10 Photos: Kamakura and Enoshima Island, Japan

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Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, Kamakura’s most important shrine.

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The Great Buddha of Kamakura is a bronze statue of Amida Buddha, which stands on the grounds of Kotokuin Temple. With a height of 13.35 meters, it is the second tallest bronze Buddha statue in Japan, surpassed only by the statue in Nara’s Todaiji Temple.

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At the end of a short side trail stands a bell on top of Enoshima’s hill with nice views over the ocean. Due to a love related legend involving Benten and the dragon, couples ring the bell together and write their names on locks that they leave attached to the fence, similar to the wooden prayer plates (ema) left at shrines.

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Enoshima Shrine consists of three separate shrines that are located in different places around the island. The main complex includes an octagonal building that houses one of Japan’s three most venerated statues of Benten, the patron goddess of Enoshima. Since Benten is also the goddess of wealth, some visitors will wash their money at the shrine’s pond.

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Manhole cover in Kamakura.

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Seafoods everywhere! When you visit Enoshima Island, be sure to try their alfresco dine-in restaurants.

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