This tour takes you to historical sites in Kita(northern)-Kamakura, letting you enjoy the traditional culture of Zen Buddhism and seasonal natural beauty in a quiet atmonsphere. While visiting Zen temples, you experience a Zen-meditation and a tea ceremony as well as Shojin-ryori or vegetable dishes for monks. This will surely purify your mind and be a once-in-lifetime experience.
At JR Kitakamakura Station
2:00 PM Engaku-ji Temple
3:00 PM Tea ceremony at a Japanese tea house or a temple
4:00 PM Kencho-ji Temple
5:00 PM Zen meditation session at Kenchoji-temple
6:00 PM Dinner (Shojin-ryori or vegetable dishes for monks)
At JR Kitakamakura Station
This tour is targeted for those who want to enjoy natural beauty and the traditional culture of Zen Buddhism in Kita Kamakura, a tranquil and elegant ancient city of Japan, getting away from din and bustle of cities. The tour starts from Engakuji-temple, which was founded in 1282, consists of several Buddhist architectures including Shariden, a National Treasure. Then you experience a tea-ceremony at a traditional Japanese tea house or a temple, enjoying a cup of matcha tea and Japanese sweets. Next, you visit another Zen temple, Kenchoji-temple, the first-ranked of the five great Zen temples of Kamakura, where you see various kinds of temple buildings and a Japanese garden as well as some Buddhist statues. There, you have a chance to join a Zen meditation session to experience meditation in a seated position at the Main Hall of this temple. Finally for dinner, you enjoy Shojin-ryori or vegetarian dishes for Buddhist monks, at a Japanese restaurant.
This tour is characterized by three main attractions. First, since Kita Kamakura is blessed with a variety of natural beauty, you can enjoy seasonal flowers and leaves such as cherry blossoms in spring, fresh green leaves and Japanese hydrangea in early summer, and changing colors of autumn leaves. In addition, the tour provides you with opportunities to experience Japanese culture such as a tea ceremony, where you learn the manners of enjoying tea and hosting guests, and Zen meditation, in which you can master quiet and deep breathing from the abdomen. The final feature is tasting authentic and healthy Shojin-ryori, whose ingredients are selected and collected from all over Japan. I believe that, at the end of the tour, your heart and mind are completely purified and refreshed, ready for another journey of your life.
transportation fee (you), entrance fee (Engakuji-temple 300 yen / Kenchoji-temple-200 yen), charge for a tea ceremony (2,000 yen~), dinner (5,700 yen~)
1. Zen meditation sessions are held every Friday and Saturday from 17:00 to 18:00 at Kenchoji-Temple. So the tour starts only on those days of the week.
2．Since a tea ceremony and Zen meditation sessions are held in a tatami or straw mat room, you need to take off your shoes at the entrance. Casual clothes such as trousers or long skirts which are suitable for sitting on the tatami mat are recommended. You don’t have to kneel on the floor in the formal. Please sit down as you feel comfortable.
3. The admission to Engakuji-temple and Kenchoji-temple is charged. Also you need to pay for joining a tea-ceremony. However, Zen meditation sessions are free of charge.