Kita Kamakura

Recommended route

Kita Kamakura

Kita Kamakura, or “North Kamakura” is an area adjacent to Kamakura, one stop or just 3 minutes train ride away. You can also walk, although it is an uphill road.

For more on Kamakura, please refer to Kamakura here.


Model Route for Kita Kamakura

1 Kencho-ji

2 Meigetsuin

3 Tokeiji

4 Engakuji


1 Kencho-ji 建長寺

Y500 admission fee

The first Zen Buddhist temple in Japan, built by Tokiyori Hojo in 1253.  At the peak, there were over 1000 trainees of  Zen Buddhism here, following the teachings of Doryu, who brought the teachings from China.

Most of the buildings were burned down several times due to the fires of 14th and 15th century.   They were rebuilt with donations from the Tokugawa Shogunage etc. during the Edo Period.

Impressive dragon art, ceiling of the Hatto or lecture hall.

Temple bell (1255) weighs 2.7 ton, national treasure

Juniper trees, more than 700 years old, survived several fires.  Very impressive…  There are 7 of them, leading up to the main hall of Buddha.

Main hall with Buddha.  Rebuilt in 1814, largest wooden structure in the Kanto area.  (definitely needs some work to restore the former art work…)

2 Meigetsuin 明月院

Meigetsuin means “Bright Moon Hermitage”, built by Tsunetoshi Yamanouchi in 1160, to honor his father`s soul, after he died in a battle.   The whole area is a beautiful garden, with many seasonal flowers to enjoy.  Irises  and hydrangeas (early summer) are especially famous here.

I really liked this temple, although the season (Jan) was not the right timing to enjoy the many flowers.  Yet, it was so peaceful and beautifully maintained.  My favorite!

Y500 admission fee

There is a beautiful round window, which cuts out the garden, like a picture frame.


The dry garden expressing the Buddhist view of the world.

The hand made sweater is really cute.



3 Tokeiji 東慶寺

Known as the “divorce temple”, as it obtained official rights from the government then to accept women to divorce, after living 3 years in the temple.  (women had very few rights and could not divorce.)

Kakusan-ni, after the death of her husband Tokimune Hojo, withdrew from the world, into this temple that she founded.

The cemetary/garden is very peaceful to walk and enjoy the trees and flowers.

Y200 admission fee.

4 Enkakuji 円覚寺

Y300 admission fee.

Founded in 1282, as Tokimune Hojo as its patron of the Kamakura Shogunate.  He played an important role in the fight againt Mongolia (attacked Japan twice, from the sea.  Miraculously, the kamikaze (wind from gods) from the sea, i.e. basically a hurricane/typhoon hit them on both occassions, wiping them out, in spite of their overwhelming naval power.  Engakuji was built to honor the dead, from Japan as well as Mongolia.

There are many sub temples here, some of which are open to the public.

The main gate, or Sanmon, built in 1785.

Grand Bell, or Ogane, 1301, is a national trasure.

Check the beautiful art work, depicting the scenes of procession to the temple.

You have to climb up a LOT of stairs to view this bell, but the scenary here is beautiful.


Any questions or comments?





Read More Articles: Column

3 Less Crowded Places in Kyoto

1 Avoid the crowd in Kyoto 2 TOJI-hidden away but you will be overwhelmed! 3 CHISAKUIN- beautiful, […]

Ochanomizu, Tokyo`s Quartier Latin

Visit Tokyo`s `Quartier Latin`, with a lot of universities, unique music and instrument stores. Very few tourists […]

Sunamachi Shopping Street

Come and enjoy the freshly made Japanese street food!  Feel the traditional nostalgia of old Tokyo.  This […]

The shrinking population of Japan

You may have wondered why there are so many senior citizens in Japan.  Why is Japan`s population […]

High Tech Toilets

Have you ever wondered why the toilets in Japan are so different to those that you use […]

Convenience Stores (konbini, コンビニ)

Visit the one closest to your place and if possible, choose 7-11.  Enjoy checking out their products, […]


1 Adventure World in Shirahama- great for family and kids. 2 Basic information on Adventure World in […]

Crafts Made in Japan by Japanese artists

Sure, there are tons of places to shop. But, if you are looking for one-and-only, hand made […]

Best Revolving Sushi Restaurant for FAMILY and KIDS: KURA

  There are lots of Sushi restaurant in Japan and you are spoilt for choice. But for […]

JAPANESE ANIMATION- “Your Name” and Ghibli Museum

1 Japanese animation 1.1 “Your Name” by Makoto Shinkai 1.2 Site visits for “Your Name” 2 Ghibli […]