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Kenchoji Temple

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Address: 8 Yamanouchi, Kamakura 247-0062, Kanagawa Prefecture
Name/address in local language
Phone Number: +81 467-22-0981

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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 290 reviews
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  • 39
  • 23
    Very good
  • 4
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interesting temple and museum

We spent several hours walking and shopping around the quaint town area of Kamakura and then made our way to the Kenchoji Temple. We witnessed a wedding ceremony and had a group... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 2 days ago
goodtravel 2
Paradise Valley, Arizona

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290 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 66: English reviews
Paradise Valley, Arizona
Level Contributor
340 reviews
123 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

We spent several hours walking and shopping around the quaint town area of Kamakura and then made our way to the Kenchoji Temple. We witnessed a wedding ceremony and had a group of elementary school age children practice their English on us...We enjoyed the small temple museum and grounds. The town of Kamakura is an hour train ride from Tokyo... More 

Thank goodtravel 2
Simi Valley, California
Level Contributor
24 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Well, we sought this temple out to experience Zazen. None of the books or other information I'd read really described exactly what it was. I'd read that 6 former first ladies had experienced it. So, I figured it was a meditation experience. It was....but so much more. It was rather unexpected. Suffice to say it involves (voluntary) being hitten by... More 

Thank Cathy R
Level Contributor
66 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Kenchoji temple is just awesome. It is not far from the Kita Kamakura train station. Temple and its grounds are spectacular. This is our first Zen temple, and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit.

Thank RNA-MN
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2016 via mobile

Minus 2 stars due to the widespread use of asphalt on temple grounds and the number of cars that are allowed to drive into the temple area. Nothing is uglier and more inappropriate for a temple than black asphalt which seriously detracts from the aesthetics. The garden in the back is very simple but very pretty. See it quick before... More 

Thank Jail_the_Rich
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
25 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2016 via mobile

The Kenchoji may not be the most popular but is definitely my favourite in Kamakura. The whole area was very spacious and the temples were magnificent. It also had a lovely peaceful ambiance, probably because it was less touristy. Just a convenient 10 minutes walk from Tsurugaoka Hachimangu.

Thank annabelwyli
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
203 reviews
99 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2016

This is one of the largest Zen Buddhist temples in Kamakura, in Kita Kamakura, not far from the station. It has a long and illustrious history, and a collection of buildings, some of which were transported from other parts of japan and rebuilt here. There is a lot to see here: stunning, powerful buildings, serene Buddhist images and beautiful gardens.... More 

Thank Dave_Cowley_Road
Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
Level Contributor
71 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2016

I don't know how I missed this- frequently I go to Kamakura but I had never been here before. This is the first Zen Temple in Kamakura and Japan (I believe,) which makes it all the more amazing. The grounds are GIGANTIC and there are many different buildings. We spent about 3 hours going through as much as we could... More 

1 Thank Korinirin
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2016 via mobile

Kenchoji Temple is a quiet oasis for city travelers. I love the quiet scenery inside the temple. The temple offers you the opportunity to meditate, to relax and learn about the history of Kamakura.

Thank May W
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2016

If you are interested in zazen they offer a 40 minute session at the temple. Before is a simple instruction in the posture and after there is a short explanation of zen buddhism. Be aware that there is not English spoken, at least, not on the day I was there. But it is very beautiful and worthwhile even so.

1 Thank Lily T
Breda, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
81 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2016 via mobile

The temple is quite interesting, the best parts are a big bell at the entrance, a gate with golden decorations. The gem is at the end of the path where you climb up to have a 360 degrees of the area; if it is a clear day you can see mount Fuji.

1 Thank BP_EatLover

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