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Exploring the Famous Zen Temples in Kita-Kamakura

Highlights
GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!Kamakura
GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!Japanese (Native), English
GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!7 hours
GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!Private tour (only you and your group)
GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!Up to 10 people

There are historically important and famous Zen temples such as Kencho-ji and Engaku-ji in Kita-Kamakura. Among them, Tokei-ji was so unique that it was one of the first nunneries in Japan and obtained an extraterritorial right for a woman to divorce, which was almost impossible at that time. Let’s explore science of mind in Zen Temples!

Kamakura Tour Guide - Macky H.
Macky H.
5.00 / 5
(4 reviews)
09:00 AM

Meeting Point

JR Kitakamakura Station

10:00 AM

Engaku-ji Temple

Engaku-ji Temple to see a typical Zen temple layout and the National Treasure of old Temple Bell

11:00 AM

Tokeiji Temple

The Tokeiji Temple was established as a sub-temple of the Engakuji school of Rinzai Zen Buddhism. It was founded in 1285 by a nun named Kakusan-ni, the widow of Hojo Tokimune, the regent of the Kamakura Shogunate. It has a unique place in Japanese history and culture due to its role as a sanctuary for women. It is known as the "Divorce Temple" or "Kakekomi Dera" because it historically served as a refuge for women seeking to escape abusive or unhappy marriages. During a time when women had few rights and divorce was almost impossible to obtain, Tokeiji offered a unique solution.

Women who fled to Tokeiji and remained there for three years were granted an official divorce by the temple. This practice began in the 14th century and continued until the Meiji Restoration in the late 19th century. Tokeiji was the only place in Japan where women could initiate divorce, making it an important institution for women's rights and social welfare.

12:00 PM

Vegetarian Restaurant "Kamakura Gozan"

We walk to a traditional Japanese restaurant called "Kamakura Gozan," which serves historical vegetarian foods such as "Kenchinjiru" fundamentally eaten by monks in Rinzai Zen Temples.

The name "Kamakura Gozan" could be drawing inspiration from the term used to describe the five great Zen temples of Kamakura, hinting at a possible cultural or thematic connection to the local heritage and the Zen Buddhist tradition.

The diet in Zen monasteries is vegetarian, designed to nourish the body and mind without causing harm to sentient beings. This cuisine, known as Shojin Ryori, is based on simplicity, mindfulness, and the use of seasonal ingredients. It's an integral part of the Zen Buddhist practice, reflecting the principles of non-violence, gratitude, and harmony with nature. The creation of "Kenchinjiru" by Rankei Doryu is often seen as an embodiment of the Zen Buddhist approach to food and life.

01:00 PM

Jochiji Temple

Jochiji Temple is the fourth ranked among the five great Zen temples, known as the Kamakura Gozan. It was founded in 1281 and belongs to the Engakuji school of the Rinzai Zen sect.

Jochiji attracts visitors, not only for its religious significance but also for its historical architecture, statues, and peaceful natural surroundings. It's a popular destination for those interested in Japan's cultural and spiritual history, as well as for those seeking a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

02:00 PM

Kenchoji Temple

Kenchoji Temple holds the distinction of being the first Zen training monastery in Japan and was considered the most prestigious of the Kamakura Gozan (the five great Zen temples of Kamakura) during the Kamakura period.

Kenchoji was founded in 1253 by Rankei Doryu, a Chinese Zen master, under the patronage of Hojo Tokiyori, the fifth regent of the Kamakura shogunate.

Kenchoji was not just a place of religious worship but also a hub of learning and cultural exchange. It played a critical role in the transmission of Zen teachings and practices from China to Japan. Furthermore, it was a center where various arts influenced by Zen, such as calligraphy, poetry, and tea ceremony, were cultivated and flourished.

The invention of "Kenchinjiru" is attributed to Rankei Doryu, a Chinese Zen monk who founded Kenchoji Temple in Kamakura. The story of how he developed this soup is more anecdotal and symbolic, reflecting the principles of Zen Buddhism and the simplicity and mindfulness of the monastic lifestyle. It is said that Rankei Doryu may have introduced the recipe as a way to teach the monks about living in harmony with their environment, making use of what's available, and being grateful for the nourishment provided by nature.

03:00 PM

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

After visiting Kenchoji Temple, we walk to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine.

Passing through the pricinct of Hachimangu Shrine, we keep walking to Komachi-doori Shopping Street to Kamakura Station.

Ending Point

At Kamakura Station

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Inclusions & Exclusions

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What‘s included

Guide fee and Hotel pick-up in Yokohama City

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What‘s not included

Transportation fee (for yourselves and your guide), Example: Tokyo - Kita-Kamakura = ¥ 800 per person

Entrance fees (Engaru-ji = ¥ 300, Tokei-ji = ¥ 300 Kencho-ji = ¥ 500),

Lunch (for yourselves and your guide)

Tour Important Information

You will know the histories of these temples including their founders. There are some National Treasures which can be seen during the tour.

You will also determine who spread Zen Buddhism to overseas during Meiji era, which was started in 1868.

You may find major difference between religions spreading in the Western world and the Buddhism as the science of mind through the experiences during the visit.

Important message from the guide

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Fees for transportation, admission and lunch for the group (including the guide) during the tour will be paid by the customer.




Cancellation Policy

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    Free cancellation - 8 days prior to meeting time
  • GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!
    50% Refund - 3 to 7 days prior to meeting time
  • GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!
    No Refund - Within 2 day(s) prior to meeting time

Kamakura Tour Reviews

Great Tour of Hakone

Was a great tour , we covered a lot of areas, Macky was great - spoke good English and very knowledgeable. Also, was happy to customise things and improvise

Sadeev K.

I am very glad that you could enjoy the tour. I appreciated that you were so punctual to the schedule which is very important when we travel by the public transportation in rural areas. I wish you have an excellent and memorable journey in Japan. Macky Hagiya

Most Impressive Shizuoka Sightseeing Tour

We like to thank our guide Macky for this wonderful and most impressive tour across the Shizuoka area. The tour has been well prepared by our guide. We received a detailed itinerary in advance which covered all our interests. We can highly recommend Macky as a guide due to his sound knowledge of Japanese culture, social life and geography. We have appreciated very much the skillfulness and English language competence of our guide.

Isabel C.

Dear Isabel and Michael, Thank you very much for your review, which I am really appreciated and encourage me a lot for my future work as a guide. What makes me so pleased was that you were satisfied with the tour though the weather was not with our side and we couldn't see Mt. Fuji. I wish you keep happy and enjoyable journey. Best regards, Macky Hagiya

Awesome day around Mt Fuji

Macky took me to multiple places around Mt Fuji I would have never know about. Several great views of Mt Fuji from the various stops. He was very kind and informative. I can't imagine how I could have made the day any better!

$190/ per group

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