New English Guide to Kamakura’s Temples & Shrines

We knew the Big Buddha wasn’t the only religious artifact in Kamakura (Japan), but we had no idea there were a full 170 (Buddhist) temples and 40 (Shinto) shrines scattered around the city. Of these, 119 are profiled in a new English book, “An English Guide to Kamakura’s Temples & Shrines,” written by two long-term local residents.

The meticulously researched work is divided into seven districts, each with a sample itinerary for the dedicated culture buff. The small, black-and-white photos aren’t much to look at, but then again, the book itself is small enough to fit in a large pocket and guide you to the actual sights. Other sections include a brief history of the area, sidebars on the finer points of temple-hopping like “omikuji” (fortune-predicting strips of paper) and ema (votive wooden tablets), plus write-ups on attractions like the “10 Famous Wells of Kamakura.” (Beau Miller/Metropolis).

If you are interested to view a short film on the Daibutsu (the Great Buddha), the main spiritual and touristic site of Kamakura, you can watch my film on vimeo.

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