If you set aside time to visit Kamakura during your trip to Japan, Hase-dera (sometimes referred to as Hasadera Temple) is one of the spots that must be visited during your time there. The wooden carving of the Kannon Bosatsu in the main hall, also known as the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, towers at a colossal height of 9.8 meters (32 ft) and is the largest of its kind domestically. The eleven-faced wooden seated statue of the Kannon Bosatsu has been designated as an important cultural property in Japan.
In addition to the significant cultural properties present at the temple, there is also a gazebo from where you can catch stunning views of the city and ocean of Kamakura. Moreover, the beautiful garden, with its flowers blooming all year long, makes the temple a paradise. In particular, the blooms of the hydrangeas and iris flowers are considerably exquisite.
Shakyo & Shabutsu
After you take the time to explore Hase-dera and its surroundings, you could perhaps take on the challenge of participating in the copying of sutras (shakyo) and tracing of Buddhist images (shabutsu). This activity is an everyday occurrence at the temple. The former activity refers to the copying by hand the sutras of the Buddha and similarly, the latter refers to the drawing of images of the Buddha. As you will only need to trace the rough copy of the scripture or drawing with a writing brush, there is no need to worry if you cannot write Japanese to participate in this activity. Historically, the transfer of sutras and images was practiced to reach enlightenment but in recent years and in the modern context, these two practices have risen in popularity for its relaxing effects. After finishing the copying of the sutras and images, you have the option to give your finished work as an offering to the temple.
For more pictures and reviews, as well as details about visiting Hase-dera, follow the link below to Planetyze.