Kamakura - Japan (Day 4 part 3) Kenchoji

May 17, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Full of Kamakura cider and sweet potato ice cream I headed off to Kenchoji ranked number 1 of the 5 great Zen temples in Kamakura. With the rain having stopped I was starting to slowly dry. Kenchoji was just a short walk away from where I enjoyed my snack. There were several large tour buses pulling in as I arrived but I managed to get in ahead of the large rush of people.

After paying my fee and walking towards the sanmon (main gate) I was greeted by the sound of music. A performer was playing to a small group of people. I enjoyed his playing for a little while. It was a really nice warm way to be greeted. As I passed through the gate I noted dozens of photos from the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. It was a powerful reminder of the damage caused by that terrible combination of events.

I was in awe at the size of the temple complex. I was quickly beginning to understand why it was ranked number 1 among the 5 great Zzen temples. The weather brought out tons of people suddenly but they seemed to mainly stay near the main hall which was very impressive for sure. After offering a quick prayer I moved to a less busy area of the sprawling complex.

I small group of elementary school kids approached me and inquired if they could ask me some questions. They said they were visiting from Gunma and working on their English studies. We talked for about 15 minutes. They asked about where I was from, my hobbies, how I liked Japan and many other topics. I was impressed with how good their English was. They took my photo for their report and I took one of them in return. They were really cool kids.

After our chat I walked around the temple complex. It had many amazing features. I was impressed by the beautiful gold decorated gate, statues and gardens. You could easily spend a half day walking around and not see everything here but due to my limited time I headed off to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu which is Kamakura's most important shrine.

 


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