Kamakura is stuffed with entertaining shrines and temples, but this is the only one with a hillside of gorgeous hydrangeas, a thirty-foot-tall Kannon figure covered in gold, and a candle-lit underground grotto!
* The famous nine-meter-tall golden Kannon is a sacred object, so photos aren’t allowed. Despite nearly overwhelming temptation, I honored that request (and I hope you will too!) but if you can’t wait to see its golden benevolence with your own eyes, there are quite a few pirate photos of it on the web.
Open: Every day; Mar-Sept 8:00 – 17:00, Oct – Feb 8:00 – 16:30, last entrance 30 minutes before closing time
Hasedera is in Kamakura, my favorite day trip from Tokyo.
Read a novel set in Tokyo