For over 20 years she has been teaching the History of China and Japan at Tashkent State Institute of Oriental Studies. Besides her main teaching responsibilities at Tashkent State Institute of Oriental Studies, Elena also taught Russian and provided cultural education to foreigners residing in Tashkent. She often took her students on excursions around the little-known and obscure corners of Tashkent’s old town. In 2004-2005 and 2010-2011, while she was at Waseda University in Tokyo as a visiting scholar researching the late Edo and early Meiji Japan, she fell in love with Japan, and now loves sharing her passion for Japanese history and culture with others. In her free time, Elena enjoys sampling Japanese cuisine and discovering new corners of Tokyo, as well as blogging about her life in Tokyo for her network of family and friends.
Reviews can only be left by Context customers after they have completed a tour. For more information about our reviews, please see our FAQ.