Model course 4:Visit Ancient Zen Temples and Flower Viewing

Kamakura is a small town but visitors are often confused about the best places to visit.
On Kamakura Info, we suggest 5 courses that will enable people to enjoy the various facets of Kamakura.

Free Guided Tour

Model Course 4:Visit Ancient Zen Temples and Flower Viewing


Kenchoji, Engakuji and Jochiji are the ones of Kamakura Gozan (Five High-ranked Zen Temples in Kamakura) and those three temples are located in Kita-Kamakura. There are many temples that are famous for flowers such as Meigetsuin Temple of hydrangea temple, Tokeiji Temple for plum and iris, and many others. This is a great area to enjoy Kamakura.

Outside of the rustic Kita-Kamakura Station, Engakuji Temple which is in the 2nd place of Kamaura Gozan stands at the front. The thick Japanese cedar trees liven up an atmosphere of this ancient temple. A big bell is on top of a hill at the right side of the temple gate. Hōjō Sadatoki asked Mononobe Kunimitsu to cast and donated it. It is one of Kamakura san meishō (three famous bells in Kamakura) and the other other two may be found Kenchoji Temple and Jorakuji Temple.

Tokeiji Temple
Tokeiji Temple

Tokeiji Temple was once famous as a divorce temple. You should not miss out on the wonderful flowers growing there year round but you should also take in the Jihō (temple’s assets) which are exhibited in Matsugaoka-Hōzō (Treasure house).

Jochiji Temple which is in the 4th place of Kamakura Gozan is surrounded by hills on three sides and it is a temple of tranquility.Hoteison, also known around the world as the Deity of contentment and happiness Buddha, is one of the Seven Gods of Fortune is enshrined in the precincts. The unique face of Hoteison is known to soften the hearts of men.

Jochiji Temple
Jochiji Temple


Cross the rail track again and head for Meigetsuin Temple. This temple is also called the hydrangea temple, and if you head down the pathway to Meigetsuin Temple early summer you will be greeted by the stunning lavender colour of this popular ornamental plant.

Kenchoji Temple garan
Kenchoji Temple Garan

The end of Kita-Kamakura visit is Kenchoji Temple which is in 1st place of Kamakura Gozan. It is the first Zen Buddhist seminary founded in Japan and its precincts are filled with a pious atmosphere. The appearance that the San-mon (temple gate), Butsu-den (Buddha Hall), Hou-dou (Hall of Law), Hōjō (Abbot’s Chamber) form almost a straight line is a typical architectural feature of monasteries of Zen Buddhism. If you are interested, we recommend that you join in Zazen meetings which both Kenchoji Temple and Engakuji Temple hold for anyone. You can learn about and experience the spiritual climate which continues to this day in Kamakura.