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.

Glimpse into 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.

Kencho-ji

Glimpse into Kita-Kamakura
Kencho-ji San-mon – Photo by mitalisamant

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.

Engaku-ji

Glimpse into Kita-Kamakura
Maple trees at Engaku-ji’s Sanmon gate in Spring – Photo courtesy of ask_yas

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.

Glimpse into Kita-Kamakura

Glimpse into Kita-Kamakura
Autumn colors in Engaku-ji.
Glimpse into Kita-Kamakura
Roof Sanmon detalles at Engaku-ji.

Meigetsu-in

Glimpse into Kita-Kamakura
Meigetsu-in Hydrangea Corridor – Original Photo by julesberry2001

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.

Glimpse into Kita-Kamakura
Moon gate at Meigetsu-in. Also referred to as the “Harvest Moon”.