Kamakura is a seaside Japanese city just south of Tokyo. The political centre of medieval Japan, modern-day Kamakura is a prominent resort town with dozens of Buddhist Zen temples and Shinto shrines.
Built by Hojo Tokiyori in 1253, Kencho-ji Temple is one of the “Kamakura Gozan (top 5 temples),” and the first Zen temple in Japan. From Yokohama station, take JR Yokosuka line and exit Kita-kamakura station or Kamakura station (about 20 minutes from Yokohama) then a 15 minute walk from Kita-kamakura station. We actually took the train from Tokyo station which adds another 40 minutes. You really need to put aside the whole day as there are other temples and shrines to visit. I strongly urge you to also visit Enoshima, take the smaller private line to Fujisawa then walk across the 600 meter bridge to Enoshima. This is where Japan will host the 2020 Olympic sailing competition.
Ok, back to the fabulous Kencho-ji Temple with it’s breathtaking statues and buildings.
Hatto (Dharma Hall) at Kencho-ji Temple in the above photos, was built in 1814 and is the largest Buddhist wooden structure in Eastern Japan.
Above is Kara-mon (Chinese-style gate) it was recently restored as it was when built in the 17th century to re-establish the ancient glory of this old temple. I particularly like the pots of Lotus on display, the Japanese just know how to create a charming vision.
This will go down as one of the most enjoyable days I have ever spent in Japan. The tree you see in the photos below is a 750 year old Juniper and is a Japanese national treasure.
Here is my photo blog on Kencho-ji.
In Tokyo I recommend the Hotel Granbell at Shibuya.
Review by David Herd – www.fivestarvagabond.com