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How to Properly Explore Kamakura Part 3: Tokeiji 東慶寺


Why here?  Start with part one here

  1. You love seasonal flowers like the plum blossoms in February, Higan Cherry in March, Weeping cherry in April, Japanese Iris and hydrangea in June, Balloon flower in July.  From September moonflower, October Japanese Anemone, and November Ginkgo and Japanese Gentian.
  2. You like to take classes in traditional Japanese culture, including Zen meditation sessions, lessons on sado, tea ceremony, kodo, the incense ceremony, and flower arrangement.
  3. You want to learn how to write a sutra called "Shakyo."  
  4. If you like stroll gardens with a simple layout for easy navigation.
  5. A lover of architectural beauty then you'll love the pyramidal roof of the main hall.

This temple is not like Sugimotodera Temple, but more like a sanctuary where women fled to in order to break their wedding ties and could find refuge.   Famously called the "divorce temple."   When you walk along the temple grounds it does not feel like a place of refuge, but more like a flower garden replete with priceless cultural artifacts in gold and lacquer works.

Tokeiji is the type of place you visit after lunch just to walk through and chat, not a place of meditation or reflection unless you are taking one of the tea courses I mentioned earlier.  This is only a place of admiration, not reflection.   The only thing Zen-like here is the layout of the temple.     

The two principal deities are Shaka Nyorai and Suigetsu Kannon.    

If you have a deep interest Kodo, incense ceremony, or sashihana, another kind of flower arrangement then visit here.

Tokeiji is a place of learning and admiration - you come here to learn.


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