Kenchoji Temple, Kamakura

4.6
#5 of 77 in Historic Sites in Kamakura
Take in the serenity and artistry at Kenchoji Temple, a commanding Zen Buddhist temple known for its carefully designed gardens and grand architecture. Completed in 1253 under the command of Emperor Go-Fukakusa, the temple originally boasted 49 subtemples, most of which were lost to fire during the 14th and 15th centuries. As you explore the extensive complex, note the 13th-century temple bell, Chinese juniper trees in the temple garden, and the finely ornamented roofs and walls. The temple welcomes visitors to participate in 40-minute zazen meditation sessions, providing brief instruction on posture and the tenets of Zen Buddhism beforehand (in Japanese). North of the complex, hiking trails lead farther up the hill to an observatory. Before you head to Kamakura, plan trip itinerary details with our user-friendly Kamakura trip itinerary builder, to make sure you see all that Kamakura has to offer, including Kenchoji Temple.
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369 reviews
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  • August 12, 2017
    Another inevitable tour to Kamakura, this temple complex has one of the most notable attractions on Zen Garden Shinji Ike where you can immerse yourself in meditation. Among the obligatory stops along with the Daibutsu and the temple Hasedera.
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  • August 8, 2017
    The sanmen power. Dunhuang sanctum unryu class diagram is nice, the Navigator and I wonder if karamon, there are other attractions. Changing the season had a visit in cicadas and cherry blossom, so would you want to revisit.
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  • August 1, 2017
    I breathed a gentle atmosphere A wonderful silence, beautiful temples and Buddha a really cool place to visit
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Where to stay in Kamakura

Given the easy access from Tokyo via a number of public transport options, the vast majority of visitors to Kamakura choose to stay in the capital and head here for a day trip. If you feel there's too much to see in one day, then you'll be pleased to find a decent selection of accommodations in Kamakura itself. Down by the sea sit perhaps the most luxurious of the crop, with sea views high on the list of desires for those who stay here. Follow the river as it snakes inland past the train station, and you'll see a good number of more standard hotels, as well as particularly budget-friendly guesthouses.
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