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How to Properly Explore Kamakura Part 6: Eishoji Temple 英勝寺

Eishoji Temple

Why visit here? Start with part one here

  1. If you have an interest in the Jodo sect of Buddhism.
  2. If you have an interest in beautifully wood carved gates called sammon gates.
  3. If you like bamboo forests, like Hokokuji.
  4. If your aim is the appreciate the wooded culture of Japan.

Key information about this temple is that it is first and foremost a nunnery / convent the only one of its kind today in Kamakura.   The temple itself was founded by a lady named Okatsu who was a concubine of the late Tokugawa Ieyasu.   After Ieyasu's death, Okatsu was granted land to build Eishoji Temple.    

This is one floor, not two floors.

Examine the reliefs

Sanmon Gates

Belfry Bell Tower

One of the great treasures

The reason people visit here is to see the four main NICP ( National Important Cultural Property).   That is, The Main Hall, the Sanmon Gate,  Karamon and Shido gates, and lastly the Belfry bell tower.   This is more of a showpiece temple for tourist to see old structures.   No teahouses to sit and admire the beautiful artifacts.   This is the temple you take friends and visitors who want to get up close to protected cultural treasures and to experience a little history.    There is nothing else there.


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