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Hase-dera temple, a Buddhist temple in Kamakura, is famous for its eleven-headed statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. The statue of Kannon is one of the largest wooden statues in Japan standing at over 30 ft in the temples main hall. Kannon has 11 heads to represent the 11 characteristics of the goddess. According to some legends, the statue was carved from the same tree that was used to create a similar Kannon statue from the Hasedera Temple in Nara. Close to the main hall is the Kannon Museum, a small museum that displays exhibits on the temple's treasures including Buddhist statues, temple bell, and picture scroll. Guests can enter the museum for a small fee, and there are pamphlets in English in addition to the displays.
The temple is built along a slope which results in a stunning aesthetic throughout the year. Being surrounded by trees, the scenery is beautiful throughout the year, especially delightful in autumn with the leaves changing its colors to warmer hues. Nearby is a small restaurant where visitors can grab a cup of tea and some snacks such as the Japanese mitarashi dango, a sweet rice cake. The grounds also has a garden dedicated to Benten, the goddess of feminine beauty and wealth. Various statues of Kami (gods) can be found on the grounds of Hasedera Temple and in a small cave next to the main hall.
A perfect place for seasonal flower viewing or to clear your head, include a stop along Hase-dera temple at the end of your vacation with Japan Deluxe Tour's pre or post stay options.
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