Ofuna Kannon at Kamakura
Ofuna Kannonji (大船観音寺) is a temple of Soto Zen Buddhism, located in Ofuna ward of Kamakura city. It is famous for the huge white statue of Kannon (Goddess of Mercy) which is 25m tall and weighs 1915 tons. The construction of the temple and statue started before WWII and completed in 1960. The Kannon incorporates stones from ground zero of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to commemorate those who died in the explosions of the atomic bombs.
Due to its location (although it is part of Kamakura), the temple is not a touristic spot like the famous Kamakura area with Great Buddha and many temples and shrines. But it worths to make a stop at Ofuna Station which is a 5-minute walk from the temple. The station is 37 min from Tokyo Station on JR Tokaido Line (rapid service).
*Every month on the 18th (excluding May) is being held at Ofuna Kannonji a one-day Zen class. It costs 1,000 yen and you can have an introduction to Zen by meditating, chanting sutra, and working in the gardens.
photos: Junko Nagata © Japanbyweb.com
Entering into Kannon statue.