the autumn leaves and the Great Buddha
the autumn leaves and the Great Buddha of Kamakura 

The third and final Japan Halal Expo 2014 official tour I would like to introduce is the Kamakura half day tour. The tour will take you from Makuhari Messe in Chiba, where the Expo is held, to Yokohama via Tokyo Bay. The tour is a half-day tour departing in the afternoon that will take approx. 10 hours, and you can also enjoy the night views of Tokyo from the bus on the way back.

The first stop on this tour is “Umihotaru”. Umihotaru is rest area on an artificial island at the bridge–tunnel crossover point of the 15km Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line toll road that crosses the central part of Tokyo Bay. Weather permitting, it is possible to view Tokyo Sky Tree and Mount Fuji in the distance. You can also enjoy views of Tokyo from the sea that cannot usually be seen from the 13 telescopes installed on the observation deck.

Next is Kamakura, the main part of the tour. Kamakura is the ancient samurai capital which gave rise to Japan’s first samurai government in 1192. Here you will visit the attractions such as the autumn leaves at the Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine and Kotoku-in Great Buddha.

The Great Buddha, at a height of over 13m (including pedestal), is a national treasure built over 10 years from 1252. The Great Buddha is the only Buddha in this ancient samurai capital to be designated a national treasure. Kamakura has been involved in many wars and many of its cultural assets have been destroyed as a result.

You can view the hollow interior of the Great Buddha for just 20 yen, so have a look inside. The lattice pattern on the interior walls indicates that over 30 layers of molds were placed on top of each other to create strength. I’m sure you will appreciate the use of this technique which was phenomenal for its time. Why not try thinking about how the Japanese have protected this Buddha for over 750 years while enjoying the sight of the autumn leaves.


Official Tour, Japan Halal Expo 2014