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Kenchoji Temple

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Address: 8 Yamanouchi, Kamakura 247-0062, Kanagawa Prefecture
Phone Number: +81 467-22-0981
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Description: Founded in 1253 by a Chinese priest, this temple, notable for its bell (a...
Founded in 1253 by a Chinese priest, this temple, notable for its bell (a national treasure) and Zen garden, was the first Zen temple in the city and is ranked number one of the city's five most powerful temples.
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Stunning Woodwork Architecture

Don’t miss out on the Kenchoji Temple which has aged beautifully. Kenchō-ji originally consisted of 49 sub-temples (yup! 49!), but most of these were lost in fires. The series of... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed April 17, 2015
Kunal C
,
Toronto, Canada
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144 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
157 reviews 157 reviews
124 attraction reviews
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2015

Don’t miss out on the Kenchoji Temple which has aged beautifully. Kenchō-ji originally consisted of 49 sub-temples (yup! 49!), but most of these were lost in fires. The series of temples that remain fall along a path you follow from the entrance gate to the very end. Watch for the beautiful wooden architectural details and the garden at the end... More 

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Cardiff, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
13 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2015

Kamakura !... Just a short easy train journey from central Tokyo (Shinjuku)... and Kencho-ji is probably a better experience as far as temples go than any in Tokyo. Not only are the temples, gardens and surrounding building beautifull, as a working temple you get the added experience of the chants and services going on there... Very well worth a visit,... More 

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Stockholm, Sweden
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
22 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2015

When I was there there were many women clad in kimonos helping people something. I never managed to figure out what it was but it appeared to be aimed at Japanese women. Either way it added something to the temple to see so many kimonos around. I also loved the old trees around the temple and the concert ongoing when... More 

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Yokohama
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

Kenchoji is difficult to reach. And for some reason does not attract Japanese tourists the way other temples do in Kamakura. Maybe it is because the main hall was moved there from another location. Still, it is quite ancient. I believe that the bell from the bell tower is some 700 years old. I'm guessing that the grounds are the... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Falls Church, Virginia
Top Contributor
123 reviews 123 reviews
55 attraction reviews
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2015

I loved this Zen temple, with its ancient juniper trees, restrained wooden buildings and rustic Buddha. And two spectacular gates -- one wooden carved with fantastical creatures and another with gold. Didn't see them, but could here monks chanting, which was enchanting. There is an observation platform just before a protecting shine -- itself guarded by fierce statues -- from... More 

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Canada
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
27 attraction reviews
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2015

The temple was really nice to visit. It looks similar to the others, but this one had a really nice zen garden around the side. I went before 11am so it was nice to just sit and enjoy the stillness. The temple is easily walkable from the station and it costs about 200 or 300 yen to enter if I... More 

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Beijing, China
Top Contributor
582 reviews 582 reviews
262 attraction reviews
273 helpful votes 273 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2014

A brisk 20min walk from kamakura station on the eastern side of the northern temples, this is one that you should be sure to budget plenty of time for. Houses one of the most important national treasures (the face of a brass bell from original 1253 construction), in the center of the temple area is a bustling marketplace serving an... More 

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Barcelona, Spain
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
39 attraction reviews
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2014

One of the Kamakura highlights is this buddhist temple that was founded by a chinese monk almost eight hundred years ago. At the entrance a map is provided, very helpful to understant what we are visiting, there is some beautiful zen garden and some small temples around, it's a visit that deserves almost 2 hours. As every temple / shrine... More 

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Sydney, Australia
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2014

Very beautiful temple complex. Take your time to wander around. Make sure you go all the way up to the observatory which has wonderful views of the area including Mt Fuji - on a clear day :-) I was lucky and was rewarded with a stunning view - after days of rain in Tokyo. My suggestion is to hire a... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
15 attraction reviews
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2014

Kencho-ji is truly one of the key sites to see in Kamakura. The temple is a prime site in the history of Zen Buddhism in Japan. The grounds are beautifully maintained, and the historical information imparted in English seems to be more complete than that offered at some of the other temples and shrines. Kencho-ji continues to offer active classes... More 

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