FAQ

Viewing the Temple” question

When does the temple open?
The temple opens at 8 a.m. daily all year round and closes at 5:30 p.m. from April to September, and at 5 p.m. from October to March. Generally, visitors can visit the temple every day.
What is the latest time visitors can enter the temple?
Please enter the temple at least fifteen minutes before closing time.
How much is the price of admission?
Please click here.
Can we view the interior of the Great Buddha?
Visitors can view the interior of the Great Buddha from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. all year round.
Please enter the temple at least ten minutes before closing time.
How much is the price of admission to the interior of the Great Buddha?
The price of admission to the interior of the Great Buddha is 20 yen per person with the exception of visitors who have received an admission fee exemption as well as preschoolers. Visitors with an admission fee exemption should present their ID and other required documents at the entrance to the interior of the Great Buddha.
Can we take pictures inside the Great Buddha?
Visitors may take pictures inside the Great Buddha. However, the chamber is quite narrow, so please refrain from using selfie sticks in order to protect the interior of the Great Buddha and avoid inconveniencing other visitors.
Can we touch the interior of the Great Buddha?
Visitors may touch the interior of the Great Buddha. However, visitors who draw graffiti on or engage in any other action which may deface the Great Buddha, which is a national treasure, will be prosecuted in accordance with the Japanese Act on Protection of Cultural Properties.
Who can receive an admission fee exemption?
・Individuals with an identification booklet for the disabled (identification booklet for the physically disabled, identification booklet for patients undergoing rehabilitation, identification and welfare booklet for the mentally disabled)
・Individuals with a Kamakura City health and welfare booklet
・Tour conductors and instructors leading preschoolers or students
・Special schools or school students and instructors who have received an admission fee exemption permit
・Outpatients or residents at facilities for the disabled who have received an admission fee exemption permit
Is the temple wheelchair-accessible?
The temple grounds are equipped with ramps and other facilities so visitors in wheelchairs can view the temple. However, there are bumpy areas in many parts of the temple grounds, so attendants or caregivers should accompany visitors when viewing these areas.
Can we bring strollers into the temple?
The temple grounds are equipped with ramps and other facilities so visitors can view the temple with a stroller. However, there are bumpy areas in many parts of the temple grounds, so adults should accompany children in strollers at all times and exercise caution in these areas.
I want to take residents from a facility for the disabled to the temple.
Visitors with disabilities can receive an admission fee exemption (including admission to the interior of the Great Buddha) by submitting an admission fee exemption application to the temple. However, facility staff, caregivers and other individuals must pay the admission fee. Visitors with disabilities should present their identification booklet for the disabled, or a copy of this document, when visiting the temple.
I want to visit the temple with my pet.
With the exception of assistance dogs (helper dogs, seeing-eye dogs, and hearing assistance dogs), pets are not permitted to walk around the temple grounds and must be kept in special cages or carriers.
I want to borrow a wheelchair.
Visitors who wish to borrow a wheelchair should ask the staff at the temple entrance. Wheelchairs are limited, however, so please be aware that the temple may only be able to meet the needs of a few people.
Do I have to pay the admission fee again if I leave the temple grounds?
Visitors cannot reenter the temple without paying the admission fee.
Do you have group admission rates?
Discounts on group admission rates no longer are available from April 1, 2017.  
What about admission fees for tour conductors?
Tour conductors may enter the temple free of charge. Please present your ID.

“Schools” question

I want to take my class to visit the temple on a field trip/ school trip. Do I need to make a reservation?
You do not need a reservation. Please come directly to the temple entrance on the day of your visit.
Please tell me about admission fees for preschoolers and kindergarteners.
Preschoolers and kindergarteners may enter free of charge. In addition, instructors can receive an admission fee exemption.
I want to take my special school class to the temple.
Students and teachers from special schools can receive an admission fee exemption (including admission to the interior of the Great Buddha) by submitting an admission fee exemption application beforehand. However, caregivers (i.e. volunteers) and other individuals must pay the admission fee. Individuals with an identification booklet for the disabled should present this document, or a copy of it, and instructors should present their ID to temple staff on the day of their visit.
What is the admission fee for tour conductors?
Small children (preschoolers and kindergarteners), instructors leading students, and professional tour guides all may enter the temple free of charge. Please present your ID to the temple staff.
Can I bring a lunch to eat on the temple grounds?
Please try to set up picnic sheets on sites outside the temple gallery, or inside in the case of rain, which do not block any paths on the temple grounds. Parents and teachers should supervise these efforts so as to not inconvenience other visitors to the temple. Temple workers may also indicate areas in which visitors can eat, so please follow their instructions. Also, please take any trash with you when you leave.

“Temples/ Temple Grounds” question

Is there parking at the temple?
Please be aware that there is no public parking area. Please use local parking areas near the temple or travel to the temple via public transportation. There is a small handicapped parking area in front of the main gate which is big enough for one or two vehicles.
We cannot answer inquiries about parking areas near the temple, so please contact one of the public corporations which operate these parking areas for details, or contact the Kamakura City Tourism Association.
Kanagawa Prefecture Highway Public Corporation Parking Area: 0467-24-8897
Kamakura City Tourism Association: 0467-23-3050
Is there handicapped parking at the temple?
There is a small handicapped parking area in front of the main temple gate which is big enough for one or two vehicles.
Is there a parking area for bicycles at the temple?
There is a parking area for bicycles and 50cc motorcycles. Parking bicycles anywhere else on the temple grounds is strictly prohibited. In addition, please be aware that the temple is not responsible for theft, accidents, or any other problems which may occur within the bicycle parking area.
Can we eat or drink in the temple area?
Please refrain from eating and drinking in front of the Great Buddha and near the pedestal. In addition, please refrain from eating while walking as this can inconvenience other temple visitors. Temple staff may be on hand to guide visitors to places where they can eat or drink, so please follow their instructions.
Is there a smoking area?
There is NO SMOKING anywhere on the temple grounds.
Which Buddhist sect does Kotoku-in belong to?
Kotoku-in is a Pure Land (Jodo) Buddhist temple. The Pure Land Buddhist sect was founded by Honen. Please click here for details.
How many restrooms are there?
There are sixteen men’s restrooms, sixteen women’s restrooms, and one wheelchair-accessible restroom which can be used by both men and women.
What kind of plants are on the temple grounds?
Flowers and trees adorn the temple grounds throughout the four seasons. Visitors can view cherry blossoms and azaleas in spring, Japanese bead trees and hydrangeas from early to mid summer, and pampas grass, gingko trees, and osmanthus in fall. There are also commemorative trees such as the pine trees hand-planted by the royal family of the Kingdom of Thailand.

“Interviews and Photography” question

I want to photograph or film the Great Buddha and Kotoku-in Temple for commercial purposes and distribute the products to the media for use in articles and other purposes.
After confirming the information here, please complete the application for permission.
I want to reuse existing pictures, images, articles and other artifacts of the Great Buddha and Kotoku-in Temple.
After confirming the information here, please complete the application for permission.
I would like the temple priest, or other individuals affiliated with the temple, to make a media appearance, give an interview, or make comments.
After confirming the information here, please complete the application for permission.
What is the deadline for submission of the Photography/ Interview and Broadcast/ Publication application?
Please arrange to have the application delivered by post to the temple no later than five days before the day of your visit. In urgent cases, please send a FAX before sending the application by mail. (FAX: 0467-22-5051)
Is it possible to photograph actors and entertainers appearing in movies, TV shows and other performance arts on the temple grounds?
The temple may not grant permission to film actors and other entertainers on the temple grounds in instances when it may inconvenience other visitors to the temple. In addition, please refrain from taking pictures which use angles that capture reporters and entertainers in the same shot as the Great Buddha.
Can we film the interior of the Great Buddha?
Filming the interior of the Great Buddha is prohibited.
Can we interview temple visitors on the temple grounds?
Please refrain from interviewing other visitors as this may inconvenience them.
Can we operate and film from drones?
Flying or operating drones is strictly prohibited. Visitors who damage the Great Buddha, which is a national treasure, will be prosecuted in accordance with the Act on Protection of Cultural Properties.

“Temple Store/ Temple Office” question

Please tell me the operating hours of the temple store (commemorative seal office).
The temple store is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. all year round.
I want an official temple commemorative seal.
The temple provides official commemorative seals at the temple office next to the temple store for 300 yen. Visitors who wish to obtain a commemorative seal should visit the temple office between all 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (all year round). Please be aware that it may take some time to produce the seal when the temple is crowded.
Does the temple have any pamphlets?
There are no free pamphlets available at the temple, but visitors can purchase pamphlets and other publications at the temple store.
Does the temple sell souvenirs?
The temple store sells original Kotoku-in goods such as lucky charms, postcards, and temple stamp books. There are also two kiosks, one at the entrance and one outside the temple corridors, which sell drinks, snacks, and Kamakura souvenirs.

“Other” question

I want to play Pokémon GO! on the temple grounds.
Pokémon GO! is strictly prohibited as it may inconvenience other temple visitors. Please be aware that players may be warned by temple staff.
Are there photographers at the temple?
The temple does not employ any professional photographers or photo shops, so visitors should arrange to bring their own. In addition, photographers who enter the temple to take pictures of school groups and other visitors must pay the general admission fee of 200 yen.