Kamakura Temples Walking Tour, Yokohama

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Fg2
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There are many historic Buddhist temples near Yokohama, some of which are listed as national heritage. The most significant of them are concentrated in the town of Kamakura. This self-guided tour will lead you through some of these historic religious sites that reveal the culture, tradition and beliefs of the East.

Walk Route

Guide Location: Japan » Yokohama
Guide Type: Self-guided city tour
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.6 km
Author: vickyc

1) Hase-dera Temple

Hase-dera Temple is a Buddhist temple in Kamakura that dates back to 736. There is a big wooden statue of Kannon. Bandō Sanjūsankasho pilgrims stop at this place during their pilgrimages. The statue is 9.18 meters tall and has 11 heads. There are underground caves where you can see many different statues representing numerous gods and goddesses of Buddhism.The best times of year to visit this temple are in spring, because at this time of year the peonies that line the 200m walkway from the...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Bernard Gagnon
Sight description based on wikipedia

2) Kōtoku-in Temple

Kōtoku-in Temple is the temple most visited by tourists in this part of Japan. Visitors come here to admire the temple's monumental statue of Amida Buddha. The statue is made from bronze and looks very impressive.The bronze Buddha is approximately 13.35 meters tall including the base and weighs approximately 93 tonnes. The statue is hollow, and visitors can view the interior. According to the temple's records the statue dates from 1252. In the 15th century there was a tsunami that...
Image Courtesy of Flickr and David Jones
Sight description based on wikipedia

3) Zeniarai Benzaiten Ugafuku Shrine

Zeniarai Benzaiten Ugafuku Shrine popularly known simply as Zeniarai Benten. In spite of its small size, it is the second most popular spot in Kamakura after Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū. Zeniarai Benzaiten is popular among tourists because the waters of a spring in its cave are said to be able to multiply the money washed in it.

The object of worship is a syncretic kami which fuses a traditional spirit called Ugafukujin with the Buddhist goddess of Indian origin Sarasvati, known in Japanese as...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Bernat
Sight description based on wikipedia

4) Hongakuji Temple

Hongakuji Temple dates back to 1436. It is a temple of the Nichiren sect of Buddhism; Priest Nichiren's ashes are kept inside. Nichiren was a very talented preacher of his time, but absolutely intolerant of other branches of Buddhism, and that is why he was prosecuted. There is a statue of the Priest Nichiren in the main hall. The Japanese come here to pray for their success in...
Image Courtesy of Flickr and Flowizm

5) Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is the most important Shinto shrine in the city of Kamakura and it was originally built in 1063 in Zaimokuza. Minamoto no Yoritomo, the founder of the Kamakura shogunate, moved it to its present location in 1191. It is the venue of many of its most important festivals, and hosts two museums. The shrine is dedicated to the Shinto god of war. You will walk through the Wakamiya Oji to reach the shrine. It is a pedestrian path along which grow beautiful cherry trees and...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and ja:利用者:S.fukasawa
Sight description based on wikipedia

6) Kenchō-ji Temple

Kenchō-ji is a Rinzai Zen temple, which ranks first among Kamakura's so-called Five Great Zen Temples (the Kamakura Gozan) and is the oldest Zen training monastery in Japan. These temples were at the top of the Five Mountain System, a network of Zen temples started by the Hōjō Regents. Still very large, it originally had a full shichidō garan and 49 subtemples.

The temple was constructed on the orders of Emperor Go-Fukakusa and completed in 1253, fifth year of the Kenchō era, from...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Tim Notari, Flickr user tastefulTN
Sight description based on wikipedia

7) Meigetsu-in Temple

Fugenzan Meigetsu-in is a Rinzai Zen temple of the Kenchō-ji school. Meigetsu-in was built by Uesugi Norikata of the powerful Uesugi clan, and the name itself derives from Norikata's own posthumous name (Meigetsu). According to 350-year-old records it was originally just the guest rooms of a much bigger temple called Zenkō-ji. It is well-known for its hydrangeas. Here the Japanese come to worship the goddess Shō Kannon. There is a beautiful garden that you can see through a special round...
Image Courtesy of Flickr and d'n'c
Sight description based on wikipedia

8) Engaku-ji

Engaku-ji is one of the most significant Zen Buddhist temple complexes in Japan and the main center of Zen training in the Kantō region. The temple was founded in 1282 by a Chinese Zen monk at the request of the then ruler of Japan, the regent Hōjō Tokimune after he had repelled a joint Mongolian-Korean invasion in the period 1274 to 1281. The temple was intended to honour those who died on both sides in the war, as well as serving as a centre from which the influence of Zen could be spread....
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Pomakis
Sight description based on wikipedia


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