Thursday, December 26, 2013

Sites : Kencho-ji Temple, Kamakura, Japan

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Kamakura, Japan - November 2013
Kenjo-ji Temple is one of the finest Zen temple. Founded in 1253, it is also the oldest training temple in Japan. Surprisingly, it was founded by a Chinese Zen monk, Rankei Doryū and is a Rinzai Zen temple. Officially it is called the Kōfukuzan Kenchō Kōkoku Zenji.

Entrance is through the entrance outer arch gate called Somon, the just after a carpark off the Kamakura-Kitakamakura main road.

Pass the entrance arch are two rows of stalls, on the left are souvenirs shops and on the right the ticketing stalls. Entrance to visit Kencho-ji is 300Y.

Beyond this, we are ready to begin our visit proper, walking through an approach open walkway line with cherry trees.

The entrance pavilion called the Sanmon. It's a double-storey building built in 1754 from dark timber structural elements.

To the left the Bonsho, the temple bell shed. This bell like the one in Engakuji is considered a National Treasure.

The Buddha Hall, Butsuden.

Inside this hall is a timber statue of Buddha. This statue was moved form the Zojo-ji Temple in Tokyo.

A nice ceiling with a beautiful lotus emblem lies above this statue.

The main hall, Hatto, where public religious ceremonies are held.

Further in is the Hojo, the living quarters of the head priest.

Within its compound lies a nice Japanese garden. This Zen garden was designed by the well known teacher, poet Muso Soseki.

Here, there is an intricate timber door with elaborate gold trimmings with a similarly intricate arch above. I believe this is the entrance for official ceremonies as the public was barred from using it.

To the rear of the Hojo is a nice hillside garden where the residence of other temple staff are.

Somewhere in this garden is a shrine to a goddess.

Inside, visitors can pray at the altar. As it is laid out with tatami mats, visitors are required to take off their shoes before entering.

Kencho-ji Temple
Address: 247-8525 Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture,
Yamanouchi 8, Japan
Phone: +81 467-22-0981

GPS : 35.331009, 139.552577
Web Page :
Admission : 300Y

Kencho-ji Temple, Kamakura, Japan Location Map (Google Map Link)

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