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How to Properly Enjoy Kamakura: Part 12 Kakuonji Temple 覚園寺

If you want to start from part 1 click here

Why visit here:

  1. You like the study of ascetic Buddhism
  2. You want to see very rare artifacts like the Black Jizo ( baby like god).  You have to sign up for the tour which is conducted in Japanese and is 50 minutes long.   
  3. You want to see the Yakushi Trinity, and extremely rare artifact and beautiful.  
  4. You love nature walks and don't mind a light excursion from Kamakura Station.
  5. Roads leading up to Kakuonji have a few soba houses, not restaurant, so it's like you are eating at someones home.

Kakuonji as it is without the historical references is still beautiful.   After leaving Kamakura-gu Shrine just head back towards the bus stop and continue up the main road about a kilometer.  This temple is directly ahead.    The benches just beyond the gate you can sit and take in the fall foliage and the aromatics of nature along with the scents of worships in the form of incense.    

This temple attracts a lot of elderly who are drawn to the ascetic nature of this temple's history.    A true prayer temple consecrated for the protection against the Mongolian army who, by the way, failed twice in trying to take the island(s) of Japan.    It was the divine wind that arose from the storms that was attributed to the destruction of the Mongolian Navies - not the kamikaze references depicted in WW2.

This temple has no bell at the alter.   Instead you have one giant jizo bead - prayer beads hanging from the trellises.   You pull them downwards before you pray.   Remember, you NEVER clap your hands at a temple; you simply put your hands together and pray sincerely.   You may also want to purchase an incense stick and put that into the incense holder to add to the mood.    Then, take the tour.   Even without knowledge of the language you'll still get something from the tour.  Your eyes will be blessed.  


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