Kamakura – Finding My Zen
Finally, after 2 months I got down to playing tourist in Japan.
Kamakura is a coastal town rich with Japanese history and often considered the birthplace of the samurai. Today it is a popular tourist destination with the town’s historical temples and beaches drawing the crowd. I am a big fan of historical sites so Kamakura was right up my alley.
There are 5 Buddhist Zen temples in Kamakura of which my first stop was Engaku-ji. One of the things that truly amazed me is the majestic gate known as a sanmon that greeted me as I entered the temple grounds. This is Engaku-ji’s sanmon – with a few tourists thrown into the shot to give you a sense of scale. Interestingly, the size of the gate is an indicator of the temple’s status.
The temple was relatively quiet on an early Saturday morning. I took my time exploring and admiring the landscaping around the temple grounds. On hindsight, I took a little too much time and had to cut 1 stop out of my itinerary but more on that later.
Engaku-ji is only a stone’s throw away from Kita-Kamakura station and it’s definitely worth the 300 yen admission. Next, I continued to Kencho-ji, the most important Zen temple in Kamakura.