After a rainy day yesterday and a rainy morning today, the clouds cleared. The sky was a crisp blue color. I had the perfect idea of how to spend my afternoon. I have been waiting for an afternoon like this since I went to the botanical gardens in Ofuna.
Ofuna two stops beyond Kamakura. Here was my train route.
The Ofuna-Kannon-ji temple is at the top of a hill and just a short walk from the Ofuna train station. The focal point of the Ofuna Kannon ji temple is the “goddess of mercy of the white robe” also known as “the white lady.” I have waited to return to Ofuna and visit this temple because I wanted to have a blue sky background when I photographed the goddess.
Here she is from the train station.
The building of the statue began in 1929. As the goddess of mercy, she is a symbol of prayers for permanent world peace. Construction was conducted for about 5 years. Then in 1929, because of the War, construction was halted for twenty years. In 1954, several priest and ministers from various temples united to complete the construction. The statue was finally completed in 1960.
The path up the hill to the temple.
The Ofuna-Kannon society dissolved in 1981. The temple is now under the direction of Soji-ji in Yokohama.
Pictures from the approach and through the Gardens.
The temple contains stones carried from ground zero of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These stones were placed to commemorate the souls of those who died when the atomic bombs were dropped.
The temple had two types of prayer walls. One was leis of origami swans.
The other was the typical prayer wall with prayer wooden plaques.
The statue was stunning in the sunlight with the blue sky.
The cherry trees all around are a sign of a beautiful spring ahead. I will make a note to return to take pictures with the. Cherry tree blossoms.
It was possible to walk behind the statue where I found a door to a beautiful prayer room.
I walked around the temple garden while waiting for my stamp to be drawn. My favorite picture of the day –
And more pictures from the Gardens.
I was able to get both a temple stamp and a charm for my tree!
The Kannon temple is relatively close to the Kamakura City, but just far enough away to not be a common attraction for most temple sightseers. As a result, 60% of the visitors to the temple are visiting for spiritual purposes. The goddess of peace welcomes Japanese citizens and foreigners as a symbol of familiarity hoping to provide comfort during period of solitude or homesickness. Ultimately, as with all Buddhist temples, the desired prayer is for peace to prevail.