In the 20th of May 1927, Japanese Government Railways (JGR), the pre-war predecessor of the Japanese National Railways (JNR), opened Kita-Kamakura Station in Yamanouchi to connect the American Naval Arsenal in Yokosuka to the Tokyo capital. Since then, the area has been known as Kita-Kamakura.
The area has not changed much. Now, it is famous for its bucolic atmosphere and for the national architectural and religious treasures it holds. Three out of the five highest-ranking Rinzai Zen temples in Kamakura are located here, after all- namely Kencho-ji, Engaku-ji and Jochi-ji.
Built in 1253, Kencho-ji is Kamakura’s oldest temple. It is said to be the most important temple out of the Five Zen Temples. The Bonsho Temple Bell, a Japanese National Treasure, is kept within one of its several halls.
Constructed in 1282 to commemorate Japanese soldiers who fell during the Mongol invasion (1274-1281), Engaku-ji is the second most important temple in Kamakura. On the western part of the complex lies Shari-den, a sixteenth century building rumored to be keeping Buddha’s tooth.
Founded in 1160 and then erected in 1383 as a son’s loving tribute to his father, Meigetsu-in is arguably one of the most beautiful temples in Kamakura. People flock to its grounds during the rainy season for the temple’s Hydrangea corridor that leads to the main hall.