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Kamakura: Daibutsu Area

Kamakura was originally set up as a capital city by Japan’s first Samurai government (called the Kamakura Shogunate), independent from the Imperial government of Kyoto. Starting in the early 13th century, the Kamakura Shogunate began to regulate the city’s institutions and facilities. In those days, the country was based on Buddhism, and so the city was planned in accordance with Buddhist philosophy. The Shogunate built temples at the north, south, east and west corners of Kamakura city to receive the protection of the religious spirits.

And then, they built a symbol of the newly established capital. This was Daibutsu. However, the original Daibutsu was actually a large wooden statue, but it was soon destroyed by what was probably a typhoon. In the mid 13th century, they rebuilt it using a more durable bronze cast. It is the same Daibutsu we have with us today.

INDEX

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1-1 Kamakura Daibutsu: Japan’s Great Buddha Statue
1-2 The Making of Kamakura Daibutsu 1: Special techniques used in the creation of Daibutsu
1-3 The Making of Kamakura Daibutsu 2: Special meanings in Daibutsu’s appearance
1-4 Kamakura’s Daibutsu Hiking Trail: Seeing Kamakura from the back end!
2 Hase Kannon Temple: Try tracing a picture of Buddhist statue
3 Kosoku-ji Temple: See its famous, wonderful, 200-year-old crabapple tree
4 Goryo-jinja Shrine: Colorful Ajisai flowers during the rainy season
5 Asaba-ya Resturant: Try Japanese food after visiting Hase Kannon Temple
6 Taisen-kaku Inn: 100-year-old inn just seconds from Hase Kannon Temple
7 Sankai-do: A 100-year-old Japanese sword shop just in front of Daibutsu
8 Kamakura Museum of Literature: Rose Garden and Writers' Museum make a nice combination
9 Flower Basket Shop "Ishihara": Display your flowers in a casual manner

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Hakone's seven nice Museums

Hakone has a lot of nice museums, set in the middle of beautiful nature. Seven of them are of a very high level and are truly recommendable.

The Hakone Open-air Museum features sculpture, the Hakone Museum of Art and the Narukawa Art Museum exhibit Japanese art, the Hakone Venetian Glass Museum and the Lalique Museum feature mainly glass, the POLA Museum of Art concentrates on 19-20th century paintings, and the Museum of the Little Prince is dedicated to “the Little Prince” and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Six of the seven museums are in the Gora and Sengoku-hara areas and can be accessed by bus. A convenient bus route, the Kanko-shisetsu-meguri (a circle route) runs between these two areas and stops near all six museums. Only one museum is outside this circle. It is the Narukawa Art Museum, located at the bottom of Ashino-ko Lake. This museum commands a spectacular view of the lake and Mt. Fuji. So it is definitely a MUST visit!

Please breathe fresh air and sharpen your artistic sense in Hakone.

INDEX

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1 Hakone Open-air Museum: Enjoy magnificent art in the great outdoors (by Larry Knipfing)
2 Hakone Museum of Art, Garden: A stunning autumn contrast of red, yellow and green
3 Hakone Venetian Glass Museum: From antique glass treasure to modern fine art
4 Museum of the Little Prince: The world of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
5 Lalique Museum, Hakone: From brilliant jewelry to gorgeous glass art
6 POLA Museum of Art: Tsuneshi Suzuki and his passion for art
7 Narukawa Art Museum: The best view point of Ashino-ko Lake and Mt. Fuji
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