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Kencho-ji Temple, Kamakura

#5 of 106 in Historic Sites in Kamakura
Religious Site · Historic Site
Take in the serenity and artistry at Kencho-ji 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. Plan to visit Kencho-ji Temple during your Kamakura vacation using our convenient Kamakura route planner.
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532 reviews
  • Kencho-ji is one of the 5 big zen temples in Kamakura. It's quite big and very well taken care of. The area is very calm and it's very nice to walk around. In addition to the main temple area, there....  more »
  • Very beautiful temple that is still a working monastery as well. there is an easy to follow guided map and plenty of information to explain the various buildings and points of interest. We spend...  more »

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