Like Hokokuji, Engaku-ji is not your average temple, and it is actually ranked as the second most important Zen Buddhist temple in Japan. Founded in 1282 by a Chinese Zen monk at the request of Hojo Tokimune (then ruler of Japan), Engaku-ji is in fact more like a closed village temple than an actual temple.

Indeed Engaku-ji features not only seven main buildings including the Sanmon (山門) as the main gate, but also a main hall or Butsu-den (仏殿), Shari-Den a reliquary hall (舎利殿), Butsunichia-an (仏日庵) or the burial site of Hojo Tokimune, Obai-In (黄梅院) a small temple containing a statue of Kannon, Ogane (大鐘) a 2.5m high bell as well, Mu (無) the grave of of film director Yasujirō Ozu and the private lodgings of many priests.

The “Japanese Village” atmosphere, with its many ponds, the cafe and restaurant make Engaku-ji one of the most interesting places to visit in Kamakura by a long shot!

Category: Kanagawa, Spring, TSV
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