Skip to main content

How to Properly Explore Kamakura Part 10: Engaku-ji 円覚寺 書院

The easiest and the closest station to reach a temple in Kamakura is via the JR. Yokosuka line JR Kita-Kamakura Station.   Just a five-minute walk to Engaku-ji Temple is off to your left and up the stairs.  You should see lots of people clustered near the gates.

As a matter of temple etiquette, you may put your hands together ( do not clap - never clap at a temple) and bow before passing through the gates.  The sense of reverence adds to the allure of the place.   At the window you pay an entrance fee which is about 300 yen ( $3.00 USD).    Free Wifi is available near the vending machines after you pay your entrance fee.   No special login required.  Grab a tea while you are there and explore one of the greatest Chinese style monastic temples in the history of the world (...literally).

Sanmon Gate

The temple was founded in 1282, about around the time Nichiren, the founder of Nichiren Buddhism had died.   In Europe, at around this time,  the House of Habsburg was founded where most of Europe's influence began to spring forth from.   This is also around the time of Dante and Shakespeare, so a lot was happening in the world at the end of the 12th Century.   Japan was undergoing spiritual cultivation while Europe was expanding its power throughout the world.

There are about 8 points of interest here at Engakuji.   The Butsuden ( main hall ) The Kaikibiyo, (Hojo's Mausoleum) The huge Sanmon ( main gates), the Shozokuin ( hermitage ), the Kojirin ( zen meditation hall) the Hojo ( Abbot's quarters), Ogane ( national treasure ) Bentendo ( ceremony hall )

I always recommend brushing up a little on Buddhist philosophical thought and dogma.  Before visiting this temple you may want to study a little about Rinzai school, one of the most popular schools of thought in Japan since Engaku-ji is the head temple of Rinzai.   When walking around these temples take notice of how naturally wooded these edifices are.  No flashy paint, just simple wood.

Engakuji could easily eat up 2 hours of your day with all the walking if you take your time.  Any season is a good time to visit this place and I highly recommend it, and take from it whatever inspires you to live to your fullest potential.

When you leave, remember to bow at the gate again with hands together.


Popular posts from this blog

Shin-Okubo: Little Korea

So I finally got around to going up there to Shin-Okubo,  the land of Seoul via the Yamanote Line.  Been putting this trip off for years for personal reasons;  I am not a fan of Hanlleyu.      I knew why I came up this way, and for none other reason than the food, and maybe to bask in the nausea of Korean romanticist who steal Japanese Jukujo's souls.    But honestly, I like spicy food and stews and pickled vegetables that challenge my taste buds.    I also love the little funky cafes that line the main thoroughfares and alley ways, each with their own little eclectic menus and interior decor.     This place is Korea.  

Shin-Okuba represents more than just a place to relish in Korean culinary delights and K-pop culture, but a place where Koreans can express themselves through their culture.    You can feel the local vibe in the air as you're walking down narrow walkways and footpaths.    I have personally been to mainland Korea six times, so a lot of the nostalgia was there …

Japanese Girls: A Sex(quisition)

While writing this, I was listening to "Going Through Changes" by Eminem

No, I haven't lost any love for momma, Japanese Jukujo that is, and yes, I do have a special place in my heart for young Japanese women, too. 

But then....then I glance over and there's a momma, a delectable Japanese Jukujo momma.  Fully rounded, and fully figured and fair healthy skinned.  Full fine silky muff fujii mounds. 

From this point I feel I need to qualify my remarks more thoroughly, though, especially when referencing women in general.   Firstly, it cannot be denied that there are beautiful women all over the world and from a variety of different backgrounds.  Women are people. However, in this essay I would like to take it a little further.

For me, living in Japan I have created a world unto myself so to speak.  I believe that some people create reasons for doing things, more so than there actually being a real need for doing said things, while others drift along accepting any an…

Estudio científico sobre la lactancia materna para adultos. Cómo alimentar a un bebé adulto.

Estudio científico sobre la lactancia materna para adultos. Cómo alimentar a un bebé adulto.