Founded in 1282 by Hojo Tokimune (a military dictator known for fending off the invasion of the Mongols in the late 13th century), Engakuji (円覚寺) is now one of the most important Zen temples in Japan. Built on the sloping hillsides of Kamakura, it is famous for its front gate, main hall, and bronze bell cast in 1301 that is a designated National Treasure. Engakuji is especially popular during the autumn season when the maple trees in the temple’s grounds turn a brilliant red.
LocationEngakuji, 409 Yamanouchi, Kamakura, Kanagawa 247-0062
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A short walk from Kita-Kamakura Station on the JR Yokosuka Line
8:00-16:30 (until 16:00 between December and February)