The Great Buddha of Kamakura —Tokyo, Japan

Photo by Ruth Fowler

Kotoku-in is a Buddhist temple of the Jodo-shu sect in the city of Kamakura in Kanagawa Prefecture, part of the Greater Tokyo area in Japan.

The temple is renowned for its monumental outdoor bronze statue of Amida Buddha which is one of the most famous icons of Japan. The Great Buddha of Kamakura probably dates from 1252, according to temple records. The last building housing the statue was washed away in the tsunami of September 20, 1498. Since then, the Great Buddha has stood in the open air.

The statue is approximately 13.35 meters (43.8 ft) tall including the base and weighs approximately 93 tonnes (270,000 lbs).

Literally millions visit The Great Buddha each year, including Cowboy contributor BJ Smith and the 16-member strong Edmonton Vintage Hockey Club, who were invited to travel to Japan in April, 2013 to play in a series of invitational exhibition games against Japanese teams. The average age of the Vintage players is 70 and by all accounts, “We won a game, lost a game and tied a game so came back with an even record.” The players were from Edmonton, Red Deer, Spruce View, Wetaskiwin, Stettler and yes, even Endiang, Alta.