Kenchō-ji 建長寺

About Kenchō-ji Temple

Kenchō-ji Temple in Kamakura is a Zen Buddhist temple of the Rinzai sect, which was established during the Kamakura period and is one of Japan’s representative Zen temples.

In 1253, Lanxi Daolong (also known as Daikaku Zenji), who came to Japan from the Southern Song Dynasty, founded Kenchō-ji with the support of the Kamakura shogunate’s regent, Hōjō Tokiyori. Daolong had studied Zen in China and learned the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism in the Southern Song Dynasty. Kenchō-ji Temple was established as a Zen temple that inherited the Zen spirit of the Southern Song Dynasty.

Kenchō-ji Temple is counted as one of the major temples in Japan, along with Eihei-ji Temple of the Sōtō sect, Enryaku-ji Temple of the Tendai sect, and Koyasan Kongobu-ji Temple of the Shingon sect. It is also known as one of Japan’s representative Zen temples. Within the temple grounds, there are many important cultural properties, including the Sanmon gate, Butsuden (Buddha hall), and abbot’s quarters. Among them, the National Treasure “Silk Hanging Scroll of Lanxi Daolong” and the “Bonsho” (temple bell) are particularly famous. Additionally, Kenchō-ji is known for its beautiful cherry blossoms in the spring and autumn foliage.

Location: 8 Yamanouchi, Kamakura City
Access: 13-minute walk from JR Kita-Kamakura Station
Hours: 8:30am-4:30pm
Admission fee: 500 yen (200 yen for children)
Toilet: Available

・Nearby Shrines, Temples, and Other Attractions

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu 鶴岡八幡宮(8-minute walk)
Meigetsu-in 明月院(11-minute walk)
Engaku-ji 円覚寺(13-minute walk)


・Cafes and restaurants around Kenchō-ji Temple

<< North Kamakura Area