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.

9 thoughts on “Kamakura – Finding My Zen

      • I’m definitely looking forward to seeing pictures from your future visit. I’m still trying to decide which temples to see on my upcoming trip, probably Hasedera and Hachimangu. I also want to try and see Enoshima, if possible.

        • Tentatively planning to revisit Kamakura the next weekend. There is a festival at Hachimangu and one of the highlights is Japanese horseback archery (Yabusame). Would love to photograph that but battling the crowds will be a challenge.

          Anyway, I still have more photos to share from my trip last weekend. I prefer to break my trip reports into small bite sized chunks 🙂

          • I’m the same as you, I like to concentrate on one specific event or spot when writing a post. I don’t mind reading read long entries where people document each day of their trip, but I don’t have the patience to write one like that myself.

            Hope you have a good time at Kamakura next weekend and get plenty of good shots!

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